I know I promised my stalker--er, loyal reader, Janice, a good rant, but it’s going to have to wait. It’s late* and I’m tired… but I know tomorrow is going to be as frantic a day as today was (and Monday was) and there will be no posting from work.
* And by late, I mean it’s 11 o’clock. Just a few years ago I could stay up until 2am and not blink and eye. What happened to me?
Anyway, I did want to share a bit of news: I’ve been published.
If you pick up the February issue of USDF Connection and turn to the last page, you’ll find my article. Well, actually, since this magazine is a members-only publication (USDF is the “United State Dressage Federation,” one of the several horse associations The Scientist holds membership in) you’re not likely to see it. Available at no newsstands anywhere!
But, no great loss, since the article is just a cleaned up version of this post (needless to say, I took out all the references to horse women being insane, and the stress having a horse puts on our relatonship before I sent it in).
After I wrote it The Scientist and her trainer both encouraged me to submit it to Connection. I’ve never read that magazine, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I sent it in blind and promptly forgot about it.
Couple of months later, I got an email from the editor expressing her wish to publish it. To which my reaction was, Cool. The Scientist, on the other hand, had a reaction more like this: Holy shit! My horse is going to be in USDF Connection!
I’ve never had my fiction published before (well, other than here) so I found the process interesting, especially the editing. I sent the magazine my article electronically, and they sent it back to me, “lighted edited.” I feared the worst, but it wasn’t bad at all. But some of the changes were interesting.
Apparently, “what the hell” is far too strong for the delicate sensibilities of Connection readers. The editor had replaced it with “What the #@^%*?” which is, of course, ridiculous. More to the point, I thought it read as “what the fuck?” which is much stronger than I intended. Apparently the editor agreed, because when I pointed it out to her she told me she’d already changed it. I didn’t like the change, and just ended up just writing around it (in case you’re interested, “what the hell?” became “Come on!”).
There were some other tweaks, mostly to make it sound like I knew something about horses which, honestly, I don’t.
The magazine asked us to provide a photo of the “entire family” -- meaning me, my wife and her horse. We spent an hour out at the barn snapping photos. This is the one they used:
Nice enough, but given the nature of the article, I really wish they would have used this one:
But you take what you can get, I guess. Anyway, it was a nice experience, and I’ve received nothing but praise from people who have read it. I even took a copy to work and told people that magazine writing was “my ticket out of this dump.”
Considering that I was paid zero dollars for this piece, the above statement may be a tad premature.