There are all these things writers do. Things besides writing. Like sometimes an author takes what they’ve written, and they read it out loud to a group of people.
This is an author reading and it’s something I never thought would happen to me. Actually, that’s not right. More accurate to say it’s something I have both hoped for (because it means success!) and dreaded (because oh my God how could I possibly read something I wrote in front of people?). I dealt with these conflicting feelings by refusing to think about readings at all.
Then I wrote a short story called There Used to Be Cowboys.
And it got accepted to an awesome local magazine called Helen.
Fast forward a few months, and the editor of Helen is asking me to read a segment of that story at the Vegas Valley Book Festival.