It's getting launched on December 10, actually. It's one of the three books getting released in a 6:30 affair at Fully Booked in Greenhills.
You're welcome to pass by, although I'd recommend just buying the book and telling me whether you liked the story or not. :)
Consequently, one of the responses I received from the mailing list went as follows:
I might not be able to pass by on December 10. But I will try to pick up the book when I come across it. I'm sure the story is good. You wouldn't allow it to get published if it wasn't.
I can't help but think that that's more than a little optimistic.
That's not to say that I don't appreciate the gesture. In fact, I do appreciate it, and I'm happy to see that my writing actually does get a bit of support in some quarters.
But that's where the hitch comes in: I don't know if the story's good or not.
It might sound strange, yes, but that's how I look at it: I don't know if the story's good or not. Ergo, I may or may not believe that it's good enough to get published. All that matters to me is that I was able to write the silly thing, and if somebody out there thinks that it's good enough to print, then so much the better: I get access to more people who can tell me what they think.
But to say that it's in the anthology because I thought that it was good enough to go into the anthology? Absolute hooey. When Dean Alfar's deadline came about, it was the only five-thousand word story I had that contained the slightest bit of redeemability. I believe that that's the only reason why I sent it in when I did.
I hoped that it would make it, of course. You don't submit works like these without some sliver of expectation that they might make it to the final volume. But if I were to tell you that I thought it was an incredible piece of work to begin with, then I'd be lying.
I think that we all eventually have to face a certain truth: No matter how good we think our writings are, our opinion doesn't mean squat when it comes to the tastes of the general public. We can have what we think is the greatest plotline in the world, the best characters ever conceived and the most profound setting that can ever be imagined, and that still won't protect us from the erstwhile critics who accuse us of being "cliché", "wordy", "simple", or even the inevitable "boring".
We just write, darn it. We write, we turn in our works, and we wait for a response. If by some miracle it turns out that our stuff is worthy of being published, then that doesn't mean that we're good. It means that we just happened to do something right.
Writing, unfortunately, isn't a matter of thinking that you're good at this sort of thing. Writing is a constant struggle: You don't merely want one of your works to get published and praised, you want a whole slew of your works getting published and praised. You want a straight string of hits. You want to know what makes your style readable. You want to know how to get into the groove and stay there.
The big guns -- the authors and artists we all know, love and admire -- all probably know this. They may have six or seven straight bestsellers, Academy awards or platinum records to their name, but if their next work tanks, then it tanks. It's JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion. It's Halle Berry's Catwoman. It's Michael Jackson's Invincible.
We just write, ladies and gentlemen. That, I believe, is the truth at its core.
We write, and of course, we anxiously wait -- to see what the audience thinks of us this time.