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Two weeks ago, Lucy issued a challenge: think of something that scares you and go out and DO IT.
I brainstormed fearsome actions for a week; there were even tornado warnings. I crossed off reality-tv-like stunts and anything that would take more than two weeks. I wanted to do something to further a goal I cared about, another step down my five-year plan.
Recently, I’ve taken a lot of steps that scare the hell out of me (and there’s a lot of hell in there to scare out): I started River City Fiction, shy me talks to Richmond’s literary who’s who; I left my day job; I started another job more in line with my literary ambitions; I’m planning a 30th anniversary celebration for an indie bookstore as part of the job; I joined and formed critique groups; I’m applying to grad school. Basically, the last few months have been one pee-my-panties experience after another, but there was one major career-related biggie left. I needed to share my fiction in a public space.
But it scared the crap out of me. Since 2008, only 100 words of my fiction have been read by anyone outside my inner circle, and they were here on Fantastic Spatula. I admit it seems neurotic since I hope to be published one day. I, like most species on earth, protect what I care about. I guard it from bullying like an over-protective parent, I hoard it like Smaug, but to improve, fiction has to get black eyes, and it has to circulate.
To fulfill the Halloween challenge, I will post fiction to Fantastic Spatula for the month of November. I can already feel the hairs on the back of my neck raise. Happy Halloween, Spatulans.