Saturday, May 1, 2010

Behind the Story: "What She Said"

This was my breakthrough. That's what I thought when I wrote it. But it didn't become my breakthrough for another decade.

When I wrote "What She Said," I was working for a city magazine in San Francisco and the executive editor wanted to publish it. Her boss, as it turned out, did not.


So I sent the story around to eight or nine other places. They all said no.

I gave up.

A decade later (give or take a couple years) I took another look at the story. It was lean and sharp and fast. I liked it. With a few small changes I sent it to the Beloit Fiction Journal. The editor at the time, Shawn Gillen, said yes.

Soon I had a work of fiction in print for the first time.

1 comment:

Greg Bardsley said...

And a fine piece it was, my friend ... Fast forward a few more years, and I come home from work one day, and my mom is sitting in the front room with this serious look on her face, an eyebrow arched, and says, "I just read Sleeping With Smiley."