Turns out I DID get that writing assignment from PostHuman Studios, they were just slower than they wanted to be getting back to people. Which, you know, happens. I had actually wondered if the guys were Canadian (and I had forgotten that) given that the original timeline had them working to choose writers over Thanksgiving.
So, lessons learned so far:
1) Even when there's a theoretical tight deadline for the writing, assume from the start that it'll take longer for assignments to go out than stated. If the folks assigning projects meet their goal, it'll be a nice surprise.
2) Don't send 'hey guys, if you have time, how could I improve my pitches to you for the future' emails until actual rejection (I'll count hearing through other sources that assignments have gone out as rejections). Or a month. A month seems reasonable. Just thinking this writing as a business thing through, as best I can.
3) When looking at your schedule and personal capacity to write (and meet stated deadlines) when deciding whether or not to pitch, look at your schedule under the assumption they'll get back to you later than they think they will.
I mean, unless this particular company has a reputation for being very, very good at time management and getting back to their freelancers quickly.
I'm fine in terms of my own time management and the first & final draft deadlines, but partially that's because I already wasn't traveling for the winter holiday. So, as part of that thinking through writing as a business, I'm just seeing how it could have been a problem.
Time, as they say, to put my nose to the grindstone and get 2,000 words out. Wish me luck guys!