There are so many people I hope are reading today. Mostly for vindictive reasons.
"End of the Line" got bought for Jim Baen's Universe. I got the acceptance letter and the contract yesterday. It's tentatively scheduled for release in the December issue. They're paying me a nice chunk of change, too; their pay rates were a big part of why I sent it to them. Their name and the recognition factor can do me no harm, either. Honestly, I could hardly have scored a better venue for my first pro sale.
This was what I wanted. The money, the venue, the timing. Not me self-publishing on my website; not a chapbook put out of somebody's garage; not a podcast sale for a measley $100--although now that the first rights have gone to Baen, I'd be more than happy to re-sell the story in audio format--wider exposure can do me no harm, either. Aside from the money, other editors give a certain amount of deference to the pedigree of your publisher. A sale like this is good for my resume, far better than a half-dozen sales to independent e-zines that will fold in six months. Granted, we are rounding a curve in terms of electronic media and some of those zines are going to grow up to be major Venues in their own right--but for now they're still minor-league. And that was not what I wanted. I'm not saying everything is going to be easy street from here on out, but it's a big step in the right direction.
The editor wants me to make some slight changes to the ending, which is fine. He also wanted to know if I'd considered making a series or novel with Trace and Boz--a comment I'm sure he wrote with tongue pressed firmly into cheek. I assured him it was a possibility.
This kind of jars my priorities back into order. I haven't thought about writing, except as something I used to do and would someday do again, in about a year. But 2006 was mostly lost to personal crap, and so far this year has been about tai chi and remodelling. Also there are some interesting (in the Chinese sense) things going on at work which have us all a little jumpy.
The sale of this story is going to allow me to pay off the smaller of the credit cards which my ex ran up. That freeing up of funds is going to allow me to buy a new laptop, which I critically need. That upgrade is going to alleviate a couple of factors which have made it very difficult for me to write in my new home. As I was relaying all of this to the SP yesterday, I stopped myself and said, "I guess I'm going to have to start writing again." He replied, "I guess I ought to speed up getting your office done."
He's at least as excited as I am. He's been a fan of my writing for a few years now, but he's a creative person, too, he understands how art is like a small flame that needs constant feeding and a certain amount of protection. We're talking about getting tee-shirts, attending Cons, and revamping my website, which I've been meaning to do anyway.
I knew the writing would demand my attention again when it was time. As karmic kicks in the head go, this one was pretty gratifying.
Thanks to all of you who told me I was worth it.