Around this time of year, last year, people asked me if I had any resolutions in mind for 2019. The last time I engaged in prolonging that particular tradition was probably when I was 13 or so. Even then, those were wishes, more than resolutions. Ever since that time, I have been steadily relaxing the grip on the specificity of goals. However, when pressed for an answer, I admitted to wanting to become a published author in 2019.
In November of 2018, I took part in NaNoWriMo and wrote “a book.” The plan was to edit it in January of 2019, then have beta-readers involved, query, and get signed by the end of the year. Well, that did not happen. I never even went through the first stage of the plan. Yes, I am embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed a little. Buuuut! I did settle on the title of the book, the bio, the blurb, and the cover. It was all very exhilarating. It seems like I took care of things that should be finalized last, but you should already know I can be weird like that. Seeing my cover with my title and my name on it definitely motivates me to actually get the project moving further. Maybe in 2020? What I know is that it WILL happen when it is MEANT to happen.
Anyway, back to here and now. Well, almost. First, I need to go back a few months into the past. During one of the summer months, River (He writes excellent poetry, short stories, and recently started a publishing house. Check him out!) posted an announcement regarding short story submissions for publishing. I followed the link and discovered that Tara at Raw Eart Ink (She is currently accepting poetry submissions, in case you want to give it a try!) was looking for dark fiction stories to potentially put in a book. I could not pass it up. I had to give it a go. I wrote like crazy. Then, I waited, biting my nails (figuratively speaking). Apparently, there were MANY submissions, and only the ones selected would make it into the anthology. Would I be good enough? In fact, there was a time when I thought there was no way I was going to make the cut. (Why do we doubt ourselves so much?)
There were so many great stories that Tara decided to publish vol.1 and vol. 2. I was overjoyed when I heard that my submission was going to be PUBLISHED, but I was still worried about something, ANYTHING going wrong. On December 17th, 2019, I returned home from work to a package by my door. I am not sure how, but my brain knew straight away what it was. I tore the mailer while apologizing to my partner for ignoring the dinner spread. I saw it. I touched it.
My heart skipped a beat. I held my breath longer than usual. I opened the book on the index page
“Reverberation by Sam Kirk ……………………………………………………………………………………………197″
Yes, that is me! Sam Kirk is the name under which I publish my stories outside of here.
I turned to page 197 and scanned the first few lines. It WAS my story. No longer a dream, my name in a book was a reality.
For those of you who have trouble reading the excerpt featured in the photograph above, here is the text version of it:
“When Annabelle came to, it took her a moment to figure out that her eyes were not failing her. It was just dark wherever she was. No matter how much she strained her eyes, she could not see a thing around her. Her hands were tied behind her, and her lower extremities were bound to the chair’s legs. Panic set in, and she wanted to scream but couldn’t. Her lips were taped shut.
Frantically, she tried to figure out where she was and how long she had been there. What she learned from all the books she had read and all the shows she had watched was that the longer the victim was gone, the harder it was for anyone to find them. Her chance of survival diminished with every hour she spent in captivity.
“What’s the last thing that you remember?” Annabelle asked herself, trying to calm down her breathing.
But nothing came to mind.
“Think!” she screamed at herself.
However, the pounding headache made it impossible for her to recall anything beyond her sitting in a park.
Suddenly, the all-encompassing darkness started dissipating.
“Someone found me!” she thought to herself excitedly.
The bright light was blinding her now-accustomed-to-darkness eyes.
“Hello, sweetheart,” said a chipper female voice coming from the direction of the light.
Annabelle started moving in her chair, trying to inch closer towards her savior.
“Calm down, sweetheart. It will all be over soon,” the voice continued.
Finally, as the woman got closer, Annabelle’s eyes adjusted to the light, and they focused on the axe in the woman’s hand. Her heart started beating faster, expecting the worst, but her reasonable mind tried to calm her down, explaining that the axe was to cut the rope with which she was tied.
“What is it, sweetheart?” the woman asked, noticing the girl’s darting eyes.
“Oh, this?” she asked, lifting the axe.
“It’s his birthday today, and I want to surprise him,” the woman said and whacked Annabelle in the head with the butt of the axe.”
What did you think?
The anthology of dark fiction stories will be available for purchase in paperback on Monday, December 23rd. I will write a post with more information then. Those of you who are fans of ebooks will, unfortunately, have to wait a bit longer. But do not fret. I will keep you posted regarding the ebook launch date whenever I find out myself.
Now, do you see why I do not make specific resolutions? Sometimes you just need to let life play out. You might still arrive at your destination, even if you use a different route to get there. Look at the big picture. Have a vision! I wanted to be able to hold a book with my name in it, and I achieved exactly that!
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