I learned I’d had a story accepted by Water~Stone Review on Aztec Butte, in Canyonlands National Park, on a family vacation. We reached the top after a steep scramble over sandstone. I noticed my cell phone had regained reception and checked messages. (My excuse: a problem securing horseback-riding reservations, and two daughters who really wanted to ride.) An email from Fiction Editor Sheila O’Connor appeared: “I’m delighted to let you know….” I announced the news to my family on the butte-top, surrounded by a vast landscape of red rock. The four of us rejoiced, and then again, when the horseback-riding reservations came through.
Seven months later, after a round of revisions and a chance to proof my pages, Water~Stone Review 20 arrived inside my screen door. My story was planted amid powerful poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Wrapping the writing: a cover photo of red, orange, and gold tissue-paper poppies, Thousands of Poppies, by Kathleen Hawkes and Misha Bolstad. Poppies bled to the cover’s smooth front and back flaps. Poppies bloomed on a bookmark inside. Everything about this literary annual said ‘made with care and respect for the work.’
Months after publication, Water~Stone Review took time to ask me some questions about writing. I had the chance to think about my process and name some writers I’ve found inspiring—one more high that I hope is worth sharing: In the Field, Conversations with our Contributors.