Illustration by Rex Queems
At some point today I think I will finish a story from the celebrated and sometimes laughter-inducing land of Fledge.
This one will be for the October edition of West Virginia South. This is significant largely for one reason, that being that this will mark my one-year anniversary with West Virginia South publishing my Fledge serial.
I am really thankful for the chance Audrey Stanton, the fine editor of this fantastomag, has given me. Since it’s been a year, I think I can express some gratitude without being accused of kissing up.
Fledge was born in my imagination at some point, and I wrote the first story (not thinking much beyond it). It was called “A Very Bad Sign.” I was surprised at how much I liked it, and assumed I could never write anything like it again. But I did write another story “The Lion, the Bridge, and the Wardrobe Malfunction,” sometime later. I thought this one was better, and was still pretty sure I couldn’t do it again, but my confidence in my lack of confidence was wavering a bit.
It was in this state of swirling self-doubt and imaginational hope that it came to me that maybe I should see about getting one of these things published in the magazine in my hands –West Virginia South.
I let myself imagine this for a while, even venturing to consider the possibility of a serial. Months later I got up the nerve to stop by the offices of WVS and speak to the editor.
I was nervous. From the start Audrey was very receptive and listened to my idea and my lame description of what I had in mind. I left with a dose of cautious optimism and an e-mail address.
That night I read through the stories again and after frantic, last-minute edits, I sent them off on the invisible trail of tubes to the editor’s inbox at West Virginia South.
I heard back pretty soon. Audrey was very enthusiastic about the stories. She was full of encouragement and eager to get them in the magazine. I was elated. Soon thereafter “The Lion, the Bridge, and the Wardrobe Malfunction” appeared in the October 2008 edition of the magazine.
Since day one Audrey has been one of my most consistent sources of encouragement with the Fledge stories. She greets every new installment of the serial with keen interest. Even though she is a busy editor and has way too much on her plate, she always has something good to say about the latest story.
She doesn’t ever just say “It was good,” or anything like that. She points to details she appreciated (often stuff I wasn’t sure anyone would get –very reassuring) and laughs along with me about different points in the story.
This is more than I ever expected. And I am so thankful for the way Audrey has received these stories.
I did pray that they would be received well, and my imagination did plot out a long series with WVS, but I can say that my expectations have been exceeded. I hadn’t expected to find such an advocate for The Fledge Chronicles as I have in Audrey. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
God bless Audrey Stanton, a very important figure in my literary career, and a great editor. Thank you, Audrey.