fiction,  Life,  literary magazines,  writing

“Hobo Heart” publication is a little bit like pregnancy and birth

Not that I would know a bit what it’s like to be pregnant, or give birth. The analogy may make a little more sense if you understand that submitting a story for an editor’s consideration, and then hearing that they want to publish your story is only the start of a process.

It takes time, just like a baby, for a story to reach the oxygen outside. Lots of work on the publication’s side, to tweak your text into the format the publication features. And time to wait until it can fill a hole in the calendar. Other stories and other writers must land their planes first.

Now I’ve gone and done it. Switched metaphors in mid blog post. From babies birthing to airplanes landing.

All that is prelude to the news that a long-loved and labored-over story of mine, “Hobo Heart,” has launched at the highly regarded Mystery Tribune. This story emerged from a variety of influences. I routinely read the police reports in our local paper. Sometimes bad behavior suggests fiction.

I also am a student of our nation’s sad history around race relations. I didn’t know much about it until I went away to college. When I started studying abuses heaped on black Americans, the history of chattel slavery, Jim Crow laws, terror lynching, economic disadvantage, I found myself trying to imagine what it was like, growing up black in America, when the weight of social oppression awaited every day.

Then I read an item in the paper about a report of books and a bicycle being found along our local tracks. And missing cattle. All that started mooshing around in my head until I had created a black sociology professor interested in seeing for himself what his father and grandfather had seen. And Bub, the white hobo embodiment of all that history and hatred. I set the major part of the story in my own backyard, the cities and towns of the Columbia River Gorge.

Anyway, if you get a chance, please read it. The folks at Mystery Tribune told me about a year ago they wanted to run it. Like babies, these things take their time to see the light.