So what do you think: Was 'Author-ized in '18' a success?
I spent 25 years writing for the cheap sheets. Then, after a while away, I shot for the impossible from the cheap seats. I returned to writing. I decided one day I'd call it Author-ized in ’18…
Why? Because it sounded good and slogany, and that’s exactly what I needed right then as I built pages like this one. God knows how many pages built on social media platforms before I finally settled on a few that I liked. As 2018 draws to a close, I thought I might do well by revisiting some of where all this has been in just these few short months.
Of course, like most things you'll ever read by my hand, you're about to get some back story. You can take that to the bank. Besides, that MFA program I was in, you see, required me to write an entire book. If I didn't pad the backgrounds, how the hell else would I have pulled off something like that?
Truth is, I was a hellova lot farther away than I'd ever been.
I was tired of it, honestly. Yeah, I got to write a few good stories and do some pretty cool stuff, but writing lost its luster for me. Like most anyone with a few years on them will one day realize is that for every sparse diamond you may dig up, you spent days upon months about neck-deep it mires of shit so vast you only pray you have enough energy to make it to the end of the day so you can do it all over again. When my paid writing job and I parted ways in 2010–just as many longtime print journalists around the country also experienced right about then–I couldn’t have cared less. If anything, I was relieved, especially when I discovered I could get a job as a walk-on at a construction site and make more than I ever did writing.
Just know, it had to be done. All of it was necessary—my personal prerequisite—a requirement to my becoming the storyteller I always wanted to be. Of course, I become still. Always will, probably. Become, that is. Not quite ever approaching that image of storyteller I hold in my mind, yet always striving, nonetheless.
So, I sent several of these stories out as individual writing submissions during the drafting process, hoping to see them snatched up by publishers who rained heaps of money on me, begging for more, as I worked hard at adjusting to my own island paradise.
That never happened, in case you’re wondering.
In fact, it proved mighty dismal, initially. Eighty-seven kinds of dismal, precisely, because that’s how many rejections I got from the various literary magazines from January to April of 2018. Quite nearly one a day. I wanted to cry.
Finally, though, somebody didn’t say no. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I’d developed such a routine for dealing with the rejects—open email, scan quickly so as not to put all my weight on the sharp edges of the word NO, print it out, punch some holes in it and add to binder with the rest—I didn’t know how to act when one finally got published. So, I just sat there, staring at it. Truth be told, I think I cried a little, after all.
That notification came the final week of April 2018. In the months since (up to the start of December 2018), the number of total items published in literary magazines, anthologies and writer organization publications, has grown to eighteen, including short fictions, like those you’re about read, poems and prose pieces.
-Bobby Horecka, Long Gone & LostI went on to say that six of those eighteen publications in 2018 were stories from my ten-story collection. It’s actually just four stories, two of them published twice now, in separate publications. They include: