I’ve been working my way through that how-to-flash-fiction book, with some luck. One prompt was to think about an article of clothing found. I can’t let you read the whole thing until Ocotillo Review prints it in January, but you can have a taste. Click ==> HERE.
The other one just accepted, to be published in December, was prompted by a neighbor whose foot slipped from the brake to the accelerator as he was parking. Frankly, I hope he doesn’t find and read this one, because I’ve taken a wholly innocent slip and turned it into real damage and a family argument. Again just a taste ==> HERE.
As the New York Times reported today: A United States District Court judge . . . blocked a White House policy barring military service by transgender troops, noting that the policy did not appear to be based on facts, but instead on ‘a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally.’
I wrote a flash-fiction story when the President tweeted that policy in July — expecting it would be snapped up. No such luck: It was three months before a literary magazine called Ponder Review, from Mississippi University, accepted it, and it won’t be in print until December.
Until then, I can only offer a taste. But I’ll tell you it was inspired by that book I’ve been reading on flash fiction — a chapter that urged looking for a classical mythical character or story to put into a modern setting. The title alone will tell you where I’m heading. Read the opening here=> Tiresias
An anthology called We’ve Been Trumped accepted my short story “Buying Votes” last September, promising to share royalties with the authors whose works were included. (Mine mentioned Trump only in passing; it’s a commentary on the cost of elections.)
The paperback book was expected to have a rather short half-life, and be of no interest after the election. We all know how that turned out — and it seems the anthology is still bought now and then ($11.99 at Amazon, $2.99 as a Kindle book). Very now and then. I know that because I’ve just been told that my quarterly royalty payment is in the mail: $0.25.
I’ll try not to spend my new authorial wealth in one place. Meantime, if you missed it earlier, you don’t need to buy the book to read my story. Click here.
All fiction, I suppose, draws in some way from the author’s own experience. My Birding, published earlier this year by Oracle Fine Arts Review, was inspired by the experience of being recognized as a once-TV-personality on arriving at my new retirement home. The rest, I assure readers, is pure fiction. Absolutely. There isn’t even a swamp here.
Today I presented a lecture as part of the ALP (Adult Learning Program) class series in the Hartford area, sponsored by the University of Connecticut. Several people asked if I they could read my script. Yes, indeed; click here.
I’m not enamored of this increasingly popular form, but it’s fun to try it out. An online literary magazine called 50-Word Stories asks for submissions that are (as you might expect) exactly fifty words. I had a try, and a bit more than a week later, it’s online: Click to read Earthworm Ruminations
I’m not sure how long it stays up there. They publish one story every weekday, so mine will keep being pushed down. As always, read it here in the pull-down menu titled Short Stories — or click here
I’ve been reading a book on short-shorts, or flash fiction, that includes prompts to try one’s hand at approaches others have taken. One product of that experimentation is a piece I called Dawn Babel. It seemed unlikely to find a home, until I read about an unusual litmag:
“Ordinary Madness is an online literary journal that seeks experimental authors and artists. The idea is that we want short bursts of consciousness, rather than a long stream of epic story telling. We want the moments, the scenes, the fingerprints and seconds of time that we all experience.”
Lo and behold, Dawn Babel is on page 10 of the just-out magazine. Read it here: Ordinary Madness:
Or of course read it here, at the top of the list of published short stories.
I’m trying to stifle my excitement. I spent time in late spring going through my novella based on my mother’s life, and sent it off to a few small publishers — suggesting that although I didn’t write it as young adult, perhaps it is.
Today Ink Smith Publishing wrote: “We have reviewed your work [the first 50 pages I’d sent] and we are excited to read the manuscript. We want to read your story in its entirety to see the polished work. . . . Please send. . . ”
Needless to say, it’s on its way. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Halfway Down the Stairs, a respected online literary magazine whose editors are spread across the globe, set “Gravity” as the theme for its June 2017 issue. Such themes are common, and the editors seldom spell out exactly what they’re looking for; one suspects they’re hoping writers will show them work they hadn’t anticipated but will like.
I’d recently finished a story about an adolescent boy, bullied at school, who comes home in a 13-year-old snit and is sent for a walk to cool down. In the nearby forest he discovers a tree-hut high in a sturdy oak — high enough that gravity, if he fell, would do him real damage. He summons up his courage and climbs.
That was apparently an interpretation of the theme close enough to satisfy the editors. You can read it by clicking here.
There’s been a bit of a drouth, but my short story The Trombone is now published. It’s in Volume 24 of the Raven Chronicles Journal. The editor were looking for stories that celebrate America’s immigrant history, and my protagonist clearly fits. Now available at most booksellers including Amazon. It’s a thick book — 300 pages — and my story is in very good company, so it’s well worth the $11.99. Or read it my contribution by clicking here.