One of the things I’m known for are my knit and crochet costumes. I will wear something I’ve created when attending conventions. Sometimes I don’t want to walk the floor wearing a full costume made of twenty pounds of yarn. Sometimes it’s a fascinator or a shawl. Lately it has been a dragon perching on my shoulder.
Cymbal always get comments. Mostly people ask if I made her (yes) and if I will make them one (no). Some people tell me that I’ve got something perched on my shoulder. My response is she’s been trying to get rid of me for the last hour, but she hasn’t managed to shake me yet. On occasion, people will ask me where she’s from, and I will tell them she’s a character in my story The Twisted Princess.
While I wore Cymbal at Worldcon 73, I had my usual questions about her. One person stopped and asked me where she was from. I started my usual spiel, only to be stopped after the words “short story I’m trying to sell.” She handed me a card and asked me to send the story her way for the first issue of her new online magazine. That was how I met Alexandra Erin, and was introduced to Ligature Works.
I came home and submitted the story. Two weeks later, I got an email requesting the story for their inaugural issue. I’ll be honest. I read the email four times before it sank in that they wanted to buy the story and it wasn’t a rejection. I still had to go back a time or two that day to make sure that I hadn’t misremembered it.
While not my first sale, it was my first story published. Would I have gotten this sale without the aid of my little shoulder-Cymbal? Most likely not. Alexandra and I probably would have passed each other without saying a word. Ligature Works wasn’t on my radar at the time, so I would have missed the submission window, if I found the magazine at all. So I have my first published work thanks to a yarn dragon perched on my shoulder.