I write anyway, but there is nothing quite so satisfying as having a story published. 

It means that someone, a professional not related to me, actually thought my work was good enough to choose and put out there for the world to read. 

The day
my first story came out in the San Francisco Chronicle, I had an army of agents across the US, poised to purchase copies and to send at least one to me in Italy.  The sales for that day must have spiked abnormally and I got several copies of Mink Lust, one of which hangs framed above my desk. 

I am now working on a book and when another similarly intelligent publisher choose one of my stories, I will be sure to pass it along here.
Meanwhile, I write anyway.