Yesterday was like a good-vibe overload.
It started early in the day after getting breakfast together for everyone. Scrambled the usual eggs and cooked the usual cut-up potatoes in oil, garlic, and chili powder. (I think I even grabbed coffee, too.)
But honestly, since I opened the e-mail, the last (nearly) two days have been a total blur. A good-vibe sensation. I sent the final draft out to the pub last week and hadn't immediately heard anything. From my experience in this digital correspondence world not hearing right away doesn't mean much, but when a story gets rejected, it gets rejected almost immediately. Who knows why... But so far that's been my experience.
So, for the last week, I checked e-mail. Looking. Wondering. Laughing ay myself for chewing fingernails in my head. But, hey, that's the risk... right?
An artist isn't an artist until he's critiqued...
The story idea started a few months back when a long-time friend of mine tipped me off to The Splintered Lands. Part social-networking, part shared world, part open reserve for unpublished authors to sink their teeth into a post-apocolyptic fantasy setting.
Something about this group piqued my interest. Not sure what. Well, after a few weeks of going back and forth I decided to pitch an idea.
They looked at it, replied with suggestions to make the story fit better; gladly adjusted them, and then sent it back. It was like this for a few e-mails...
Then the writing began.
From the get go I knew that I wanted to try a different convention than I've ever attempted. In the end, I think--at least I hope--the characters and the story benefitted from it. Early on I typed away like a fiend. The first words I typed were: I am.
But as with life things come up. I got distracted. I left the story. Came back to it. Thought about it. Put myself in it. Turned away to focus on the things happening in my life, and for many months didn't touch it.
It's been in the back of my thoughts the whole time.
So, a few weeks ago, I came back to it, and within a few sessions I finished it... phew...!
But I didn't send it. I held it back. And looked at it again a few days later. I'm glad I didn't send it. Needed a polish? Yup. Needed fresh eyes? Yup. (That's my years of journalism talking, BTW.) When newsrooms use the word edit, what they often mean is the reporter is too close to the story to see the (facets of the) story. So the extra eyes accomplish many things. Mainly for accuracy, chiefly for context. Readers are often around longer then the journalists and might be able to nimbly recall historical details the reporter may not.
I gave it another crafting round.
And sent that.
A week later I got the news every author wants to hear: We would like to publish your work.
Or, as we say around here: 88-13.
It's an old phrase my girlfriend's daughter--the Twilight fan (remember?)--said when she was a little girl. For her, it meant the ultimate joy. The impossible, possible. The best day ever. Ever. 88-13.
And, guess what. The SL Board wants to see more stories. Oh, what a day.
Can't wait to see it published.
Published. Did I just say that out loud? Really?