Yesterday I received a very kind and seemingly personal note from Michael at First City Review. He asked how I'd heard about his magazine and then proceeded to apologize for their delay in responding.
He called my work both "great" and "fine" (I read "fine" like the "fine" of "fine dining" rather than the "fine" which is a synonym for "adequate," but maybe I have my head in the clouds). They also invited me to submit again, which is nothing terribly special, but it felt like the sentence inviting me to do so was made with me in mind.
Thanks for making me feel special, Michael. I am giving up First City Review for Lent, but I will submit again in 42 days (as today is the day before Fat Tuesday).