Darn but I hate it when someone calls my cell phone and doesn't leave a message. Mostly because when I see a missed call from a number I don't recognize, I get immediately excited. As if I've just missed the call of calls. The New Yorker, for example. Deborah Treisman, Fiction Editor, phoning to say she's decided to bump Alice Munro to make room for my story in the next issue. And to insist I hop the first plane to Manhattan so she can buy me a beer and I can explain exactly how it is that I do what I do.
Or maybe another editor - a judge from one of the 25 or so book contests to which I've submitted this year. "Is this Bridgette Shade?" yes..."Congratulations! You've won...you've won!" Or even an old friend who wants to say something nice. "Hello." or "What a thought-provoking, yet entertaining blog!" or "Thinking of you."
But there was no message. Two calls from the same wrong number. Someone trying to dial someone else on his lunch break - peanut butter fingers confusing the 8 for a 6. Someone who dialed me twice - maybe just to hear my lovely outgoing message - or to laugh listening to it once again, this time in the company of coworkers.
The truth is, no one calls anyone anymore. It's all texting and emailing and maybe, if anyone ever figures out how to crack the code, commenting. And I guess that's okay - but these things can't compare to hearing your name as it's spoken by someone with good news to give. With kind words to share. With years of stories stored up to tell.
As a Fiction Editor myself, I often write a personal note to writers who submit to WEAVE. Even if I don't think their work fits our needs, I want them to know I appreciate the effort. And I love nothing more than being able to send the email that says "CONGRATULATIONS! We love your story!" It's like Christmas and Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July to me. And it would be wonderful to phone them, but no one does that anymore.
Which brings me to my next point: Issue 6 of WEAVE is now available for purchase. This issue is truly a work of art. Not only is it loaded with outstanding new fiction by the likes of Jane McCafferty and Mary O'Donnell, but it is aesthetically unlike anything you'll find on the shelves - or Gasp - within the electronic files of your EReader. Please consider visiting the WEAVE website...a link to which appears along the right margin of this blog... and order a copy or two.
While you're at it, pick up the phone and call someone. And for pity's sake, don't hang up without leaving a message.