A friend recently described short stories as “heartbreaking.” I thought she meant that stories themselves — at their best — can break your heart. It turned out that she was really talking about the difficulty of placing stories, even good ones. And she’s completely right — the process of placing my first story was at times so dispiriting that I was reduced to devoting an entire page of my blog to the tales of my submission efforts just to keep my spirits up. When you’re getting floods of rejection slips for what you’re pretty sure are good stories, it’s quite possible to conclude that there must be more short story writers than there are readers. And you might even be right. That’s not really a reason to stop writing stories, though, but it does make you see your stories in a different light — they’re like the beloved child who’s charming, handsome and witty, but can never seem to get a job and move out of the house.
Well, the news today is that one of my stories (it’s called The Centerfold Club, and yes indeed it’s about a couple’s visit to a strip club) actually found itself an apartment — an astonishingly fine one, in a decent neighborhood in Alabama, with some truly exemplary roommates. It’s my first such child to do that — I won’t go into how many are still lying around the house in the equivalent of their underwear playing on the x-box because that would increase the heartbreak quotient too much for such a happy day.
So here’s what I’d like you guys to do, if you are able: e-mail the really terrific Karen at Southern Humanities Review. Subscribe to the journal — you’ll get my story, but you’ll also get the stories, poems and essays of some really amazing writers, including poet/essayist/blogger Emma Bolden, who’s been known to make an appearance there And you’ll be supporting Story Independence and diminishing writing heartbreak in one fell swoop.
You can e-mail Karen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at (334) 844-9088 or fax: (334) 844-9027. Tell her I said hello and hope the story is behaving itself.