Immanuel will come to thee
For unto us
a child is born,
unto us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulders;
and his name shall be called:
The Mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Posted by Beth at 7:17 AM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Since I outgrew childhood, I've never been much of one for reading short stories. Oh, there were some exceptions, such as the year I discovered Henry Kuttner. But mostly I prefer novels. I like the slow strip-tease of good-storytelling. (Thank you, Linda Grimes, for that metaphor.) Short stories are...hasty. Just when you're warming up to the world and the characters, it's over. And not always with a pleasurable sigh, either.
Feeling as I do about reading short stories, I didn't suppose I'd ever spend time trying to write one.
But I did. One day an invitation came to submit to a heroic fantasy anthology published by a new small press.
So I wrote the story (technically a novelette and it took me three months) and sent it in. I was none too hopeful the editor was going to like it, since I had been told the theme was old-fashioned sword and sorcery and I wasn't sure that's what I'd written. But I sent it in, he accepted it, changed only a few words, and I signed a contract and got a check. A small one, but just being published was honor enough in my eyes.
The anthology was published in December 2004. Beautifully printed. Eye-catching cover art. Strong ToC, including a story by Tanith Lee. In spite of that enticement, the anthology languished for nearly a year in semi-obscurity, available for purchase only on the publisher's website, until it finally became visible on Amazon and has even occasionally been sighted in a brick-and-mortar store.
Reviews came. Not fast, not high-profile, but from respectable places. They popped up here and there, and my story was frequently mentioned in a gratifying way.
A contributing writer and SFWA member fell in love with my story and recommended it for a Nebula. This went beyond gratifying. I was thrilled. Shocked. After all, my story didn't seem like Nebula material to me. Don't they have to be full of Deep Meaning and make Subtle but Profound Statements about the human condition or alien rights or something? And when I learned the story had to get ten recommendations to even make it to the preliminary ballot, well--that seemed to me like trying to leap for the moon. Just being recommended was honor enough in my eyes.
Last night at midnight, my story's eligibility expired. And about one hour before the deadline, the tenth recommendation arrived.
So, here I am, space helmet in hand, planting my flag on the Nebula preliminary ballot.
The final ballot--well, that's not even in the solar system. It's that sparkling, misty galaxy over there. Standing on the moon is honor enough, in my eyes.
Posted by Beth at 7:34 PM