I originally set out on my quest to build Romantic Shorts for a slew of good reasons: for me, for my family, to build something from nothing, to help others, writers, their careers, their families, readers, to meet people… You get the idea.
As I’ve been spending more and more time back online, still wading through hundreds of email messages, some as old as three full years now, I’ve been tiptoeing gently, a little wary of the kind of response I’m going to get from people who expected a reply from me a lifetime ago. As it turns out, this is one of the most exciting tasks I’ve ever taken on.
Opting for a humble and honest approach, I’m responding to all of those emails, queries, and manuscript submissions, one by one, and, more often than not, finding myself moved to tears. You guys are amazing people!
Everyone has been so understanding, so supportive, and incredibly friendly. Having to reject a story submission almost three years after its author saw fit to entrust me with it is a daunting prospect. But all have led to short and long conversations about where they are now, what has changed, and how far life has led them. And I am having great fun learning how life has gone on while I hid. I didn’t expect this.
But the one who prompted me to write this post, young Christopher, has me smiling sunshine this morning. At 18, Christopher sent me a story that, while it showed hints of promise in the writing, was not a fit for Romantic Shorts at all. I emailed him yesterday with my reply, hoping to encourage more than not, but had to reject the story on many levels.
I woke this morning to his reply. He has since grown up. Kept writing. And has taken that awkward little story and fleshed it out into what now looks like a promising novel. He sent me the first chapter. His writing has grown far more than I’d think two years should allow. His ideas are fresh and enticing. And his future as a writer looks quite exciting. I found myself reading his update feeling a pride that has nothing to do with me.
It seems that, even in my absence, Romantic Shorts has been working away, out there in cyberspace, plugging along without me, doing good, helping others, and making a bit of a difference.
And after all, isn’t that what we all want from our children?
It’s a good day!