Here’s $25, will you read my story?

I made my first short story submission yesterday–well, my first story submission at all, ever.  It’s a piece I wrote a few years ago, and have made slight, slight edits to it over the years, sharpening it up in places as I learn more about what good writing is (not that I do that, exactly).  I paid Writer’s Digest $25, ignored the fact that I have a credit card payment due in a few days, and clicked “Submit.”

I don’t know much about statistics, but I know my chances of being chosen in the top 25 are slim.  The thing is, I really like my story.  I’m entertained every time I read the thing.  So, even if the (wonderful, intelligent, luminous) people over at WD don’t think my story is quite the right thing, I’m honestly just happy that I finished the story.  It’s done.  I’ve never had a story that was officially, truly, undoubtedly (at least for this week) done.  Says a lot about my writing process, huh?  I have dozens of stories that are works in progress, some more so than others.  I always envisioned my scraps of stories to one day fit together into one magnum opus, stitched together from the vignettes composed over the course of the erratic years of my twenties.  If nothing happens with this submission, I’ll just keep sending the story off, hoping someone else will enjoy it as much as I do.

Instead of jumping back into my novel, which has almost convinced me that I’m stuck in a bottomless pit of something I don’t have the skills to control, I’ll test the waters with another short story.  Something brand new.  Not pulling from that sloppy, but oddly adorable, quilt of past works in progress.

But first, sloppy joe’s for dinner.

Back to work

Oh dear, it’s been a while.  I have a few excuses, which I’ll list here:

1. I got a new job, one of those 9-5, 40 hour a week jobs.  I like it so far, and I’m pretty sure I’m kicking ass, but it has definitely taken a large chomp out of my writing time.  By the time I get home, I need to start working on dinner which takes me a solid two hours because I’m not good with time management and am too stubborn to cook more simple meals.  This doesn’t mean that my cooking always tastes good, however.

2. We adopted a cat!  A beautiful, Siamese, 3-legged cat from Arkansas.  She’s the most affectionate creature ever to be birthed, which is why she holds the spot as Excuse #2: Whenever I sit in my pink writing chair (which Trinity, my cat, has comandeered as her own), Trin jumps into my lap and sprawls out across the keyboard.  I’m not exaggerating when I say she does this every time I sit down with the computer.  It’s adorable, but alas, progress has been slow.

3. Writer’s block.  I never believed it was real, but maybe this is it.  Also, I’m tired of my story.  I’ve been stuck on the first third of it for so long, and now I feel it’s just waving in the wind, moments from being torn off to fly away into the stratosphere, far away from my brain.

4. I’m most productive when huddled in my desk cube at the library, but it gets dark so early now that I’m afraid to walk to the library from my apartment once the sun goes down.  I know, I’m a pansy.  And yes, I could drive, but I’d rather not.  Bad news goes down on bike paths after dark, and my town in particular has been victim to some really horrible tragedies in recent histroy.  I’m a worst-case-scenario type of person, and I don’t want to become a headline.  Unless it’s for the terrific new book that I’ve published.  Or my cat becomes the new youtube sensation.  But only then.

So, I’m back to the library nice and early today thanks to a few sick days I’ve had to take due to a stomach flu.  This virus is a blessing in disguise–first, because it helped to rid me of the half of a pizza I ate Saturday night out of sheer gluttony/pizza glee.  Second, it’s given me time to read and focus back on my story.

But of course, before I can do any of that story stuff, I have to ramble on in here a bit. To work!