Friday, June 18th, 2004 • 2 Comments on The Story of “The Story”
I know you’re all waiting breathlessly for this tale, so I’m staying up late to write it.
So, remember a couple weeks ago when I announced I’d sold my story “Blue Suede Shoes?” It was to appear in the forthcoming Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2005 anthology to be published by Alyson Publishing. It’s always exciting to make a writing sale, even better when it’s to a print anthology. Well, imagine my surprise when I received a note Tuesday telling me my story—the same story—was being accepted for Best Lesbian Erotica 2005, published by Cleis Press. Problem is, the story can’t appear at the same time (both anthologies are coming out at the end of the year) in two different books.
As I have worked with the lovely Tristan on two previous Best Lesbian Erotica anthologies, I was reluctant to have to withdraw my story from her anthology. And as I had already signed a contract with Alyson Publishing, I was reluctant to ask them to let me out of their anthology. What to do, what to do?
I presented the problem to Whitney, the really terrific editorial assistant I’ve been in contact with at Alyson. I asked if it would be possible to withdraw my story from the anthology and I offered to send them something else for consideration, should they want it. At that point, feeling horribly guilty for pulling my story, I would have offered to do their laundry. Whitney conferred with the editor, Nicole Foster, and the publisher, and they generously agreed to look at another story.
Well, as I have a tendency to open my mouth and say things without thinking, I offered to send them
in the hopes that one story would be suitable for the anthology. At the very least, I was hoping to redeem myself in the eyes of the editor, publisher and Whitney for being a flaky writer. At the most, I was hoping they’d buy one story and I could submit the other story elsewhere. Problem was, I didn’t really have anything suitable for them in my backlog of stories as of noon yesterday when I spoke to Whitney. So, what was I thinking offering to give them two stories? Honestly, I wasn’t thinking. I was simply feeling guilty and grateful.
Thankfully, I did have one story that could be reworked to suit their needs. It required major rewriting, but the core of the story was there. The second story had to be written from scratch. I wanted to get the stories sent off today and that deadline was strictly self-imposed, but I figured I owed them a quick turnaround, at the very least. After all, they didn’t
to let me out of the contract I had already signed. So, that’s what I was doing yesterday for about twelve hours—writing, rewriting and editing two stories to send to Alyson Publishing so they wouldn’t hate me. Guilt is a powerful motivator.
The stories were e-mailed at around four this morning and by two this afternoon I had a response from Whitney—the marathon writing assignment paid off. They’re buying
stories. I have to use a pseudonym for one of the stories as they don’t want it to appear there are two stories by the same author in the collection. Other people are more excited at the prospect of me getting to create a new persona than I am. There’s a reason I write under my real name, as I’ve mentioned before. However, I am more than willing to meet their request under these circumstances. The folks at Alyson Publishing are incredible and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. And, as always, it’ll be a pleasure working with Tristan, who keeps honoring me by choosing my stories for her anthologies.
So, that’s the story of “the story.” Now, I think I’ll reward myself by sleeping for the next eight hours.