Monday, June 6, 2011

Bless the Broken Road

I think about the years I spent, just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
-- Bless the Broken Road, Rascal Flatts

You know, I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Somewhere in my piles and piles of forgotten stories and poems, I have a poem I wrote... oh, maybe in the second grade. About a shark in the park.

It's horrible. I was seven, whatdayaexpect? (Although, even as a seven year old, I was wordy... how many second graders do you know who know the word "embark" and use it correctly in a sentence?)

I've got the first short story I ever wrote. It was called Alona and the Blue Ribbon. We wrote short stories in class and "bound" them into books.

It's also terrible.

I have stories from high school, from college, from that terrible period of my life just after college when all I had was a temp job, and was living in my mother's guest room.

I have plays. I have essays.

I have two complete novels and several not-quite-done-yet novels and dozens of first two or three chapters of ideas that never quite fleshed out.

Some are awful.

Some of them are actually pretty good.

I submitted a few things back in high school. Got a lot of "no thank you's" and one yes, for a publication that went out of business within a year. I pushed out one set of agent-requests when I was interested in marketing my first completed novel (that I co-wrote with a friend.) I sent out six inquiries and got one form letter back. The rest went completely unacknowledged.

But I really haven't put much effort into getting published.

Which is why it came as such a shock for me to get this email recently:

Hi Lyn!

I am delighted to inform you that I will be including "Golden Moment" in Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance. I very much enjoyed your lusty, adventurous story and I'm thrilled to have it in this collection! I will be sending you the contract, a table of contents and some other information soon!

Thanks again for a fantastic story!

All the best,


It was a whim, really, to write the story. I gathered some ideas from here and there, and wrote to spec for the first time since college. (And by that, I don't mean fiction... but writing a college essay is very much like writing for spec. And given that I was always excellent at writing college essays and enjoyed it incredibly...) I do know Kristina in person - she's a wonderful lady and I adore her... also her coffee-lust might possibly come close to my own! - but I don't think I got a bye from her.

So... for the first thing I've submitted for publication in twenty years. And it got accepted.

I find myself wondering: what was I waiting for?

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