In an earlier version of the Writer’s Group With No Name we had a member who was working hard on a romance novel. We’d read excerpts and thought it promising, but the story wasn’t coming quickly or easily for her. In the meantime, most of the other members of the group were working on short fiction, getting stuff finished, and a few of us were selling. At times the meetings would turn into gripe sessions about slow markets, slower payments, incomprehensible editorial decisions, the usual. All true and the bane of working writers for practically ever, but our romance writer, working but still with nothing in shape to show an editor, was not impressed with the bitching.
She: “I can’t imagine what that’s like.”
She: “Whenever you go to the mailbox, or open your email, there’s always the chance of getting a sale, or something fine happening.”
Me: “Well, most of the time that doesn’t happen.”
She (shrugging): “So? But it could happen. It does happen. Any given day, something wonderful might come to you.”
The writer’s group in question broke apart and reformed several times in the course of its existence, and the romance writer moved to another city and we lost contact. I sometimes wonder if she ever finished that novel, but regardless she was right then as now. A few days ago I was contacted by a producer working with the actor LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roots, and (more germaine to this discussion) Reading Rainbow on PBS. He’s doing a series of podcasts of different stories in a project to encourage reading(“LeVar Burton Reads” is the working title), and he wanted to do one of mine. Of course, my immediate reaction was “Geordi La Forge has read my stuff?” Followed immediately by “This sounds like a very cool project.” Of course I was in, and the fact that I was getting paid more than I got for the story originally was just the icing on a rather fine cake.
The story in question is “Empty Places,” a novelette published in the late lamented Realms of Fantasy way back in 2005. It featured one of the rare less-than-novel-length appearances of my “evil” wizard, Tymon the Black (The Long Look, Power’s Shadow). Once I have more information on release and availability I’ll post that here, but it’s happening. So a story I wrote and sold twelve years ago gets a new life. Out of the blue, something wonderful.
Sometimes I need that reminder. Today, I consider myself reminded.