Happy Birthday!

After I gave birth to Klara, I had this weird feeling that I had forgotten how to eat and sleep and that I’d never learn again.

On the third day, the nurse said she was taking Klara away for a car seat test and that she’d keep her at the nursery for a couple of hours to give me a chance to sleep.

So she took her away, and I crashed onto the bed, thinking “Yippee! Finally, I can conk out. Sweet dreams, here I come!!!”

I was almost asleep when suddenly a wave of the most horrible, howling anxiety grabbed me and dragged me off the bed. It was the bonding hormones that decided to come in at that time because, of course, they couldn’t have possibly waited until I actually slept.

So I crawled out of the room with my IV, my drug bag, and my ass hanging out in the air in the mesh panties for all the world to see. I saw my disheveled, swollen, half-naked reflection in the mirror and thought, “God, there sure are some ugly old hags trawling these halls at 3 am.”

A nurse caught me and tried to stuff me back into my room but I warded her off with my IV stand. “That’s my baby crying,” I vociferated. “I can hear her!”

“There’s a whole nursery full of babies,” the nurse said. “It can be any one of them.”

I was right, though. It was my Klara screaming. I found her and dragged her back to the room.

Since then, I unfortunately found out that I know how to eat better than ever.

9 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!”

  1. Ah, Carissa, you’re wasting your writing talent.

    Surely, you realize that you could sell the first eight paragraphs of your post (possibly all nine, but I’d recommend deleting the last paragraph) to a number of currently online genre magazines who push horror/fantasy “flash fiction” (tales >1,000 words) for a tidy sum.

    Three cents per word x 258 words = one dollar short of $775. Not bad for thirty seconds of inspired true writing relabeled as “fiction.”

    Of course, being an “academic,” you’d have to use a pseudonym to sell the tales. But take my word for it — your words would sell! 🙂


    1. Uh, sorry, I got the math off! I meant genre flash magazines that pay a minimum of $100 per story — nowhere near $ 700 for such short material. (The per-word price is obviously for longer flights of fantasy).

      Still, $100 for 30 seconds of typed reality isn’t bad. And you tale of “my IV, my drug bag, and my ass hanging out in the air in the mesh panties for all the world to see” would definitely find a market.


  2. Dreidel – I’m not sure where these numbers come from, but I’ve not been paid more than $10 per publication for any of my published short stories (of any length). Clarissa can vouch for me that I’m not a terrible writer. Where are these mysterious places that pay for short stories these days? (Most pro-payment magazines/journals have an acceptance rate of about 1-3% but mostly solicit stories from established writers.)

    I use Duotrope to find places for my publications.


      1. Thank you! Recently, with hubby’s job woes, I’ve been thinking I should focus my writing efforts on writing a novel. (Or revising one of the two I think would be worth revising.) I could self-publish under a pseudonym on Amazon and make it completely mainstream. Not that any novel would make the amount of money I need right away, but it’s the only second job I could justify right now. Haha


  3. @Clarissa @Fie upon this quiet life

    Over the years, I’ve found 90% of my markets from three websites that do a good job of staying up to date with current publications, and of deleting “dead” ones.

    http://Www.thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com (“The Grinder”) is a free market listing where you type in your story’s criteria (type of story, word length, acceptable pay scale, etc.), and the site generates listing based on your input.

    http://Www.ralan.com is also free, and it lists dozens of publications in five categories: PRO, SEMIPRO, PAY, TOKEN, and ANTHOLOGY. The PRO markets usually want established writers, but the other categories will buy good material readily. (I suggest looking through ALL the markets except PRO if you’ve got something to sell. Some of the past TOKEN market listings have paid $100 per story, more than some of the SEMIPRO listings.)

    http://Www.duotrope.com used to be free, but now it requires a subscription after a short trial period, so I no longer use it.

    Unfortunately, there are numerous worthless market listing websites still online that list long-dead publications, so doing a generalized search for “markets for women’s fiction,” etc. is generally a complete waste of time .

    If any readers here are aware of currently valid market websites besides the three above, we’d appreciate your posting their URLs. Thanks.

    Hope this helps!


    1. The link in my post above to “The Grinder” doesn’t work for some reason, but you can access the site by simply typing the domain name (thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com) in your browser’s address bar.


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