Happy New Year to everyone! I just received a very nice email from Blackbird, letting me know that they've liked my story "Tobacco Wedding" enough to publish it in their Spring 2008 issue.
This is good news for so many reasons, not all of which obvious. To begin with, I really like this story, but my agent made a very convincing point that the story does not fit well with the rest of the collection and so we took it out. I do think this was the right decision. So I had accepted the fact that "Tobacco Wedding" will sit in a drawer forever.
In November I received an email from Blackbird that they had received the aforementioned story (look at all the fancy words I know) and will read it in the months to follow. Honestly, I was surprised -- I checked my sent emails (thank God for gmail) and found the original submission -- early in 2007. So again I figured nothing will come out of this... luckily I was wrong.
This story is very special to me, because it is, stylistically and thematically, a tribute to one of Bulgaria's greatest writers - Nikolay Haytov. Haytov's most famous collection of stories "Wild Tales," is in my opinion the greatest literary achievement in Bulgarian fiction (poetry aside, Bulgarian poets are gods). All stories in "Wild Tales" are about the people of the Rhodopa Mountain and I really wanted to have something about these people in my collection as well. "Tobacco Wedding" plays with a very common phenomenon of the olden days -- bride stealing, but puts a slight spin as now it is the groom that is being stolen. Short sentences, strong dialects, a lot of action, passionate characters, this is Haytov at his best, impossible to translate -- I wanted with my story to come close, but in English. I am now delighted that people will read my attempt, and hopefully like it.
I'm also happy that a friend of mine, Ash Bowen, a poet in our MFA program, is publishing his own work in the same issue.
Best of luck to all of you; this post has become too long...