Friday, October 20, 2006

"A Town Full of Holes"

Although "A Town Full of Holes" was my fourth published story, it was not the fourth one written. It was actually the second (technically the third if you count "A Tiny Decision", but it was never published due mostly to the fact that it was horrible).

That is one of the frustrating situations you find yourself in as a writer. You spend all this time on first writing the story, then finding a suitable publication. Then, if you’re lucky enough to get a response at all, it’s usually a rejection. After several re-submissions you finally score. Someone gives you the big OK. You frame the acceptance letter, celebrate with some Starbucks, and then you wait ... and wait ... and wait.

"A Town Full of Holes" was accepted by Midnight Times in April of 2004, but wasn’t actually published until January of 2005. Three month after that it was published again in a magazine called Seasons in the Night.

Writer’s Market had Midnight Times mislabeled as a print magazine, but it is really a webzine. I didn’t find this out until the editor, Jay Manning, sent me an e-mail saying that he was interested in my story. I prefer print magazines (my own personal prejudice) but I agreed to let him publish the story. One of the best decisions of my life.

Midnight Times is an excellent publication, full of talented writers and wonderful stories. Normally I would paste my story here, but I want to encourage you to visit Midnight Times. So, if you would like to read "A Town Full of Holes," go to or click on the link to the left. It will be in the archives; Winter 2005, issue #8.

An interesting side note (or maybe not): I originally wrote "A Town Full of Holes" for a contest. I stayed up all night so that I could make the deadline. At somewhere around 5:30 A.M. I finished. I was pleased with myself. I liked the story; felt that it had poured from me with very little trouble. I went to save the file, but my exercise in sleep deprivation had caused my brain and my hand to go all Jekyll and Hyde. Instead of clicking save, I clicked exit.

Now fully awake, I rushed to reopen the file, praying the whole time that I had hit save somewhere close to the end. I hadn’t.

The story was just a few words shy of 4,000. When I reopened the file, there were only 2,000 words. I spent the rest of the day (luckily I didn’t have to work) rewriting those lost 2,000 words. And that second time was nowhere near as smooth as the first.

They say that a bought lesson is the best kind, and I believe it. I am now a habitual saver.

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