Who Says You Can’t Go Back?

These past few months I’ve gone back to submitting some of my short stories for publication. Maybe to some it seems like a step back, but I’m content with the  short stories I write. I really am. Becoming distracted by novel writing these past five years or so, I allowed several finished and unfinished stories to fall to the wayside. I wish now I hadn’t. Last winter I submitted a short piece to Understory Magazine and it was published in their Winter Issue. The story was titled “The Old Queen Rains.” For those of you who might not have already read it I’ve added the link. HERE. I can’t deny it’s a wonderful feeling to have someone say they want to publish something I’ve written. These acceptances are so few and far between when writing novels. I’m a SLOOOW writer. But slow and steady as they say…..

I just received word on the weekend that another short story I’d submitted to TRANSITION , a magazine published by the Saskatchewan Mental Health Society , has been accepted. I’ve had work published there in the past. If you click into the “Publications” tab,  at the top of the page, and scroll down you’ll find some of these issues online. The link won’t take you directly to my story but, rather, the issue of the magazine. You’ll need to scroll through the magazine to find mine. I know, it’s a lot of work!

It seemed a shame to know that I had competed stories just sitting there in files on my computer. A story that sits idle will never find a home. I’m happy to know this particular story will be published. It deals with the issue of euthanasia, a very controversial topic. I like controversy in writing, it’s so, I don’t know, controversial. I enjoy writing stories that make people stop and think or perhaps show them a different viewpoint. Having an open mind, considering something you’ve never stopped to consider, is never a bad thing in my opinion.

So, yeah, I’m going back to submitting short stories. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to work on novels, because I will. I’m keeping an open mind. The writing will find me one way or another. I don’t pick the story I want to write, but rather, the story picks me.

So here’s to going back, to keeping an open mind, not setting a straight path, but following a path that sometimes meanders a little bit. Sometimes the best things happen when we least expect them, and often when we don’t have anything particular in mind.



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  1. Good for you with the short stories, Laura! I am an avid short story writer but as you say, a story that sits idle will never find a home. I have published a few but not for some time now. I guess the rejection got to me and I stopped trying as hard. You’re way ahead of me in the novel department as I have lots of unfinished ones on the go. I need a good swift kick. Your posts are always inspiring and thought provoking and I especially enjoy your down to earth honesty. Bravo to you!

    • Thanks, Cathy! It’s so easy to become discouraged when rejection keeps finding us. I’ve been there many times myself. I’ll be there again, I’m sure. I’ll share a secret, I have several unfinished novels as well. One day I plan to get back to them.

      I saw the beautiful trilliums on your blog and tried to post a comment, but I think my connection was preventing that. I have red trilliums in my garden that I dug out of the woods with a dear friend about twenty years ago. Each time they come up I think of her. :)

  2. This is so awesome! Congrats. I’ll zip over to read it.

    • Thanks, Susan! Here in Canada Queen Victoria’s photo was on the walls of many homes. I remember seeing them when I was small in some of the really old homes. It’s what inspired me to write this story. :)

  3. Congrats, Laura … I think it’s wonderful that you can submit your shorts. You can always keep doing novels. Some of our best writers have done this throughout their careers and it does two things. It keeps you in the readers “eye” and it is a great writing exercise to use the short form. Hope to see more from you in the future :)

    • Thanks, Florence! I do enjoy writing shorts and it’s always a thrill to have your work published especially since a novel could take me years. :)

  4. Congratulations, Laura! There must be something in the writerly air. I decided that my summer would be about editing the material I’ve got sitting in files and getting it “out there.” I will submit some and, perhaps, self-publish others, but out they go. Have fun writing and submitting your short stories. I hope you’ll have lots more good news in the coming months.

    • Thanks, Heather! Digging out old files can be a real eye-opener! I guess we’re both on the same page at the moment. ;) Good luck as you dust off those manuscripts.

  5. This is good news, Laura. I believe that whatever you put your writerly hand to will come out a glorious read. :)

  6. Like you, I have been concentrating on writing my books for children. But I do keep my hand in adult short story writing and submit a few every year. It is good practice and does feel good when something is published. It is how we connected in the first place!

    • Absolutely! I’m so glad we did connect, Darlene. You’ve been a great friend and supporter. :) All writer need that.


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