As I’m sure all of you have heard by now, recently Clean Teen Publishing (of all places) chose a short story I wrote for publication in their Wonderstruck anthology, which is being released this coming Friday, May 31st. They provided 5 pictures, and asked authors to pick one and submit a story based on the photo. Amazingly, they selected mine. I am excited and honored to be a part of it; this is my first publishing credit. *flails*
There are a whole bunch of people that made this possible. Everybody who ever gave me an encouraging word after reading some of the atrocious crap that spews forth from my brain onto the page played a part. The constant love and encouragement and general good times offered by the crazy folks who take part in #writeclub each and every week.
There is one person in particular, however, that without whom I am certain I would never submitted anything anywhere. She’s a young lady from the Boston area, Julie Hutchings — who recently got a book deal herself; there isn’t anyone who deserves one more.
Earlier this year, we met on Twitter. She and her writing partner and friend Kristen Strassell run a blog together, and for the month of February they were hosting an event on their blog where they asked people to submit a romantic/erotic short story to them, which they would post for the world to see. Julie and I had not known each other for very long at all when she asked me if I would take part. I’m pretty sure she hadn’t even actually read any of my writing at the time. I came really really close to telling her no because it scared the crap out of me. I don’t write erotica (ain’t nobody got time for that), so went a sweet romantic route with my story.
Let’s talk about where I was with my writing then for a second. I thought I sucked. Pretty much every writer thinks that, I’m pretty sure, but at this point I was absolutely sure writing would absolutely not lead anywhere ever. I had a few manuscripts I had gotten excited about but couldn’t really claim to be still working on. Feeling like I owed it to her to submit the absolute best story I could, I put about 1800 words of horrible crap on paper. I tried to cut it and revise it to get down to the 1000 word limit, and couldn’t. Got it down to about 1150. Rewrote it from scratch. 980 words…and I loved it, despite the wonderfully ridiculous “she raised her eyes skyward, to the sky” line. I sent to some folks for feedback and they all loved it, too. I made a few changes, then sent it to the lovely Carey Torgesen asking her to rip it to shreds.
She did. The end product was so much better though. I remember when I sent it to Julie, I literally shed tears over it. I knew I was sending her the absolute best I could do.
It was at that point I knew that maybe I could actually do this writing thing a little bit.
At Julie’s behest and encouragement, I ended up submitting that story to Fireside Mag. They rejected it. Since, I’ve submitted it to The Opening Line…where it will appear in their inaugural July issue…alongside of something Julie submitted, as well.
I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you to a very dear friend. I know that I would not have anything being published today without a random twitter DM from her in January. Thank you Julie. You know I love you.
You can check out her twitter, here.
Check out her blog, here.