I grew up on Ficlets. There, the writer inside me had a home. I'm a teacher now, and a 4th grader who reminds me so much of myself asked, "Why don't you share your writing with us?" So, I come tentatively, searching for a place to stretch my writing muscles again.

There's a joy in anticipation, you know? In already composing the email response you're hoping for before you even open your laptop at the diner?

I've sent off hundreds of pieces for publication before. My poems and essays and shorts are scattered across small press magazines and online fora that garner no name recognition. Each send off, every one, has always felt shocking and weighty--like diving into frigid water.

Then came the novella. This, this was different. This was like my canoe drifting away from the dock on a glassy morning. I could practically taste the honey in my editor's response as I clicked send.

Even after untangling my chaos of cords and neatly arranging my work space, I wanted to linger there in that anticipation. My booth, this diner, this moment--this is where I get to write my reality.

And then, of course, the unfathomable happened.

My editor's email was exactly what I hoped it would be. Exactly, and then some.


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I had been there working on the same sentence for an hour when she slid into the booth across from m…

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