October 19, 2011
Hey, there. Come on in, have a seat. Uhh, watch the cat, Sophie’s her name. The house is pretty much hers, and I don’t try to persuade her otherwise. So, you’re here mostly out of curiosity I’d guess, since I’m not famous or even somewhat known. Maybe it’s our shared writing interest that drew you? Or maybe you like to yammer about baseball before players began drawing millions and some of the charm was gone from the game?
No? The writing, then. Good. It’s the biggest thing for me, too.
Want a root beer? No? Okay, I’ll try to make the visit worth your while. Now I don’t pretend to be a guru about the writing process, but I can talk about my own experience with absolute conviction. I hope that my stumbles and occasional risings above myself will make this site worthwhile to you who, like me, seek the Shimmering Golden Oz of Publication Land, a place that might be just starting to appear over my personal horizon.
I visualize the process of getting there as a kind of board game: You start at the lower left corner, intending to eventually arrive at the upper right, where the castle of OZ gleams in all it glory. But, like finding fulfillment in life itself, there is no direct and simple way there; the path is marked by dotted trails that wander all over the board, intersecting on occasion and dead-ending on others. These trails are navigated through a dice throw. Even numbers require following a straight path. Odd numbers allow you to make choices whenever you cross a diverging trail. The trails lead through sometimes difficult terrain: there is the Slough of Despond; the Canebrake of Rejection; the Marsh of Verbiage, and a few more.
But then you happen upon a clearing marked by a sign saying, “Congratulations, your story has been selected for publication in the E-zine, ‘The Rathole of Barking Insignificance.’”
A thrill goes through you. You realize that this, even for the paltry remuneration of $2, constitutes affirmation of a core belief: that you are a writer, and that the outpourings (droppings?) of your overheated imagination have worth; someone has found delight in your story: “Outgrabings of a Mome Rath.”
“Bitchin!” you exclaim, pirouetting around the room, “And huzzah.” A light has burst through the gloomy overcast of years of unrewarded toil and fractured belief in yourself and settled around you in an aura of hope and beneficence. You spend the rest of the day in a jumpy sort of ecstasy, unable to sit still for long before the need to make goofy faces at yourself in the mirror urges you from your chair looking for someone to bounce your wriggly self against, until hubby/wifey says, “For God’sake, go run laps around the neighborhood, better yet the whole town!”
I know. It just happened for me. I sold a western story called “The Gringo,” to thewesternonline.com on September 4, 2011, a date that will live in luminous personal significance forever. Yeeha! Let me know when it happens for you. We’ll hoist cans of diet Dr. Pepper to each other via SKYPE in mutual celebration. As authors.
P.S. A second story has found a home: This is “Wild Horse Spring,” displayed on Frontiertales.com in May, 2012.