Sunday, June 10, 2018

I Don't Remember Who I Bribed, But -- I'm In Print!!!

Yes so, as I alluded to in my last post, it's now official: My short story "The Collector" is appearing in the most recent issue of the speculative fiction magazine, Space and Time (Spring '18 issue #131).

This is indeed a big milestone. I've had a tough road these past 5 to 7 years ... lots of personal problems to deal with, mostly of the failed marriage variety and trying to piece together my life in the aftermath. I've mostly kept quiet about this aspect of my personal emotional makeup, especially on other social media platforms outside of Blogger, and with good reason. Yet perhaps the most regrettable fallout from all that was my lack of writing output during this time. I've tried to write, and in fact did pen several short stories from start to finish (with "The Collector" being one such result), but to be honest it's been like pulling teeth. I used to look forward to writing each night after returning from work, or on the weekends when I could truly devote most of my day to it. I was content, and gratified by the noticeable progress I was making. I had even sold a few stories to several token and online markets back when I was married. Nothing big, but I was still proud of that progress all the same. And when it all came crashing down around me, and my lost of self confidence -- and all that doubt -- would gnaw and eat away at me?

Yeah, I hate to say that I succumbed and just could not go on writing. And yet, that yearning to be creative and express myself was still there. Hence, why for a time all I wanted to do was get lost in my photography. Making pictures allowed me to get out into the world and walk around, clear my head, and see things around me instead of within me. More importantly, it allowed me to still create.

Does that make sense?

And in all that time in which my photography started to improve greatly, and I was getting more opportunities to shoot, I was still shopping around what stories I had already written. I've received numerous rejections, let me tell you. So many that I could say I've lost count. I haven't, because I actually keep a spreadsheet of all my submissions and when, where, and how they were rejected. But the point is: I still held on to that writing bug in whatever way that I could. And now something good has happened that I cannot let go to waste. After so many years, I've done it. I finally sold another piece. Why is this so important? Well besides the fact that it marks the first time my work will appear in a physical, solid printed medium that you can honest to god hold in your hands ... it reminds me that I haven't lost the ability to write something meaningful. Meaningful to anyone else? I'm not being that pretentious, no. But meaningful to myself? Yes. "The Collector" is a story I'm extremely proud of. I don't think that it represents the best of my talents, but it does illustrate to myself first and foremost that I can indeed write for what speaks to me. I can pull myself out of that doubt and self-pitying misery and write just for the fun of being creative, of expressing a poetry of the soul that hearkens back to the man I've always been. Before, back when I was married; and after, when I was divorced and had to find my own place to live. I'm still both people -- the same person. I shouldn't let external shortcomings affect that joy to be found in doing something fun and special and creative. I shouldn't forget to just write, dammit!

And that's what I intend to do. If I never sell another piece again, that's not really the point. If no one visits this blog anymore or comments on anything I put up here. That's not the point. The point is that I need to simply be me, that I need to shut up and. just. write.

And in the meantime to enjoy, however briefly, this one big moment that I will never forget. It's a small thing to most, but it's a milestone all the same. And I'm happy about it!

For those who have been asking me about where to purchase this issue of Space and Time, Issue 131 should be hitting magazine racks this week. I don't know for sure, but that's what I suspect. I've already received my contributor's copies, but I plan to visit a few Barnes & Nobles in the city over the next several days to see if I can spot any "in the wild." Having purchased the magazine from there before, I know from experience that the publication is often in the "Literary" category of B&N's magazine section. Most often it's grouped with other like-minded mags such as: Asimov's, Analog, and Fantasy & Science Fiction, but also other speculative rags like: Mystery and Romance. If you see these titles, then Space and Time will be somewhere among them. Right now, last winter's issue is still in good supply, so if you happen to see both that and the Spring issue on offer, do yourself a favor and pick 'em both up!

Alternately, you can simply go to the website's subscription page, scroll midway down, and order the current issue to be shipped to you in the mail. That's an option, too!

8 comments:

  1. So cool David. Never give up who you are...not for anyone or anything!

    I’ll let you know what I think of the story :)

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I'd love any and all feedback. :)

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  2. Congrats! You deserve it! Keep writing and I'll keep reading. :) It's me, Cintra!

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    1. Thank you, darling. You always are my first and most important reader. Love you!

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  3. That's a great milestone, David. Keep it up!

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    1. I'll try, Ian. I'll try. :) And ... thanks!

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  4. I'm beyond ecstatic!!!! This is so great and you know I'm ALWAYS with you no matter what. It's our time!! Up the Universe!!!

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    1. Thank you!! You were there from the beginning when I wrote my first story at 14 years old about aliens crashing onto a family farm and disguising themselves as vegetables! You were my first reader. :)

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