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.

4 Comments on “Don’t call me Shirley.

  1. Sorry, I kept this one to myself. But I sent it to you now, so unless the Clarkesworld people read it REALLY REALLY quickly, you’ll still be the first to read it.
    Unless you let it languish in your inbox, and then it is out of my hands and off my conscience.

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