I’m a better writer now than I was then, but still – some of these stories are really quite good. They just needed a bit of tweaking here and there. (In the eighties there was no Internet to speak of. Few people had cell phones. Mr. Rogers was still alive. It’s surprising how much these cultural changes can impact a story.)
A few months ago I took one of my old unsubmitted, unpublished stories to my writing group and asked for critique. I was amazed at how positive they were, and how many good suggestions they had about how to rework the story so it didn’t seem dated. Suddenly I saw that my stash of stories could come alive again; with just a little work I could send these stories out into the world.
Even more exciting, there are new avenues out into the world than there were way back when these stories were born. Maybe it was time to dip my toe into the world of e-book publishing – after all, why not? Those short stories weren’t doing anyone any good caged on a floppy disk stuck in my desk drawer. If I could get them out there in electronic form, it would be all upside – I might make a few dollars, other people could enjoy them, and I would learn about the world of e-readers.
So now they’re here, alive and kicking, three short story collections reborn as e-books. (You can read the synopses here.) I used Smashwords.com, and each collection can be purchased for reading on Amazon’s Kindle, or Apple’s iPad, or any other e-reader. Time will tell if I’ll get good reviews, or if they’ll sell. But I already know it was worth it because I am a lot smarter about e-books now than when I started. And I brought my stories back to life.
It’s a good thing I no longer cluck.