A Little Foreign Recognition

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The down side to going on strike is that one is almost honor bound to cough up a new post after the strike is over or the strike doesn't mean anything. Fortunately, something interesting and writing related happened to me last week.

Nearly two decades ago, I had three stories published in PLOT magazine, in each in the first three issues: Code of the Jenri, Cauchemar and Windrider. Not long after that, the magazine went defunct (I think they had two or maybe three more issues after the last one I was in). Back when I was trying to find different writing communities, I tried Helium.com. I didn't like it because you couldn't remove your work on there once you put it on and, although you got feedback (as in rankings) there were other issues with how things worked. You really lost control over what you put there. Unfortunately, I didn't figure this out until I'd reposted Windrider there and a poem, The Siren. Ironically, they've done fairly well in the rankings since I abandoned them.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I receive this in my email inbox (names removed to protect both innocent and guilty):


My name is XXXXXX. Im studying at a high school in Denmark. We are working with your short story "Windrider". Can you maybe tell me, which role does Venetia and Rene play in this story? And what is your main point with this short story?

Thank you!

Now, note what's cool about this. Not only did someone see my story and track me down across the ocean, but it's apparently being taught in a high school in Denmark. How freaking cool is that? Of course, I'm flattered that they thought contacting me on-line would be easier than reading the story and figuring it out for themselves (though, of course, one must remember, this would be English as a second language). It was a real thrill.

But I know what you really want to ask. Did I give him the answer he wanted?

Hello, XXXXXX,

I am sufficiently impressed that you tracked me down given that my name has changed since this story was published more than a decade ago. Kudos to you.

I have to admit to curiousity how my story became part of the curriculum overseas, but I can't help but be gratified. I'd be interested in corresponding with your teacher to find out more. I'm not upset; quite the contrary. Anything I can do to help.

As for your specific questions, I'm not the sort of person who would tell you the answers to questions you were undoubtedly asked to provide yourself by reading the story; however, if you'd like to discuss aspects of the story with me, what you think and why and get my take on it, I'd be happy to give you my own opinions in answer to yours. It's a story I'm quite fond of.


Stephanie Barr

Sorry, XXXXXX. Too many teachers in my family for me to give the answers away.


On Strike

Today, we are striking against censorship

Join the largest online protest in history: tell Congress to stop this bill now!

Join The Strike!



Blog Makeover by LadyJava Creations