I’ve been silent these last few months, but not because I’ve been quiet. In fact, many good things have been happening and so I’ve been running, chasing after them. I have also, literally, taken up running, which is quite an accomplishment. I would not describe myself as a natural athlete. My preferred form of exercise is walking my dogs. Unfortunately, they’re both getting old and don’t want to take long walks in the woods. After our last excursion, when I had to carry my little white dog up a very steep hill, I pointed out to them that it would be simpler if I just took up long-distance running. They seemed happy about that.
So once a day I go trooping off into the woods. After about five minutes, my heart is pounding, my face is red and I’m slippery with sweat. At about this point the high school cross country team swoops out. No matter when I run, they run soon thereafter, though I very much doubt they’re waiting for me. They’re all strong and young and they pound by, but they always salute as they pass me, which I think is cute. Periodically older people run by, who I usually know, because I live in a small town. They invariably yell, “How’s the next book coming?” I always say it’s coming along fine, which I think is the case.
However, on a more tangible front, I did recently find out that one of my short stories is to be published by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. This was a real treat not only because it’s a great magazine, but also because it represents the first new fiction I’ve had published since The Fiction Class came out. (I had a story published in 2009 Best American Nonrequired Reading, but I wrote that ten years ago. And of course I’ve had a lot of articles published since then, but it’s not the same.)
So that brings me back to running, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about publishing it’s that it’s like a very, very long run. You keep running and you feel like you’re going to keel over. But when you stagger, exhausted, toward the finish line you say to yourself: That was sort of fun.
So what’s up with Bloomer readers?