The Story of Submerged
On this, the one-year anniversary of my first story publication in this millenium, I'm sharing the backstory about Submerged published at Wyldblood Press Free Flash Friday on March 19, 2021.
I used to say I took a long break from writing. But that isn't true. I wrote fiction that I shared randomly with people through about 2005. Then I went to grad school for a doctorate in physical chemistry while caring for two young children. I journaled during that time, including fiction. I wrote about science for scientists. I wrote about science for general audiences. I blogged.
All the while, I told myself stories. I wrote fanfiction in my head. Original characters lived rent-free for short and long-term lease periods.
In 2019, I could no longer contain a particular story and wrote several hundred thousand words that spans short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels. These are all in various stages of completion and submission. I hope at some point I have big announcements about all of them. But this is not the story of those.
In 2020, while looking for support and writing education, I found the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers via a friend. I joined the discord and participated in co-working sessions. I attended many of their workshops. In one workshop, I wrote a 70-word story that I liked. A lot. Since, I've found it doesn't work as well for me and I've pulled it from submission.
But, more importantly, I started attending writing prompts. During those writing prompt sessions with fellow writers I'd met in the discord, in the workshops, and during co-working, I wrote many pieces of flash. Some of them grew into larger pieces, some of them stayed small.
On a Wednesday in December 2020, Cat showed us a photo of many hands reaching up out of water, clasped together. I shuddered and gave such a creeped out response that Cat commented on it. I've since tried to find the image several times and cannot. I would love to share it for more people's story seeds. We wrote for ten minutes, and at the end, I read mine aloud to the others in the Zoom group.
Then it got set aside.
During one of my short story binge-reads, I read all of the Free Flash Friday stories available from Wyldblood at the time. They had an open submission period in January 2021, and I thought Submerged would fit their taste. I polished it to meet their guidelines and sent it off on January 10, 2021 and had an acceptance email on February 1, 2021. It was an exciting email to wake up to on a Monday morning!
I missed the publication date. I have little advice for publishing. But the one I have is for publishers to send their authors a notice when their story goes up or out. I want to promote my stories and the publications that they find their home in.
For however long it is available on the Wyldblood website, I will send everyone there to read it. Should it ever come down, I will publish it here on my website. However, with no other expected publication of it, I have done a reading of it on my Youtube. This is my first publicly available story reading and my first original video on my Youtube. Enjoy!
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Writer of spec fic.