I got a yes on a short story earlier this week, and here was the moment, a physical memory, and this one good:

The day at work was long over, but I was still in my office. The cubes outside my office were dark, the cleaning people had already dropped the plastic bag outside my door, in wait for me to leave so they could empty my recycling. I had a project due that I hadn’t been able to work on all day so this was the moment in which I decided to take it home. I gathered up all the folders, one blazing red, and shoved them in a huge envelope. Then I shoved that in my backpack and struggled to zip it closed. It was only then, as an afterthought before logging out of my computer, that I checked my email. And the yes was in the inbox, sitting there mildly, as any other email would. I remember the shape of the letters in the subject line before I opened it, and I remember the visual shape the email made on my screen, its three short paragraphs, black type over white background. “Yes!” I said out loud, to no one. It would have startled anybody, had they been there to hear. I remember the smooth surface of my pale-colored desk, clean because I had hidden the huge project away in my backpack. I remember the weight of the backpack and not recalling why it was stuffed so full. I had forgotten the project. I had forgotten where I was.

I don’t remember my shoes, although of course I would have been wearing shoes, the same ones I have on today, but they felt different in that moment, lighter. I just remember the feeling of the moment, the astounding “Yes!” that shot out of my mouth. It’s a small thing, a short story in a journal, but I’m thrilled. I am thinking about it right now, a goofy little smile on my face as I write this.

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17 responses to “Yes”

  1. Congratulations! I was just on my way out to dinner, after receiving some not-so-good news, and reading this has cheered me up tremendously. I can only imagine what *you’re* feeling about it. Can’t wait to see your baby in print.



  2. Yessssssssss. A lovely little word. So simple, yet so meaningful. So full of light and possibility. It can even make your feet feel like they have wings. Wait no, that’s red bull.


  3. !! This was so nice to read–congratulations, Nova! By my awesome, yet unfailing logic, if 2006 winds down with a yes for you–as it has–2007 will hold more of the same. 🙂


  4. […] The short story that recently got accepted to a lit journal had me thrilled, as you know, and pretty much bouncing off the walls for a few days, but there is also a sobering detail to the whole happy-dance. You see, the story is about my mother. It is fiction. (It is! I swear!) And yet it is based on real people, real places, real events, if shifted and exaggerated and warped to fit what I wanted as I wrote it. Even if changed, the emotion of the whole piece speaks to the emotions I had a long time ago, when things were different, when my mother wasn’t where she is now, which is in a good, happy place, and much better off than she was then. […]


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