I gone and done got my self published like a boss.
It's funny to compare the first draft of this story to the published version. I can only self-edit so much before I decide something is finished. At least, I'm only motivated to self-edit so much. Until now, most everything I've written has ended up in the metaphorical waste basket. I was fortunate enough to have input from a few gracious writers, who are better looking and more accomplished than myself, that pushed me to make the story better. Being good readers, they offered suggestions and encouragement that eventually worked the story to it's present form. Maybe it could stand one more solid rewrite, I don't know. As it is, it is published. And that's exciting enough for the moment.
I love the process of writing fiction, though I find it emotionally exhausting. An idea for a story might come easily enough, but meaning is much more elusive; always dancing in flickering shadows, peripheral thoughts, and lazy imagination. Then there is the editing, the editing, the editing to make it better, make it longer, make it shorter, make it pop, make it more subtle, make it right. Although the effectiveness might be questionable, I'm happy that this story was able to say what I wanted it to.
Thanks Matt, John, Courtney, and the whole Paper Darts crew!
My story is here.