Here in Virginia, it’s Primary Day. So, yes, I voted. And hopefully, after today, our house will be given a reprieve from the gazillion political robo-calls we’ve fielded over the past week.
Yesterday, Leap Day, brought a heap of good news. For one, REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters accepted a short story of mine (“Creams and Salves).” Five years ago, the journal published another one of my stories (“You Okay?”). As soon as I finished writing “Creams and Salves,” I knew REAL would be the perfect venue for it. Like “You Okay?”, “Creams and Salves” is a bit real-er and raw-er than most of my work. And yet, I sent it to REAL about 18 months ago and hadn't heard back until yesterday. A re-design and and editorial switch were responsible for the delay, but getting an approval like that out of the blue was a heartening surprise. Because I was so sure REAL was the right place for it, I rarely sent it out elsewhere for consideration.
Yesterday afternoon, before I heard of its acceptance, I thought about “Creams and Salves” for the first time in ages. I’ve been reading domestic noirs lately. Paula Hawkins’s THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. Mary Kubica’s THE GOOD GIRL. Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. A.S.A. Harrison's THE SILENT WIFE. Yesterday, I started writing what I hope will be a good domestic noir of my own. The characters and situation are a bit unsavory, the protagonists’ marriage verging on desperately awry. I thought of “Creams and Salves” because it seemed like a precursor to the novel I was beginning to write. And then, wham, “Creams and Salves” was accepted later that night. Hopefully its success in finding a home is a good harbinger for the new novel which, for now, I’m calling THE MISTRESS’S BABY.
But other news: another journal wrote me about another one of my stories, requesting that I revise it. These requests-for-revision don’t come often, so I’ll press myself to make this one work. The journal itself is a fairly new arrival to the literary scene but it’s got a solid editorial staff, so I’ll be proud if this other story lands there.
And perhaps the biggest news: Sebastian’s indoor soccer team won their league tournament on Sunday! Everyone on the team played well in the thrilling final match, which went down to PKs before Sebastian’s Roanoke Star SW team pulled it out! Good job, boys!
PS- I admit it: often, I scoff at the notion of "virtual communities," seeing them as something unreal or, perhaps, less-than-real. But yesterday, it was nice seeing how many of my Facebook friends "liked" the notice I posted about my short story acceptance. Sixty-five people have so far liked that note, perhaps a record for anything I've ever posted. And it made me feel somehow connected to a larger community, a group of people with similar passions and desires and dreams. That was nice. Thank you.