One week ago, I received some great news. The funny thing is, I was in the middle of teaching my ESL students, and the unit topic we were studying was “Good News, Bad News”. I just happened to check my email during the ten minute break, and there it was: a notification that my short story “The Elevator” had been accepted by The Gateway Review, a literary journal focusing on magical realism. I was speechless, brimming with excitement! When I came back to class and shared the news with my students, I’m sure some of them thought I was just inventing a scenario to make the unit more interactive. But no, it’s the truth!
I have been published before, both in The Mitre (from Bishop’s University) and The Inkwell (from the University of Edinburgh.) My episodes of “The World is Yours” (though these are more factual than creative) will be aired soon on Univision. So why does this feel different?
Maybe it’s because this will be my first publication since I stopped being a student. Maybe it’s the idea of strangers from across the country reading my work. Maybe it’s because this feels like a sign that I should not quit. Yes, getting traditionally published is a very difficult goal to achieve, but this gives me hope that I am indeed on the right path, and that I should not let the rubble of my own self doubt obstruct my way.
Validation is the most powerful spell! My immediate response to this news was to double up my efforts on my current projects. I’ve gone back to my first novel, and have been ferociously tightening it up, in order to send it off for feedback. (I took a workshop from Karen Bjorneby at the Writing Salon a few months ago, and she has agreed to take a look at my manuscript.) I have faith that her insight will point me in the right direction, so I can finalize a draft to be sent out to agents. Meanwhile, I’m still gathering ideas for my second novel, which only a consists of a couple of chapters, for the moment.
As far as I’ve been told, this next issue of The Gateway Review, featuring my story, should be out in about a month, and is only available in print. The issues can be purchased online, so I will most definitely share a link.
Until then, I better get back to my editing frenzy. I’m riding this motivation like a wave. Things are happening, people! Don’t stop working towards your goal! Reach for the stars! The sky’s the limit! Blah blah blah! I’m spewing clichés right now, but I’m just too excited to care. 😉