I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. The day after I wrote my last post, where the dog and I had taken a trip to the orchard and it had inspired me to write a poem, Shadow collapsed and had to be put to sleep. It has been strange here ever since. If I could describe how we were with each other, I’d say that when we were together we would constantly look to each other. When we were apart, I would constantly look forward to seeing him. He was just a constant. To not have that now is the hardest thing, because there are habits that grow with love that you don’t even know are there. Each time I face a new automatic habit and then remind myself that he isn’t there it’s heartbreaking. But, looking back at our photos and videos together, I know he was happy right to the end, and that is the most reassuring thing of all. He was a rescue dog, and taking him from the shelter five years ago was the best thing I ever did. I would encourage anyone who is considering getting a pet to please go to your local rescue shelter first and foremost. We couldn’t have had a better fit in our lives, even if we’d raised him ourselves.
In terms of writing, I have never been the type of writer who thrives in dark times. In fact, my muse tends to dry up completely. It was a huge effort to complete the poem, ‘The Tree That Ate the Children’, the week after Shaddy passed, and I managed to just meet the deadline for submission. I don’t know if it’s any good, but it was finished and submitted, and that was enough that week. I’m pleased to say I managed to write yesterday. There are a number of exciting horror submission calls for the end of July/start of August, and I really hope I can come up with some good gory tales!
One word of warning that I learned myself this week – final deadline dates don’t always stay the same. I’ve known them to be pushed to a later date before, but never cut off a few weeks early due to popularity! This has happened with Dragon’s Roost’s ‘Monsters in Space’ anthology. It was such a great brief and I am happy to hear that they have had a successful submission response. But I am definitely sad that I didn’t get a shot at taking part! Still, it has taught me a new writing lesson, which I’ll try to bear in mind in future: Submit early if you can. I always tend to plan my submissions based on final date. I really need to revise that method in future!
Finally, the truly wonderful news this week. I submitted to SNAFU’s Last Stand sub call last month, after reading the brief and falling in love with the concept. The fact that Tim Miller is providing the introduction really is the icing on the cake. To appear in the anthology that features the director of Deadpool would truly be a life-affirming moment in my writing. Not to mention the fact that my hubby rocks around in a Deadpool dressing gown in the evenings, and that we used to have a hamster called D-Piddy in honour of the merc with a mouth. Tim Miller aside, the anthology itself looks to be incredibly special, not surprising since it’s coming from Cohesion Press. On Saturday I received an email saying my story had made it to final deliberations! After such a difficult couple of weeks this news was well received to say the least. I don’t know if I’ll make the final cut, obviously, but it is a huge boost to know the dream is in touching distance. Here’s to dreams coming true, even in the worst weeks!