September is now!
Well, it is for me since the September issue of World Literature Today has appeared with a special section on very short fiction and the inclusion of my tiny story, “Baku”. I’m still a bit dizzy that all of this happened, but the way it happened underscores how I feel about writing and publishing.
When I started writing fiction in the early 90s, there was only text on the net. As time went on I started getting stories published in print and online. Back in 1995, it was lovely to hold a copy of The European in my hands and see a full page spread of my story, “The Past Present” and a few issues later, “Bogey Man”. But then they were gone, and a couple of years later, so was TheEuropean. The same happened with online magazines, but I would keep copies of my work to resubmit elsewhere online. And that’s when someone said, but what if someone steals it? My answer then was, why I’d be flattered. A few years later, someone did steal a story called “A Home is a Home”, but it was just to drop content onto a website that never took off, and I wasn’t flattered. And my name was still on it, so it wasn’t plagiarism. I posted a poem online and that got stolen. Plagiarism this time. It was used in an adult forum which I joined to complain, and succeeded in having the poem removed. Seems the person had also been stealing photos and passing them off as her own, so I may have just been what tipped the bucket, or the hand of the site owner.
But I kept hearing about authors worried about putting their work up on the net/web. Today, many writers do it, but many are still worried. I will never make heaps of money on stories and poems; I want to be read; I want to share my stories, touch that one reader, with luck a few more.
This year in May, the National Flash Fiction Day people called out to writers to play, not for money, but for the love of story. And writers from all over the world answered the call. There was no talk about sales or winning, just about sharing, writing and reading. It was fun. And there was so much good reading out there by talented writers. You could feel the excitement and the energy. My flashes appeared here and there and all over the place. I was so happy to be a part of it all, especially as an Aussie living in Austria, in that “al-ien” place between two countries.
And then out of the blue, I received an email from WLTasking if I had an unpublished story. All my work is out there, but I can write a new one, I said. Eurovision was on and so I wrote “Baku” which appears in the print version of WLT. I was so proud to have been included with writers from all over the world, most in translation, ones whose work English-speaking readers otherwise might never have been able to see. I’m so looking forward to receiving the print issue to hold in my hand, but in the meantime I can read selected articles and blog posts online and have a whole new source of world literature today, a source which has existed since 1927 with accolades such as: “An excellent source of writings from around the globe by authors who write as if their lives depend on it.” —Chris Dodge, Utne Reader, January 2005.
September! Bring it on!