My First Published Story!

I told you some time ago that I had news to share. Well, now I feel comfortable sharing it.

One of my short stories is getting published in a literary journal!

I first got the news back in July, but I was waiting for the issue cover to come out and just to know that it was happening for real, you know. I have been excited since the first email accepting my story, but I’ve been over the moon this weekend after seeing the book cover design and also seeing my name on the cover.

Isn’t it beautiful?!

The story being published is “Makers of Men”. I’d jotted notes down for this story a long while ago and had forgotten about it in a notebook somewhere. When my first submission (an essay) to midnight & indigo wasn’t accepted I was disappointed, but figured I’d try again another time. Almost a year later I’m organizing old notebooks and find the notes for this story. I look at the submission deadline on the midnight & indigo site and it’s in 4 days. I get to work.

I sat down and wrote the story in one sitting. I went back a couple of times to edit and rearrange, and then it was time to submit. While waiting for an answer I figured if it wasn’t accepted I’d just include it in the book I’m working on myself. But it did get accepted, and I got paid for it!

The first time I had something published—a poem—it was some contest thing when I was around 13, and we had to pay for the book, and my poem was the first one listed. It was fishy and I still don’t think it counts as publication. But this…this is legit, and my spirit is floating. I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time, and I’m glad to share this news with you.

Publication date for Issue 3 is in December, so I still have to wait a few weeks before I can actually hold it in my hands, but I’ve already got plans to get a second copy so I can frame the first. I bought a raw shadow box more than 7 years ago when I was really into painting wooden things. I had no idea what I was going to put in it then and it’s still unpainted. I have big plans for it now!

It may seem like I’m overly excited about this, but let me tell you why. First, I get excited about the simplest things, so something like this excites me x100; second, gratitude. I’m grateful for the opportunity, for the recognition, for the validation as a writer, and I’m grateful to the story I wrote (I’m visualizing parts of it now as I write this). Third, I needed this joy. If you have been reading my other blog you know a little about the struggles I’ve experienced this year with anxiety. And while the gratitude and joy I’m feeling right now does not wipe out my anxious thoughts, it has been greatly needed.

I feel like a real writer, y’all.

And I know that the act of writing makes me a writer, but the acknowledgment that I write things other people not only want to read, but share as well…that fills me on a completely different level. I wrote the story, I know it, I have it saved on my computer, but still, I can’t wait to read it in print…in a book…that somebody published!

Once I finish the shadow box I will be sure to show you. Thanks for being on this journey with me, whoever you are.