Lawrence Schimel

Best Date Ever…

One of my favorite books, and one I’ve had the privilege to be part of, is titled, BEST DATE EVER. It’s an anthology of short stories that celebrates chance meetings, romance and falling in love. It’s not highly erotic; just the opposite. But each short story is about a memorable, heartfelt date that ended as either a wonderful memory or as the beginning of a new relationship. And, they are all true stories based on real life experience. I know this for a fact, too.

I decided to blog about this book today, because besides being one of the books I love, it was also one of the most difficult books I ever tried to get into. I can clearly recall the day I submitted my story, titled, “The Blogger Boi,” to the editor, Lawrence Schimel. He’s a career anthologist; his work is noted for its literary quality. And I wanted to be a part of that because these opportunities don’t come around often.

I figured I wouldn’t hear anything back for a few weeks at least. But an hour later he e-mailed me about the submission with a few questions. He wanted to know, for sure, if the story was based on a real life experience. He must have checked that I write fiction, and wanted to be certain this story wasn’t fiction.

I assured him it was real, based on my own personal experience. And writing about anything in my life is something I rarely do. I typically write fiction only, with a few exceptions. Partly because I never thought my own life was interesting enough to write about, and partly because I prefer writing things that take me to different places. So I tried to convince him, through e-mails, that the story was based on a real life experience and we left it at that.

A couple of months later, he told me the story had been accepted but he was still curious about the real life aspect. And I was only too pleased to discuss it with him. I admired his tenacity and I liked the fact that I’d be part of an authentic book based on true stories.

I still like everything about this book, from the cover to the last short story. And I’m glad he took the time to question my motives. He could have just disregarded my submission and moved on to another story.