I always think of Friday the 13th as a lucky day for me, even if the luck only extends as far as nothing bad happening on that day. This Friday the 13th started off ominously though, putting me in a funk that lasted all the way to bedtime when my luck finally changed.
As I do every morning, I was sitting with a cup of coffee in my favorite corner of our couch, a heated wrap around my neck to ease my cervical arthritis. I had been fairly upbeat the day before, since Thursday is the day before Friday which is the day before the weekend. Those two days a week–Saturday and Sunday–I practically live for. But I digress.
So I’m nestled in the corner, sipping hot coffee, poking around on my iPad as the fog from my brain slowly clears when I sniff and my sinuses contract. I quickly shoo away the first thought that comes to mind. “No, no, no! I do not want to deal with this. Not this early in the morning!” I proceeded to ignore what my nasal passages were practically screaming at me, forcing me to breath deeper as the scent overwhelmed my senses, yet I recoiled at the thought of the obvious.
Finally I took my last sip of coffee, put the mug down, the iPad away and got down on my hands and knees. Granted, I did have to put my nose practically into the thick pile of our area rug, but there was no denying it, no way to ignore it.
Cat pee. Old cat pee. I looked up at Maxine, innocently curled up on the back of the couch.
Maxine is now 14 1/2 years old and lately we’ve been having some issues around her “inappropriate elimination.” Long story short: we resolved some of this peeing in all the wrong places by doubling her dosage of Cosequin. Cats, as many of you know, are stoic creatures. They keep their pain to themselves; if they choose to let you know, it’s often in oblique ways such as peeing in all the wrong places. Our theory is that Maxine, due to her age, probably has pain or at least discomfort in her hips and the trip from the back porch or from the living room to the nearest litter box is a road too far. When we doubled her Cosequin (that is, giving her a dose with her morning meal as well as her nighttime meal), she perked up, became more alert and interactive, and ceased to pee in the living room. (The back porch is still an issue, probably because she has to use steps and a cat door to get in and out.)
But apparently that didn’t mean that we had found and cleaned up all the places she had peed on in the past couple of months. So the morning of Friday the 13th, before I went to work, I pulled the area rug from the living room, wrestling it from underneath a rather large ottoman and rolling it up so I could drag it into the garage where it can stay forever as far I’m concerned. I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to getting rid of the smell of cat urine; fortunately, my husband has taken on the task of soaking the porch rug with Nature’s Miracle, sucking up the residue with a shampooer, and repeating … indefinitely.
That was the start of my Friday the 13th. The rest of the day was filled with angst. I could barely motivate myself to answer emails. I didn’t go for a walk during the workday because, as per summer in Florida, it was too effing hot and humid. A twenty-minute promenade around the complex leaves me with sweat stains in all the wrong places. I almost blew off going to the gym after work. I’m glad I did go since I needed to work off some negative energy, but the road trip from my workplace to the gym is like the highway from Hell.
Eventually I made it home, disgruntled and peevish (my husband’s word). He had spent the day cleaning the porch rug. We had dinner, drank wine and watched an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. We got ready for bed. What happened next returned the luck to Friday the 13th.
I flipped open my iPad, something I don’t often do right before bedtime and I can’t say why I did it this night. But I did. On the screen, a series of email notifications bubbled up. One was from Z Publishing. The subject line was “Your Submission Decision.” The first sentence of the email read “We at Z Publishing House would like to congratulate you for having your writing accepted into our upcoming Florida’s Emerging Writers publication!”
It’s all a blur after that. I think I started shouting. My husband ran into my room. I read him the email. We’ve been celebrating every since.
Way back in April, I received an email from one of the staff at Z Publishing, inviting me to submit some of my writing for their upcoming series of America’s Emerging Writers. She had visited my blog and thought I might be interested. Well, that was an understatement. I did a quick search on Z Publishing, found a forum on Reddit that pretty much verified the entity as legit so I went to work. I managed to pull together five short short stories–the word count is 1250–and sent them in. I had only a couple of days to meet the early bird deadline, and my husband remembers very well how I closed myself up in my room tweaking those short stories to fit Z’s requirements … and still make sense.
Ever since I have been waiting. Now I know that three months is not a long time to wait to hear from a publisher, but I don’t do this very often. Well, actually, I don’t do this. I can count on one hand the number of submissions I’ve made in the last several years.
The publication date is September 6, with preorders available starting August 6. At that time, I’ll join their affiliates program and will be able to provide you all with a link to Z Publishing so you can purchase Florida’s Emerging Writers or any book that strikes your fancy. I will get a commission for any sales that come through that link. That’s icing.
The cake is the publication of one of my stories in a printed book.
The luck of Friday the 13th has been redeemed.
One last thing: I really owe it to ALL of you for being part of my life, for encouraging me, following my blog, reading and sharing my stories and WIPs. I know this is a very small success, and I won’t stop here.
THANK YOU for always being here for me. MWAH!
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.