Got news before I left for spring break that a story I had written about Hurricane Katrina is going to be published in a local journal at some point in the next few weeks. It was about a conversation between two men that turns to spiritual matters while they’re eating lunch after spending the morning doing hurricane cleanup. It’s called “Holding On” and comes out in a journal called China Grove Press. I got $400 for it, so that was exciting as well :).
I was surprised because I had heard rumors that it wasn’t going to print any more issues due to financial problems. But the editor sounded more upbeat about their chances when I emailed him back and asked if he’d like another story from me–so I’ve sent in another one called “Freedom to Breathe” about two people, a man and a woman, meet and find out that each is contemplating suicide. The story is them trying to talk each other out of it. So you see, I’m not afraid to confront my obsessions in my fiction, either. We will see how they like that one and see if they find it fit to publish.
In other good news, I’m going to be attending training to be a speaker for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Mississippi chapter this coming Friday and Saturday. I’m looking forward to it as a way of reaching people about mental illness and trying to lessen the stigma attached to it. I’ll be trained to speak to various audiences about mental illness and about my experience with it. I’ll update you on how it goes once I complete it at the end of the week.