Making a Change…

My latest short story has been accepted for publication over at The Junction on Medium. “Change” tells the story of one man, a vending machine, and a choice that will decide the fate of his hunger pangs.

If you know me, you know the story probably isn’t about snack food. I’ll let you decide.

This year, the shift in my writing career has been difficult. I may climb mountains for fun, but on returning to civilization, I keep climbing them. As a writer, it’s an occupational hazard. You get used to rejection. Seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Even the little victories are hard fought.

With age though, comes something resembling wisdom. “Change” will be my sixth acceptance in 2021, a ratio I’d love to have had when I first started writing. I’ve seen an uptick in personal rejections as well.

In fact, “Change” was originally intended for The First Line, a prominent venue in the short fiction world. It received the coveted “I really enjoyed this but…” email the editor takes time to briefly explain their decision or drop a compliment as opposed to sending a form letter.

I’ve also tried out some freelance editing to supplement the income. That has been more of a disaster than anything. I spend most of my time chasing payments and dodging online scams.

Even with my volunteer work, I’ve met resistance. Turns out, giving away work has been made difficult too. A craziness I’m going to chalk up to a worldwide pandemic hangover.

With short story submissions though, I’m finding a real joy for writing again. Pursuing the self-publishing and online content treadmills weren’t at all what I wanted out of my art. And I do consider it art.

Often a good story needs time to marinate. And as the close calls I’ve received prove, they might even need a bit longer on the grill. Chasing an endless deadline doesn’t allow for either.

Sure, you can crank out factual pieces or heavily-troped genre fiction on tight schedules and be fine. My brain though always wanders deeper. And when I plate those half-cooked ideas and try to pass them off as “pop culture” or whatnot, somebody is bound to get salmonella.

We wouldn’t want that. Darryl, the protagonist of my latest yarn will be the first to testify as to why.

Thanks to the kind folks over at The Junction, the story has found a home. Please don’t forget to applaud (Medium’s version of the like button) and check out some of the other hilarious and biting satire plus great fiction from a motley collection of truly talented writers.

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