The NaNoWriMo madness has passed, and after 30 days the word count for The Librarian's Tale clocked in at 53,442 -- more than enough for me to qualify as a winner for 2006. So how did I choose to celebrate getting all those words down on paper? By slashing the holy Hell out of another story, of course!
On Thursday I dusted off "Amber", one of the several short stories I wrote back in 2003, and put it through a daylong process of revision in order to submit it to a literary journal looking for submissions around a theme that I thought "Amber" explored fairly well. Since my genre fiction has always been less about the genre and more about the fiction, it was easier than I thought to strip out the more gratuitous sci-fi elements present in the original story. I guess you could call the result speculative fiction if you had to put a label on it.
I really like how the new version feels -- and so does the editor of the journal I submitted it to. So I'm about to get my first short story published! How weird that it should happen in the same month as my first nonfiction credit (i.e., the chapter I wrote for the 15th Edition of Magazines for Libraries), and hot on the heels of successfully completing NaNoWriMo. After three long years of plugging away, I'm finally starting to feel that I'm reaching a kind of critical mass as far as my writing is concerned.