The Big Issue: Happy-stream-of-consciousness-entry-may-delete-this-later

March 2018: I remember sliding an envelope with two copies of a short story called Roadkill Hour in the mail slot of the post office at Helensburgh, imagining ways I could imbue the package with luck.

June 28 2018: “Your Story ‘Roadkill Hour’ has been shortlisted”

It was a bad day, without disclosing reasons why, but I remember I was in the car, eyes red and face puffy and then seeing that message. I double-guessed every word of my response, couldn’t believe the characters on the screen. Supplied the file with my eyes closed and with the bio blurb still attached. Idiot. Told myself not to dwell on it, even though I did.

July 16 2018: Another euphemistically “hard” day. And then

Congratulations

I respond, unfamiliar with the floating feeling, grateful for the attention and marked-up edit, but tell no one, because I’m waiting for the email that says an editorial change of heart or design restriction means I’ve been cut.

August 2 2018: A friend sends me a link to a beautiful, vibrant cover, graphic purple and yellow, and my name is listed there. It’s listed beside authors I admire, read and follow.

Maxine Beneba Clark, Tony Birch, Melanie Cheng, Garth Nix, Marija Peričić, Eleanor Limprecht. I know these names. I read books by these people. I check them out to people at the library.

I’m shell-shocked. I’m startled. I feel flutters of pride and joy and disbelief. I don’t know how to process the news. My words, my weird little story. On paper. What would it look like?

I keep a spreadsheet of submissions. There are many strike-through’d entries, marks of disappointment. This entry is blank. I didn’t know what to call it.

A bloody victory.

Support this writer, this great magazine, and the awesome vendors who sell it – buy the special fiction edition of The Big Issue next Friday, August 10!

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