The First One

At first, I thought it was spam. The subject line read, “E-Mail Acceptance Letter”, after all, which sounded suspiciously like one of those “Come help me get this one million dollars that the Nigerian government owes me” scams, or something like that. I’ve been getting way too much spam.

Then I thought that perhaps it was San Jose State University finally getting back to me to let me know that I’ve been accepted to their Master of Library and Information Sciences Program. I thought it odd that they’d send an e-mail notification, though, so I decided it was definitely spam.

So I nearly deleted it without even reading it.

Then I happened to glance at the text of the e-mail, and saw that it read, “Congratulations! We love your story and we want to buy it…”

Huh?

I read it again. “Congratulations! We love your story and we want to buy it…”

I did a double-take. I read it through again. And again. And I thought, “My God. I made a sale.”

I actually made a sale.

This magazine wants to buy “Ten Foot Tall He Was, with Eyes of Fire”, and publish it! And give me money for it!

“Honey!” I called out to Jennifer.

“What?” she cried back. She was getting dressed or something since we were getting ready to head out to Home Depot to pick up some electrical wire for our new lamps (more about those later).

“Do you remember my short story, ‘Ten Foot Tall He Was…’?”

“Yeah?”

“I sold it!”

“Yay!”

We sort of danced around for a bit, celebrating. I sent instant messages and e-mails to everyone I could think of: friends I hadn’t spoken to in awhile, family members, perfect strangers. “I sold a story! I sold a story!” I kept repeating it to myself (and to Jennifer) all day long. “I sold a story! I sold a story!”

Wow. I sold a story.

I know that I’m a decent writer. The last two stories I’ve sent out have come back with personalized rejection slips, which is a good sign (well, better than impersonal form letters), including flattering notes from editors-in-chief. I knew I’d make a sale someday. But it still took me by surprise.

I feel lucky. I only started taking this writing thing seriously again just a few months ago, after having ignored it since high school. I didn’t expect I’d be making any sales anytime soon. I’d fully expected that I’d be waiting a few years to make my first sale.

I know that it might be quite awhile until my next sale; but, “Sold is sold”, as my friend Ivymoon just told me. And a couple of people have pointed out that once you’re published, other publishers tend to look at you a bit more kindly.

And now I’m inspired all over again. I have lots of stories that I’m writing, a novel or two that I’m fussing with, and a strange hypertext story which will probably end up being published on my own website since I have no idea what else to do with it. I can’t wait to get started on any of these projects now.

I sold a story!

And it’s just the first one.

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