[Queue “The Final Bell” from Rocky]
There were three things on my List of Things To Do Before I Die:
- Publish a science fiction story
- Fly in space
- Get my pilot’s license
I got my pilot’s license back in 2000. I still have a way to go before I fly in space. I have been writing stories and trying to get them published since January 1993–just over 14 years. Last night, I received word that one of my stories has been accepted for publication. After 14 years, 100 submissions and 30 stories, I have finally made my first sale!
I have posted about this in friends-only posts over the last several months and those of you who have read those can probably skip this.
The story in question is called “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer” and it will be appearing in Intergalactic Medicine Show, an online science fiction magazine started up by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card and edited by Edmund Schubert. I’ve been told that the story will appear in either issue 5 or 6. I will, of course, post an update when I know more.
I’m not sure I can express just how excited I am. This is something that I have dreamed about for so long and it has finally happened. People just kept telling me not to give up, keep trying. I didn’t give up, I kept trying, and I have now sold a story! Whooooooo!
You know the scene at the end of Rocky II when Rocky has just beaten Apollo Creed and is standing in the ring and he says, “I just want to say one thing to my wife whose home: Yo Adrienne, I did it!”? Well, that’s kind of how I feel right now. The feeling is comparable to my first solo flight and in some ways it is even better. Soloing was great, but writing and writing and writing is hard, especially in the face of rejection letter after rejection letter. So if it’t not obvious this is a pretty big deal for me.
I have one remaining fantasy, and it will have to remain a fantasy. When a young Isaac Asimov published his first science fiction story back in 1939, he receieved a postcard shortly thereafter from well-established science fiction writer Jack Williamson that read something like, “That was a nice yarn. Welcome to the ranks.” In my fantasy, I receive a similarly worded post card from Isaac Asimov himself.
One more thing about this story that makes it special. My Grandpa died back in November 2004 and so he died not knowing that I would ever publish a story. However, this story was written and completed before he died and in fact it was the last story of mine that he read. He even told me he liked it! So that makes me feel good too.
It doesn’t quite seem real yet, but I do feel like I’m walking around on a cloud today. The sun seems brighter, the sky seems bluer, my biceps seem bigger. It’s a good day.
Of course, I need a new #1 on my List of Things To Do Before I Die…