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Early last year, I sent a short story to Guideposts magazine. It was a pared-down, cleaned-up version of a story about my grandma that I submitted sometime back in 2012 or so that they rejected. It was such a nice rejection letter that I couldn’t get too mopey about it – at least for long, anyhow.

Not me. Really.

Not me. Really.

But that letter made me rethink the story. Ever pick up an earlier version of something you wrote and think Good grief! What was I thinking?? It’s kind of like that shudder you get when you find an old picture of yourself from the Age of Big Hair. Yeah, you know what I mean.

That first story didn’t have the oomph it needed.

So early last year, I dug grandma out of the slush pile, dusted her off and started rewriting. I tightened everything up and tweaked until the cows came home. Then I sent the story in again.

And didn’t hear anything. For weeks…and months…

Hello? Hello?

Hello? Hello?

I just about shrugged it off for good when I got a call from a story editor at Guideposts. They liked the story and wanted to work with me to make it fit the magazine’s style.

It took a few days of back-and-forth emails and phone calls, but we ironed things out, and throughout, the Guideposts team was upbeat, professional and helpful. It made me recall a few stories I’ve submitted to other publications that have been hacked up and changed so completely that I hardly recognized them as my own work. Guideposts modifications stayed true to my story while it loosened the feel to fit their magazine. It was a good experience, one I hope to repeat soon.

Here’s a link to the story on their website. As an added bonus, you even get a huge view of my head right at the top of the page! Thankfully with no big hair…

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