i am so very pleased that my short story “nighttime” has found a home at torch, a wonderful online journal featuring african american women writers. this story was one of the first stories i wrote (or one of the first that i would consider a story). in my 08 i made a resolution to submit to at least 12 publications. i dug up this story and put it into the literary lotto.
i wrote it at my very first writers workshop, callaloo in 2004. the photo above is my desk at callaloo. i actually blogged about my experience there and the evolution of that story here: this gift , writing in the dark, & writing in the dark, pt 2 .
Torch :: Jamey Hatley.
i am always surprised at the divine timing of the universe. i’ve been off my game lately. or maybe i have been right on track, because i’ve learned that what sometimes looks like procrastination is actually preparation. but i settled down to get some work done on the last day of september and as a stall decided to check my submission calendar. i made a goal to at least apply to 12 places this year (either contests or journals). there were a handful of contests with an october 1 deadline. so what did i do? i decided to play a lightning round of literary lotto. i scanned the guidelines, eliminated the ones that i wasn’t eligible for and managed to get 3 applications in the mail. just two more submissions and i’ll reach my goal for the year! i did all this in spite of the evil car dealership insisting that i needed new tires and my 30,000 mile service. that HUGE unexpected expense almost took me out, but i gathered myself together and decided to get it done.
i haven’t gotten a single acceptance so far, but i don’t really get bummed about rejections. i guess my philosophy is that just like the lotto you have to PLAY to WIN. as a writer i know that i can get so caught up in the WORK that i forget that the work has to live outside of me and my computer. so those envelopes are my declaration to the universe that i am in the sea of writers. that i am an active participant in this world. now that might not hold as much weight as a publication credit, but sending that work out in the world made this literary life that i’m crafting feel a bit more real.