Q: What five words describe you?
A: I can’t distill the essence of my being into five words! I’d need six, maybe even seven.
That aside, one of the interesting things I’ve noticed is how much more joy I get from making a little bit of money from selling one of my stories compared with making much more money doing anything else. I sold my first story in 1997 for $15, and I carried the check (yes, paper check in those days) and danced around the house.
I’m less demonstrative these days, but the joy at selling something I’ve written remains in many ways undiminished. Why, when the reward is so minuscule, especially compared to the effort involved? I think it’s the idea that you’re being recognized—materially, tangibly—for something you love doing, and that you’d carry on doing even if no one paid any attention. But it is nice when someone pays attention, when an editor looks at something you’ve written and says, “That’s pretty good. I’ll pay to publish that.”
So the five words I’m choosing to describe myself: “Writes; writes for money, happily.”
Karl El-Koura’s story “The Azurian Shield”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 29 October 2021.
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