“A Mother’s Gift” and “The Banner Project” 2007

By 2007, I was coming off the failure of 2006’s dead end novel and really, really needed some good news.  I’d been at this for years, and felt like I was getting nowhere, fast.   Maybe I just wasn’t a writer, and I was fooling myself.   Maybe I just needed to face the facts, and grasp that this wasn’t going to happen.  I wasn’t cut out to be an author.   It was just a stupid dream that I needed to let go of.   I felt like I was walking through this completely alone, while my husband was a big supporter of “The Emperor’s Finest” (and still is!) everything since then had been done without anyone even knowing I had written them.

I was hanging around on critters.org (a site I really do recommend) jealously reading the happy posts about stories that had found a (paying) home when I noted a trend.   A lot of them were being sold to the same place, so they must be in the market for semi pro efforts.   I went to their website, read what they were looking for, and cringed internally.  “A science fiction magazine with a Christian foundation…”  Er.   Okay.   I’m a straight out heathen, and it is often reflected in my writing, but I was desperate and more than a little nihilistic at that point.   Maybe if I got enough straight out rejections, it would become easier to let this go.   So I buffed up a little story called “Conquistadors” , which is about a pair of up to no good high tech traders trying to deal with a low tech world’s religious leader, and failing miserably, and sent it off.   They replied immediately with a request for a rewrite, to back off of the language and to change a couple of things.  My first stupid reaction was anger, language?   There was a single profanity! One.  But then, the calmer adult voice reminded me that I was trying to sell these things, and pride wasn’t going to get that done.  So I rewrote it.  Twice.  And they were still not content.  I felt that the story was moving farther and farther away from what I had written, and was out of ideas, when they finally said it wasn’t going to work.  But they were still interested, did I have anything else?  Anything at all?

Well, yes, I did.   I wasn’t enthralled with either one, but they were pretty tame and might just work for this market.   I sent them both, and was stunned to hear that they would take both, without a single rewrite.

The first published was “A Mother’s Gift”, and I’ll let someone I’ve never met give you the review because they give an unbiased (and much better review) than I could:  http://www.tangentonline.com/e-market-monthly-reviewsmenu-265/the-sword-review-reviewsmenu-312/1146-the-sword-review-27

The actual publisher’s link to it is:http://www.theswordreview.com/Published/1577_MothersGift/1577_MothersGift.htm

I had done it.  I had been paid!  For a story!  I had a magazine, in my hands, with MY name on it.   I was beyond gleeful.   Once again, I felt like I could get this done.  I just needed to be patient again.

http://www.theswordreview.com/item.php?sub_id=863  Followed a month later, and I was now a twice published writer.   The light at the end of the tunnel…right?





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