Monday, August 9, 2010


Well, I didn't meet the Sunday night deadline for finishing "The Machine".

Where do I begin? Well, I re-read the story about four times on Saturday, and it felt fine, but I was concerned with the ending, which felt kind of flat. But I didn't revise anything, or write a single word of prose the whole day. Sunday comes, and I'm still not in the mood. And believe it or not, this is strange for me.

Sunday night, I get the radical idea to change the tense of my story. It was written in first-person past....but in the original writing, I unconsciously slipped into first-person present, and I really liked it, but the forty-five hundred words before it were all first-person past, so instead of changing the whole thing, I just changed the ending.

But on Sunday I say "Why not?" and go back and change the entire story's tense.

I think it reads better this way, actually, but I still need an ending. I sat in front of my laptop all day today (quite literally) and got nothing done. I even had my brother come over (he's a writer, too) and we brainstorm, but come up empty.

Out of the blue, it hits me. I have my ending. I have my ending, and I have my story.

And now that story in the slush pile at a certain magazine. I will not break my personal code (the one I broke last time) and say where. But don't worry: this market is among the fastest in the land, and if I'm rejected, I'll hear back in a day or two, so you'll all know before the end of the week, most likely, what the outcome is. Of course, if they want to publish could take a little longer.

ANYWAY. I'm just very relieved to be done. I have literally looked at this story every day for the last two weeks, and I'm about as sick of it as a person can be. It got to the point tonight where I couldn't look at it and be happy about it, and I think that's when I've held a story too long. I would have just started making changes for change's sake (God I hope I didn't do that last night...). Is the story perfect? No, but I think it's good, and I think it can stand with any other story in any professional market.

Let's just hope our friends at the magazine agree.


  1. Congratulations!

    That must feel so good. I hope your story gets published in a magazine!

  2. Well done Joe!
    I imagine that's one of the satifying things about writing shorts, you can complete them a lot faster than a novel.
    It must feel great to have it finally finished and submited.
    I'm crossing my fingers for you that it gets accepted!

  3. Wow that would be so awesome! Looking forward to the outcome of this!

  4. Thanks, everybody! Hopefully once my error is cleared up, everything will work out for the best.