Valpot asked me to describe what it feels like to see my story published in Apollo's Lyre, so I thought I would tell you. It feels fantastic. There is a great thrill in seeing my name under a title on a website that has got nothing to do with me, my family or friends. There is also a certain sense of vulnerability in seeing my work in print. I don't know who is reading my work or what secrets they can fathom from my soul laid bare for all to see. Ok, that is going a bit far, but I do feel a chill of awkwardness looking at my story. I also feel mildly dissatisfied. I like the story, but could I have written it better? Are there words I should have changed, maybe if I had altered this sentence or tweaked that one it would be better? Oh well, too late for that now. The last four weeks or so I've had an almost daily habit of checking on Apollo's Lyre to see if they had published the May edition and I felt a great feeling of relief when they did update the site and my story really was on it. I knew it would be, but until it was there in black and white for all to see, the good people at the magazine could always decide to pull it. Seeing it finally in print (so to speak) assured me that I hadn't been dreaming or the victim of a cruel hoax when I got my acceptance letter through the email. That leads me onto my next feeling. There is nothing like being accepted. You write a story, you work hard on it, lovingly slave over it and then send it out to find friends of its own. You weep with them when they come back rejected. You rejoice when they are accepted. I remember seeing a play a few years ago about The Shaughraun author, Dion Boucicault. In the production they depicted Boucicault's first acceptance of one of his plays to the Abbey Theatre. After he had heard the good news, a spot light shone down on him while the Hallelujah Chorus played in the background. That is what acceptance feels like. A total rush of exhilaration, a feeling of happiness and well being, of connection with the whole of creation, an affirmation of your existence, a validation of your hard work. Someone else, for no personal reason or influence on your part has decided to take your work. After that, the actual act of publication is merely the cherry on the cake. It is lovely to have your story out there for all to see, to find its readers and hopefully make friends, but it is not as exciting and exhilarating as being accepted in the first place. Maybe it is because I expect the publication after the acceptance. Maybe it is the fickle nature of human beings that transforms the extraordinary into ordinary. I don't know. I do know, however, that being accepted and published is a high I am craving for repetition.