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:
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.