So I'm doing it. No backing out now, I've put too much time and effort into it. I'm going to pursue publication of my first short story. Officially. As in, I expect to get paid for this shit.
I wrote the story a long time ago- almost a year and a half ago. It was originally called "Look Before You Leap; Wait While You Watch." It was told in the third person and seemed to really drag through the narrative. The title, also, seemed a little too long for my tastes. So it sat around, languishing for far too long before I finally sat down and rewrote it. Between the time of the initial first version and the rewrite, I spent a lot of time dicking around here at E2, learning about "the business", honing my writing skills some more and generally starving.
Then, a few months ago, I opened it up totally by accident. When it came up on my laptop's screen, I decided, "Oh, what the hell. It needs to be rewritten anyway and it is a good story, even if poorly written." You see, I was looking for stories that I felt confident enough about to send out. I was looking for something else entirely, but this one came up. Luck of the draw, I guess.
I rewrote it entirely. It's something like a cross between an interview transcript and a first-person narrative. The revised name is "Jumper" and it completely satisfies me. I rewrote, edited, hacked and slashed until I felt that it was "perfect" (honestly... what story is perfect?). Then I set about the task of browsing through some book stores, perusing their magazine racks for any sci-fi anthologies that accepted new stories/authors. After that, I went to the websites of the four magazines I had picked out and paid very close attention to their writer's guidelines. A few more edits later and it was ready. All I had to do was print it out.
But I don't own a printer. On top of that, I'm broke more often than not, so I couldn't afford to go to Kinkos and pay some exorbitant amount of money just to print out 40 lousy pages. What to do, right? Well, having friends is a good thing, when one is in need. I asked gihran, who at the time was hanging around at Cafe Coco as often as I was, if he would be so kind as to print it up for me. He agreed, took a floppy disk copy of the story and then...
...he pretty much fell off the map for about a month.
He finally showed up with a printed copy for me, but it turned out that the formatting was all wrong. I mean, really wrong. Apparently, he doesn't have a current version of Microsoft Word (and I saved it in Word97 format just in case, but he has Word95... natch). So I resaved the story in the proper format and sent it to him via email, with the understanding that he would view it on the computer first to make sure that the formatting was correct, then print it up and bring it back to me in a few days.
Another month later...
toastido called him for me tonight (my cell phone is down for the count) and asked him to bring it to the cafe. The story was printed, yes, and he'd shown up here a few times in the last few weeks but had forgotten to put it in his car. He showed up an hour or so later, my story in hand, and apologized profusely for the delay.
I should have griped at him. I should have chewed him a new asshole for making me wait so damn long. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Late though he was, he did do me a favor and saved me a large sum of money. I checked it over for formatting, which was perfect, and thanked him.
Tonight, right after I leave Cafe Coco, I'm going to stop by Kinkos and buy two manila envelopes (one to send the story and the other to put with the story- can't forget that SASE!). Having done that, I will stop by the post office and send the damn thing off to Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.
From there it could be anyone's guess as to what will happen. If it gets rejected, I have some other places I can send the story off to. But, by God, I'm going to get this thing published if it's the last thing I ever do! It's my dream and all part of a bigger plan in my life. It's what I've always wanted to do and I will not be denied my dreams!
I'm tired of being a writer. I want to be an author instead. A writer merely writes. An author gets paid for it.