Friends of Your Fledglings
You write your socks off, send your piece out into the world, sigh a little over royalties, and move on. (Of course you've moved on long before there's any question of royalties, and you don't get royalties for a magazine story, but the sentence works better the way it is.) The point is, you can't hold all your stories in your head at one time. It's the ones in the nest that are right in your face - the fledged and flown ones tend to be forgotten.
Which made an email I got this week even more special:
I was hoping to learn if you are the same Joan Lennon who happened to write a story called "In Search of..." in the 2006 editions of The Cricket magazine? If it is not then please disregard this message. If it is I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this story, it was very instrument in encouraging me to write-mostly because I only have the first part of the story and I haven't been able to find any copies with the continued story. So, I had to imagine how it ended. Anyway, this is a thank you.
I remember that story! It was a 3-parter I wrote for Cricket Magazine not far off a decade ago. It was an awkward length, so I was particularly grateful to find a home for it. But, I thought, magazines have a pretty short life,* so in 2011 I had a go at ebooking 3 similarly awkwardly-sized sci-fi stories -
So I had somewhere to send my young friend, to find out at least one way the story ended. It's a good feeling, meeting friends of your fledglings after all these years - especially if they've got those friends hooked on the same thing that gets you out of bed every morning!
Thank you so much and happy writing!
(* Not so short - my correspondent added, I've carried the one copy of The Cricket through 3 different moves trying to find the rest of it. I love being part of a quest!)