I opened my post office box today and discovered a royalty check, which seemed an auspicious way to start the year.
Not half so auspicious as the first mail day of the year 2000, however. A few weeks earlier, I'd sent Gordon Van Gelder, the brilliant and occasionally snarky (deny it if you can, Gordon!) editor of F&SF, a short-short story titled "The Madness of Gordon Van Gelder." It was not a submission to his magazine. A series of incidents involving him, which I spelled out in the story, had occurred and on a whim I jotted down an admittedly witty tale about him discovering that he got a sexual kick out of buying bad fiction.
So I sent it to Gordon with a note saying, in essence, "Here's something pleasant for you -- a story which you neither have to buy nor reject. Read and enjoy!" Then I forgot about it entirely.
(Gordon disputes parts of this story, by the way, because he thinks it implies that I gamed him into buying the story and he's very watchful about being gamed. But he's wrong in his suspicions. I sent him the story knowing there was not a chance in Hell of him buying it. No games involved.)
On January 2 or 3, 2000, whichever was the first mail day of the new Millennium, I went to the post office, opened my box, and discovered a familiar-looking envelope, that which contains a check from F&SF.
I didn't sent Gordon a story, I thought in puzzlement, and opened the check. Then I saw that he'd bought a story I'd never tried to sell him and had honestly forgotten existed. Half because it was (to be honest) a good story and half because he has a Puckish sense of humor, Gordon had bought my short-short.
A surge of megalomania filled me. I OWN this century! I thought.
Which is my New Year's story. May your new year be equally filled with madness and joy.
And because we all make resolutions this time of year . . .
I have resolved to limit my blogging to three days a week, in order to free up more time for serious writing. I can't guarantee to keep to this resolve. Things keep happening which I want to share. But I'll be doing my best to keep to it.
And as always . . .
I'm on the road again. But I ought to be able to post on Friday anyway, fingers crossed. Wish me luck.