You may remember when I posted a month ago about a short story being published in the May issue of True Confessions magazine. Well today I found the June issue, which contains not only an article I wrote, but an article with a by-line. The "trues" don't give a by-line on fiction, but several months ago I saw that they have several feature articles in the back of the magazine and those are non-fiction. I had a short article I wrote last year for another market, but it wasn't picked up. So I went onto the email loop for "trues" writers and asked the editor if only the editorial staff wrote features or if they accepted submissions from other writers.
She told me to send her a written pitch. I mailed it on a Friday and the following Tuesday she called to say it would be perfect for a column that targeted mothers and to send it on. Yay for me!
I had a little bit of a problem though. The original article was only 500 words and this column is more like 1200 words. So off I went in search of more material to get the article up to the required word limit. With the help of the Internet and our own Counselor Shelley, I located the material I needed and set out to re-write the article and mail it in.
It's on the shelf and I made the cover too! Look at the bottom right -- HELP FOR THE STRESSED OUT MOM -- 30 Ways to Say I Love Me.
Just in case you couldn't see it in the photo above, here's the close-up.
And here's the article, with MY NAME. :-) You can even see Counselor Shelley's name at the start of the second paragraph.
I learned on April 30th that I sold another short story to the magazine for their July issue. It's tentatively titled "Wedding Belle Blues" and of course, my name won't appear on it. But I'm cool with that because my name will be on the check. And everyone's gonna know anyway because I'll burn up the cyberworld telling them.
Now the hoopla is over and I'll get to the real message of this blog.
I've had two interesting and eerily connected events happen over the weekend.
Last Saturday I sat by the pool at the campground where we have a little getaway trailer and listened to a woman talk about reading "trashy romance novels." Several years ago, I'd have let that comment slide. But no more.
I turned to her and asked her what authors she read. She mentioned La Nora and several others that I haven't read. Then the name Linda Howard was spoken. I don't know La Nora, but I have more than a passing acquaintance with Maven Linda. We've had conversations. She congratulated me on my first magazine sale. We've sat at the same table for dinner. And trust me, she doesn't write trash.
I told my poolside neighbor that I read and write romance and so do many, many friends of mine. None of us consider it trash and neither should she, because in doing so, she not only lowers her opinion of herself but she besmirches the reputation of writers who put in long hours at the keyboard to keep their readers entertained and in some cases, put food on the table and a roof overhead.
Also on Saturday, a member of the "trues" email loop posted and said she'd talked to a friend who also wrote confessions stories and aside from her husband, this friend had never told anyone. This member then asked the group if they told anyone other than family and/or the email loop about their sales.
Thus was unleashed a flurry of posts, most of which said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Heck yeah! I tell everyone and if they have a problem with it, it's THEIR problem and not mine." Most agreed that a "sale was a sale" and that it's a good way to put your writing skills to use, earn money for whatever reason. (Hello Atlanta! *g* ) and add to your writing credits.
Then another woman posted and said she'd bet good money that the friend lived in the South, which unleashed yet another flurry of posts about the differences in Southerners, sweet tea and why on earth is it so darned cold in the middle of May.
I've told EVERYONE about my sales. Heck, I bought copies for my mother and sister and shamelessly autographed the page my story appeared on. I considered it practice for my first book signing. When I told my mom about the first sale, she said she used to read the magazine when she was younger but got away from it and more into magazines dealing with home and family once I was born. My husband said he was proud of me. The other Playfriends celebrated with me as did my other writing friends.
So my question to you is this? Do you tell people that you read and/or write romance? If you're reading a romance novel in a crowded airport, do you hide the cover with yesterday's issue of USA Today? Or do you not give a rat's patootie what other people think?
I say we start a club. I have the t-shirts ready. *g* And yes, we can make it in blue.