Left the first copy with a friend and colleague who inspired the story.
He said this:
I found your short story today. You do a great job with detail. After seeing that 60 Minutes episode, it is clear to me that you captured the essence of our fucked up government, and that you are a talented writer as well. I would like to say that the story is all sci-fi, but you are probably too close to reality.
which was nice to hear.
Then I sent it to a friend to edit, took feedback and changed some order and structural elements. Then I posted it at a writing community, took feedback and changed some more structural elements. And now I’ve gone through again for even more edits. I’m about ready to close the book on this story and move on to something else.
Last week after a discussion with a teaching colleague, the idea for the beginning of a story came clear. I’m not sure if it will ever be publishable, but the research itself has been enlightening. The basic idea is about the current state of US Minuteman missile silos, and one possibly unstable operator standing his watch there.
I’ve still got another 1500 words or so before I’ll call the first draft done, but in order to write those, I need to go back and rework some of the ones already down, just because the time sequencing is all off. That’s my plan for later today now that I’m done grading papers, hopefully for the rest of the semester.