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.
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.
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.
Not hard to figure out that my Open Carry was written not long after the November election. I’d begun to fear it wouldn’t find a home, but then a Canadian humor magazine accepted it. Read it now in The Dirty Pool.
I seem to be on a roll getting short stories published in anthologies. Simone Press, a U.K. publisher, will include my “Beyond the Reef” in an anthology next April. In inviting submissions, the publisher outlined the theme:“The characters, plot and atmosphere of your short story should be highly influenced by its setting which can be in the past, present or future. . . . Whatever the situation, the environment that your story is set in should strongly affect the action, plot and direction of your story.”
The copyright terms bar my posting the whole story on my website until the book is out, but you can get a taste here:
This one in a paperback (or Kindle) collection of satirical or comic short stories based on the assumption that Donald Trump won the presidency. Click on the “We’ve Been Trumped” icon to the right to read as much as I can show here. (Darkhouse Books, the publisher, holds an exclusive copyright until September 2017.)
I won’t get rich this way! $35 is my runner-up prize in Defenestrationism.net‘s 2016 contest, for my short story Surveillance — thanks to dozens of friends who voted early and often. If you missed it, read it here.