I am a published writer and I will never be unpublished again. Ever! I am so excited about this, I can hardly sit down. And since I’m a pretty high energy person anyway, this extra oomph puts me right over the top. I’m spilling out of myself and I can’t help it.
My debut piece that is out there for the world (or at least pieces of it) to see is one of my first writings; so, of course, not my best. I expected my editor to clean it up for me, and add a punchier last line; but he left it fairly intact. Barely 500 words long, it is an essay masquerading as a short story about some little magic beings―elves, to be exact―who used to live in our house when my boys were growing up. The story begins on page 163 of Modern Witches, Wizards, and Magic, edited by Charles Dinkins, published by Kerlak Enterprises.
The way the story got accepted for publishing is almost as silly as the story itself. Last spring break, I hatched what I thought was a brilliant idea. I decided to give myself an assignment designed to toughen me up for the inevitable profusion of rejection letters that seem to shower themselves on writers everywhere. How many people have told me they could paper their walls with them? So, I gave myself the assignment of submitting 5 pieces to 5 different places, expecting 5 different letters of rejection, so that I could begin developing a nice, thick skin to protect against future rejections that could really sting. I submitted examples of my writing to 2 publishers, 2 contests and 1 online magazine. In my batch of responses, I received two contracts, ready to print out and sign. I was completely flabbergasted. I still am.
Of course, I’ve always been blessed with tremendous beginners' luck. When I competed in my first dogshow with my Josie, the first show dog I ever owned, I walked into the ring with her, won my class, and then took Winners Bitch over professional handlers and breeder/handlers, for a much coveted 3 point major. I was in such shock that the judge had to point at me repeatedly, before finally getting into my face, and yelling, “You won!” Anyone who has watched Westminster on TV knows that this is totally not done, and is totally not cool.
When I first realized that my book was indeed apparently being released for national distribution, I adopted an I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it attitude. There were so many delays surrounding its publishing and distribution, including Hurricane Katrina, that my stance on the matter seemed 100% justified. Even after I could see with my own eyes that the book was available for sale in the on-line bookstores, and had ordered a dozen of them from Barnes & Noble, I remained unshakably committed to my skepticism. Then, when I was notified that shipment would be delayed, I thought, “I knew it. Never gonna happen.” I remained suspicious. In a big way.
My two complimentary copies of the book beat the Barnes & Noble shipment by a day. When I discovered them sitting in my mailbox, I think I went temporarily insane, exhibiting strange behavior, such as shouting, singing, jumping up and down, and skipping around the back yard, yelling, "Yippeeeee!!" Thankfully, no one called the police. Or if they did, the police considered a visit to my home unnecessary.
My father and stepmother sent flowers, which came yesterday, and enjoy a place of honor in the middle of my kitchen counter. I spot them every time I pass through the downstairs of the house. What selflessness. With everything else going on in their lives right now, with hospitals, doctors, nurses, caregivers, medications, and transportation issues, they somehow managed to find the time to send me flowers. The little note attached to a large rose-like ivory flower with petals rimmed in green, read, “Whoopie! Congratulations!” I’m glad I’m going back to Cincinnati next weekend, so that I can give them thank you hugs in person; and tell them how much I appreciate their thoughtfulness.
That’s my big news for this Friday, November 11. I thought I would be able to work in the Friday catblogging theme somewhere; but, alas, all I could come up with were some cute pictures, thanks to my son, Jeffrey. I think they turned out very nicely, don't you?
Have a good weekend.