Several recent acceptances aren’t available to read in full yet, but two are: Have a look at “The Watchmaker,” inspired by the man who kept our Seth Thomas clock chiming, now posted by 99 Pine Street; and “The Terrorist,” published by Meat for Tea: The Valley Review.
The owner of an old-fashioned hardware store has a last look around before anything unsold in his going-out-of-business sale will go to the highest bidder at auction. Published now at the online Canadian literary magazine (click here==>), Literary Heist.
Yellow Chair Review liked my “Customer Service” so well they accepted it before their deadline for submissions — another thank-you to Bartleby Snopes.
BTW: brings my count of accepted short stories up to sixteen. Now if I could find a publisher who liked one of the novellas or the novel . . . .
Get a taste of “Customer Service” here — and pay attention to the agent’s name.
The rules were absolute: every word within quotes, not even a he-said/she-said.
That was the challenge offered in October by Bartleby Snopes, an online-and-print literary magazine founded in Minneapolis eight years ago. Not an entirely unique idea: Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants is almost entirely dialogue. Nonetheless, a challenge that might be fun.
And Snopes did what I wish every litmag editor would do: Kept what it thought were its best five submissions at any point, promising to report within a few days whether my submission had or had not made it into that probably-publish pile. And if the answer was no, authors were invited to try again, for no additional submission fee.
My first effort, Tattoos, didn’t make the cut — but I kinda liked it, and promptly sent it out to a few others. It was almost as promptly accepted and is now published online by Dime Show Review.
Meantime, I was having fun with the Snopes challenge, so whipped up another, Customer Service. Rejected. Tried again with The Whole Truth. Also rejected. Both have likewise been sent out to others. I especially like the last of the three, and am confident it, too, will find a home. You can get a taste of them (and give me reaction) from Works in Progress on the grey menu bar.
You can read the five Barnaby Snopes winners in January, in its Issue 15. Sad to say, that will apparently be the last issue; editor/founder Nathaniel Tower announced on his blog that he want to put more time and effort into his own writing. A pity.
Meanwhile, you can read my Tattoos online at Dime Show Review — and I’ll keep you posted on the fate of the other two that I wrote to meet Tower’s challenge.
A friend who browsed the published and about-to-be-published short stories posted here told me he admired the variety of topics and situations that populate my ouevre, and asked where the different ideas come from.
The honest answer is: beats me. Some draw, usually obliquely, on my own experience. Others — I think I like these best — begin by visualizing and describing a (protagonist) character, and letting my imagination put him or her in a situation that embellishes itself until a story, an insight, presents itself. It’s an approach I came to admire in the collected short stories of the contemporary Irish writer William Trevor, whom some professor in my Fairfield University MFA course suggested I read. Hardly unique to Trevor, but he does it very well.
My most recent accepted story, Parting Company (which will appear in early December in Literary Heist, a fledgling online literary magazine) is an example. One of my new neighbors has the kind of lanky frame and stride one can recognize a football field away. I played with describing him one day, a kind of idle, musing exercise. Then into my mind popped a hardware store that thrived in downtown Hartford a half-century ago, but succumbed when a dwindling number of people came into the city to shop. My neighbor — at least as I constructed and elaborated him — would have been at home there. And my maternal grandfather, Charles Lotz, was “a hardware man” who taught me the meaning and overtones of that phrase.
And there I was, writing Parting Company. Sorry to say that I can’t let you read it all until December, when I can post here a link to the magazine. But the copyright rules say I can let you read a lengthy tease. Read more
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.)