Official Wastebasket

Hmm… do you always make it a habit of poking around in other people's wastepaper baskets? Just asking!

Well, go ahead, poke around all you like. More often than not, my wastebasket is filled with:

Starbucks coffee1) Crumpled up pages of stories that I've revised and then revised again
2) Empty coffee cups (I drink gallons of coffee when I work—Starbucks, mostly)

Over the years, my wastebasket has seen its fair share of rejection slips from stories that were submitted to various publications but were, alas, turned down. When I write a story that no one shows any interest in publishing, I try not to let it get me down. I try to look on the bright side:  I took a risk on an idea that I was excited about at the time but that, for whatever reason, didn't quite work out the way I had hoped.  Then I start on a new story,  more determined than ever to make this one happen.

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
—Muhammad Ali

Here's the first chapter of a story that never quite saw the light of day.

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