A little of my work has trickled out over my blog, social media, and through my freelance content writing. I’ve been posted on a few websites other than the ones I’ve created, but nothing is more validating than to have someone else print my work. The Maryland Writers Association has just published their 30th-anniversary anthology titled, 30 Ways to Love Maryland. They accepted essays and short stories with the theme of Maryland. It was free to submit up to three stories, and I submitted two. I was floored when they published both stories! Here is a previous blog where I talk about these stories in more detail.
I need confirmation. I need someone to tell me I am not a horrible writer who will die without entertaining at least a handful of people. I need to know the words that scramble in my head and are thrown into a story not only make sense but might make someone think, consider a possibility they hadn’t before, delight even.
My copy of the book came in the mail, I opened it to the table of contents and searched for my name, Melisa Peterson Lewis. I found the pages where my story awaited readers and flipped to it. When I started to read I liked the first few sentences so much I double checked to make sure it was my story. Then I found a typo, and I knew it was my story for sure. Amateur! Whatever, it’s in print, give me a break. I wasn’t the editor. At the bottom of my stories is the picture that I hurriedly took in my hallway with bad lighting. I look like a 40-year-old virgin with no personality. Let me tell ya, nothing is further from the truth (badumcha).
Here’s what I need going forward. Better editing on my behalf. Both stories went through more than one beta reader and there were still typos, it’s my fault, not theirs. I need to get better on small details like my vs me. My face is kind of sexy, so I need a real photographer to take a couple of headshots so the world can see I’m not a loveless troll. These are lessons that are important because I want to keep going.
This is the first of many times my name will be in print. I have hunger! Time to professionalize a little. Meanwhile, I’m going to celebrate the hell out of this achievement! Brownies are in the oven, my milk stout is about to be cracked open and poured into a pint glass, and I have dinner plans with friends on Saturday.
Fist bump, fingers to the sky, I’m doing it! I’m going to keep doing it too.