That First Sale Feeling

The morning of Thursday, July 24, I received an email from Crossed Genres saying they wanted to publish my story, “Good Numbers.” I made a loud noise that made the people around me (I was at work) ask if I was OK. “Yes! I just got good news!” I answered.

I really needed to tell someone in person, preferably someone who would hug me. So I went to find my buddy Shawna, who’s been very supportive of me the last few years. I found her in our lunch room, talking to another coworker. I’m pretty sure I interrupted them, and the coworker took one look at my crazy face and excused herself.

As I blurted out my news to her, all the feelings of five years of work and persistence tumbled out, and I started to cry. She teared up, too. “Sympathy tears, sympathy tears!” she said, as she fanned her eyes. And, yes, she hugged me. Then I called Jim, who told me later I was fairly incoherent, but clearly very happy. Then I called my parents, then I wandered back to my desk, probably blathering to random people. When I got home that night I called my posse.

In July 2009 I quit my excellent job and took a part time job so I’d have time to write. I didn’t know what I wanted with my career then, and I knew that for more than twenty years I’d wanted to write science fiction. Restlessness drove me back to full-time work after a year working part-time, but I’d set the wheels in motion.

When I attended Viable Paradise last year, the instructors told us that their goal was that we would leave knowing how to make every piece we wrote salable. Folks, Good Numbers is the first piece I started and finished after Viable Paradise. (Edit to add on 9/14: it sold to the sixth market I sent it.) I hope many more stories follow its path.

Good Numbers by Nadya Duke
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