Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wanda's Christmas Story

Last year, sometime around Thanksgiving, I was walking along and remembering the sad history of a story I wrote. It was a little long for the usual literary journal format, but it had been accepted somewhere eventually. The only problem was that they never actually published it. I happened to be at a writer's conference where they had their booth and enquired at some point, but the staffers said something about there being some big file mix-up or something, and it didn't sound like the chances of the story resurfacing were good. I later wrote the journal, but never heard anything back from them, so safe to say the rights had reverted to me.

The story had a couple of things working against it, even apart from its actual merit--the length and its seasonal nature. It was a Christmas story. But I suddenly realized that I could actually publish it as a chapbook myself. I could make copies for family and friends and that would be one way of finishing with it.

Still, I dithered. Should I use CreateSpace or Lulu? Would my friends be mad that I had resorted to an Amazon affiliate? Was it even really worth doing? I couldn't decide, time ran out and I put the idea aside.

But I remembered the idea again this year. It was a little late in the season but I realized that if I didn't plunge in, I would have to wait another year. At first I couldn't even find a copy of the story. But when I finally did, I took it as a green light and went forward.

It's quite a while since I wrote this story--I no longer even remember exactly when it was, or what inspired me to write it. I had had it professionally edited at one point, but when I looked at it with clear eyes, it needed more work. For me at least, editing always takes longer than it seems like it should, and then the whole process of formatting, though incredibly streamlined by places like CreateSpace and Lulu, always involve experiments and mistakes. Add to that a finicky tablet that I'm temporarily working on, and it was, shall we say, involved.

But it's live now, both as a chapbook and an e-book. If you'd like to get a copy in either form, you can find it HERE. It's not free, but it's as cheap as they'd allow me to price it. In any case, here's the cover, which I am quite unaccountably proud of, considering that I designed it almost entirely by accident.


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