Don’t call me Shirley.
You can instead call me somebody who just submitted a short story.
What happened is this: on the Cherry Forums, one of the other moderators in a forum I mod on challenged members to declare they would do a "Sub-a-month." That is to say, in 2009, we have to submit one thing, any thing, somewhere, once a month, or more. That’s all. It seemed like such a good motivating thing, and so I said, "Yes! Put me on the list!" And I entertained a few minutes of warm thoughts of how good this would be for me, and such a positive experience, and then I drifted off and did other things. And then, suddenly, it was January 24.
So, I’ve been panicking, trying to sort out what to submit where, and every time I think of something and somewhere it’s like an iron door shuts down on my brain, and six hours later I realize I never did write that short/query/synopsis or look up that agent. I was starting to feel like what I needed to submit to was counseling, opening with, "Why is it I can’t submit to anything? Is it because it sounds too much like a bondage position I don’t want? Could we maybe change that name?" It has not been good, and I was starting to think I was going to have to just fail the first month out, which I really hated the idea of, which only made me more upset.
Yesterday before we took off on a trip to my dad’s cafe, it occurred to me that I had a few shorts floating on the hard drive which might be appropriate, so I put them on a memory stick and took them along to investigate via the laptop in the car. I used the laptop, but to write STB, not reread old shorts. FAIL. Oh well, I thought. I just must be supposed to take the loser pill this month.
But then this morning I found myself suddenly sitting down and opening the "Random Things" Scrivener file, and then I was reading "The Comforting Dark," and I thought, hey, this is not bad, really, and then I remembered Clarkesworld Magazine, and I thought, oh I’ll just peek and see what you have to do to submit, and the next thing I knew it was fifteen minutes later and I had a submission receipt.
LET IT BE WRITTEN: ON JANUARY 25, 2009, HEIDI CULLINAN SUBMITTED OF HER OWN FREE WILL. SHE IS NOT A LOSER.
And now, to celebrate, I will . . . . I don’t know. Shower, I think, and do my exercises, because my back hurts. Too much car.