I had a spot of good news this week. I had a short story accepted for inclusion in an anthology that’s due for publication this fall. Although I’ve been writing professionally for years (i.e., getting paid to write), this is my first fiction piece accepted for publication professionally, so naturally I’m fairly excited.
The story was written specifically for the call for manuscripts for this anthology, which is being published by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) organization. The anthology will include stories that explore Denver’s Colfax Avenue, “the longest, wickedest street in America,” according to Playboy magazine. When I first saw the call, I thought it sounded interesting, but I didn’t have any stories or ideas for stories that would fit. So I passed the call off to the members of my writing group, prepared to ignore it myself.
Fortunately, the historic nature of Colfax and its multifaceted personality continued to swirl in the back of my brain. A few other ideas from unrelated sources came into the mix. Then suddenly, a couple days later, I had a story. And I knew I had to write it, whether or not it would make the cut. By that point, I wasn’t even sure I could get it done in time to submit for the deadline.
However, the writing came together really quickly. In fact, it was one of the easiest and most fun stories I’ve written. Of course, when I say “easiest,” that’s far from “easy”; writing is hard, after all. The point is, when the writing is fun, that makes it easy. And I think it’s a fun story, too. Apparently, so did the antho editors. Of course, it’s also a bit gruesome at times, and possibly tasteless as well, but I’ve got to be me, right?
Back in March as I was completing this story, I posted a blog about some of the inspiration that went into it, “Synchestra: Unleashing the Transdimensional Space Goat on America’s Wickedest Street.” The story follows two police detectives on a missing child case that centers on the seedier regions of Colfax. During the investigation, the detectives have to confront the idea that their long-held beliefs don’t necessarily cover everything the street can throw at them.
I look forward to the anthology’s publication in the fall and being able to share this story. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to work on the various projects I have underway, including circulating some other stories for publication. So basically that just means back to the grind—and hopefully more fun writing.
Follow B. K. Winstead on Twitter at @bkwins