Been around

I’m still doing cartwheels in my head over the recent publication of one of my short stories. I hope the giddyness lasts for a few more days at least.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been published though. In fact, it’s not even the first time I’ve had fiction published. A story I wrote more than fifteen years ago, called “The Mythmaker,” found a home in a literary journal then. And last year another short story of mine was accepted for publication in a science fiction anthology called Beacons of Tomorrow. (The edition with my story should be out early this year.) Quite a long time passed before my second piece of fiction got published — too long, really — but I wasn’t trying too hard during that time.

Instead I was writing a great deal of nonfiction. In the interim, I managed to get more than sixty freelance articles published in magazines and newspapers. A lot of it was strictly local stuff, but I enjoyed it because it allowed me to learn a great deal about things that interested me. Some of it went into national markets. I even got to meet a few writers I idolized. For example, I managed to get an interview with nature writer Sue Hubbell at her Ozark retreat, and I spun three articles out of it. Just this week I received a large package in the mail. It contained a bound anthology of articles that had appeared in a magazine. One of my articles was included in that anthology. That was completely unexpected but certainly nice to receive.

I sold more than half a dozen articles to a well-regarded nature magazine with a readership of more than a million people. That was great fun (and it paid pretty well, too), but then the editor changed and different writers came to the fore.

I stopped writing articles a couple of years ago, but I’m not sure why. I guess I felt that I had conquered that field sufficiently. I keep it in my back pocket believing that if I ever want to, I can go back to feature writing, but it just doesn’t hold the allure it once did.

Now I’m writing fiction exclusively. I’m working on the Finnegan novels, and that Sleep of Reason story will devour me if I don’t give it a lot of attention. Plus a few short stories have been bubbling up in my head. I have three of them out in the marketplace right now, and I think each has a reasonable chance of getting published. I suppose I have that many more that simply need to be polished and I can start circulating them as well. All it takes is time.

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