The Good Seed

I had to stretch my short story “The Good Seed”: Zimbell House wanted four stories, each at least 3,000 words, for its forthcoming anthology The Professor, “a collection of erotic tales.”  I had the professor in the story already, and was more erotic than I usually try. I added a few words, and it was a perfect fit. It’s now available from Amazon and other booksellers, but you can read it ==>here.

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A dark story: “Trails”

Rosette Maleficarum calls itself a new literary journal that “shows the beautiful, yet depraved nature that lies within reality, both in humanity and the environment surrounding us. From dark, Gothic fairy tales, to dream-laced poems, the Maleficarum dances between the boundaries of life and death itself.”  Maleficarum is perhaps best translated as “witchcraft”.

I hadn’t written “Trails” with witchcraft or depravity in mind, although it has its dark side. A bit embarrassing: As often happens, I’ve taken a tiny fraction of a new friend and developed a tale entirely unlike her.  Anyway, the magazine’s editor (would you believe? Robin Goodfellow, editor of a journal inviting witchcraft!) thought my story fit her criteria. Read it here:

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Finding the right editor

Vignette Review has just accepted my short-short “At the Swing Tree”  — which tells a story I’ve thought about occasionally: Getting a story published is often a matter of hitting an editor with something just up his or her alley at the moment.

“At the Swing Tree” is an unusual story, and has been out and about the circuit of literary magazines for a year, bringing a dozen polite no-thank you notes. Vignette took just under two weeks to say yes, we’d like the publish it in January.  Found the right editor.

As usual, I can’t show you the whole story until it’s published, but if you’re of a mind to whet your appetite, go here

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“Connubial Counsel” published

This is one I set out hoping to make all-dialogue, as I did with “Tattoos,” “Customer Service” and “The Whole Truth”. Didn’t quite make it — had to add a few lines of exposition — but close. It’s now published in Moria. Read it in the online magazine here

— or on this website here

PS — I also this week placed another short story, “The Good Seed,” which will be part of an anthology, titled “The Professor”, to published in mid-January by (!!)Temptation Press. You can get a taste of it here

 

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Two more flash fiction pieces taken

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.

 

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Transgender

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

 

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More flash fiction

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

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Gravity: A Force of Nature

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.

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Blowing my horn again

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.

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