I am old enough to remember when seeing your name in the newspaper was kind of a big deal. I think it has something to do with the idea that lots of people are seeing your name, even if it is alongside a bunch of other kids’ names on the honor roll or the perfect attendance list of your small-town newspaper. Or it could just be a small-town thing, who knows?
I still get a kick out of seeing my name in the newspaper and it has happened a few times since then. I submitted an idea to the “Pluggers” newspaper comic that was used (at right), and made a ‘guest appearance’ in the “My Cage” newspaper comic strip after winning a writing contest on MySpace (remember them?) and was mentioned in an article about First Storm Manga that appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.
Every time it happened, I would buy a copy of the newspaper and cut out the article or comic in which my name appeared. I even have the My Cage strip hanging in my living room. I admit that it is a bit odd and probably the kind of thing that future generations won’t care much about as newspapers become less relevant in our increasingly connected world, but doggone it, its special to me.
I wrote a story named “San Japanic!” that became First Storm Manga’s first self-printed comic book. I remember smiling when I opened up a copy for the first time and saw “Lead Writer/Editor: Eduardo Soliz” at the bottom of the inside cover. While they weren’t my pictures, and not even many of my words, it was my story.
These days, as I try to get exposure as a writer, I have decided to send stories out to furry conventions in order to get my name out there. I think its a good deal: they want the content for their conbooks, I like writing short stories, and unlike my usual lackadaisical writing schedule of finishing stuff whenever I feel like it, I have a set topic or theme and a deadline to work around.
The first one I wrote was “Bedtime” for SonicCon 2010, but I never heard back from them, so to this day I have no idea if it ever made it into the book…or if there even was a book for that matter. The first one that I know was published was “All’s Well That Ends Well,” a short I wrote for Furry Fiesta that featured their mascot jackalopes.
I remember being at Furry Fiesta and eagerly opening my copy of the conbook after receiving it. I got that warm fuzzy feeling again as I saw my name near the top of page 28 in glorious black and white ink. More recently, “The Hunter” made its way into the AnthroCon conbook, and I once again smiled as I saw my story in print.
It is impossible for me to know exactly how many of the folks that received those books actually opened them up and read my story, but knowing that thousands of folks have it in their possession feels much more real to me than anything I’ve ever put on a computer screen.
There’s just something about seeing your name on paper.