Best Decade Ever
I have meant to post this, but I am just now getting around to it. I have known for a while that Stoneboat was going to reprint my story "Camino Real" in their special 'decade' issue, but (understandably) they had some printing complications, so the edition didn't come out until this month. I received my contributor's copy while I was sick, so it was a nice surprise for me between naps, sneezing, and doping myself up on cold medicine. It is a fine looking publication, and I am super proud that they chose me to be a part of their 'best of the decade' edition. This story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize when it was first published in 2014. That seems like a lifetime ago. So much has changed. The 2010s had some ups and downs, but I like to think there were more high points than lows. In 2010, I was in grad school and submitting to journals and not sure what the future held. By 2015, I was being published fairly regularly, had graduated, become the editor of two literary journals, and had a completed novel manuscript. Now, in 2020, I have a literary agent, one novel in book stores, another novel being revised (draft 6?) and a confidence I never thought I'd have.
It is easy for writers to get discouraged. It take so much time and energy to get anything on a page, let alone something that we're proud of--and today the page cannot compete with the screen. The glory era of publishing stories in the slicks is over. Most literary journals cannot even be found in book stores; heck, it's difficult even finding book stores! Celebrated writers are few and far between. The one percent of the one percent. It isn't difficult to lose focus, to abandon hindsight. I started the last decade without a single publication. Today I am being reprinted as one of the decade's best. I should never complain.
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Writer living in Central Texas.