Ah. I never get tired of reviewing proofs.

Well, I haven’t had to do that too often. And, truth be told, I hate it. This time around, I had two other sets of eyes go over it so that I wouldn’t be tempted to re-write it. Then I shook myself and went over it. It’s for my story “Family Business” which will be appearing in the next issue of Weird Tales. Going over the proofs got me thinking about two things. The first is how crazy my roads to print are.

Some of you have heard this story before. The first story that I had accepted was my story “Soul Food”. In my credits, it says that it was published in the magazine Hoodz, however originally, this wasn’t going to be the case.

It was a Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. (sad, but this is how clearly I still remember this), my phone rings waking me from a rock solid sleep. I’m prepared to yell at whoever was calling when they immediately apologize and explain that they are one of the editors of the anthology that I had submitted my story to.

He wanted to call me and personally accept my story.

So I’m sitting in bed, dumbstruck. I thank him, hang up the phone, do my happy dance, then call and wake up several friends to share my news. Months go by. Nothing, I don’t hear a peep. This was my first sale and I had no idea how the process worked. I didn’t even know that editors don’t customarily call up the writers they accept. Then one day I read that the anthology that accepted my story has been released.

My story isn’t in there.

I e-mail the editor. She writes back this huge apology. Apparently the editor that accepted my story left the anthology. Not all of his work made it to her, and my story slipped between the cracks. Of course, the anthology went on to big sales and critical acclaim.

I bumped into the editor at this year’s WHC. She asked why I no longer submitted to her. I told her that I didn’t know she had any open projects. So she convinced me to write something for her. I’m still waiting to hear back from her.

“Family Business” won the World Horror Convention/Weird Tales Short Story contest back in 2003. It’s route to print was a lot simpler. Well, relatively. The tale involves the story originally being accepted by a magazine that immediately went out of business. So I entered it in the contest. Yay bad business models!

[The second thing reviewing my proofs got me to thinking about? Why I don’t do readings. Many of my stories have such heavy accents, and I sound absolutely ridiculous affecting either a Jamaican or hardcore ghetto speech pattern.]