I did something I’ve never done before: I started writing a short story, and then I paused writing it to write something else. This new short story is the something else.
I recently came upon a call for submissions put out by an LGBT-flavored magazine. They had a teeny word count limit (I think it was 2,000 words?), but I thought I might have a story for them in my archives. I dug up my old story “Grace” from 1997 and thought I might buff it up, but then I saw that the magazine doesn’t accept reprints and it had been on my website before, so I’d have to completely rewrite it.
And THEN I found out that not only is this magazine fledgling and hasn’t published an issue yet, but they do not pay contributors (not a crime, of course, but I’d prefer paying markets). I decided against submitting to them at the same time as I decided I wanted to rewrite that story anyway.
“Her Mother’s Child” was the result. Complete at about 5,000 words, I’m having some friends read it, and if I get good feedback I’ll try submitting it. It features some mother/daughter themes, a fantasy world, girls who are attracted to other girls, and Goddess culture. It also features a challenging protagonist: a character who can’t speak and has to rely on her hands, her expressions, her occasional written words, and her family’s patience in order to communicate. (It’s not pointed out in the story, but the micro-culture here clearly doesn’t have any alternate communication systems like sign language, so she makes do.)[Update: This story was accepted for publication!]