Hey, friends and other nice people, the first installment in my “Habitually Distracted” column is up at US Represented. The piece is called “Stuck in the Middle of Life: On the Value of Reading Books, Avoiding Nasty Weather, and Playing Guitar Indoors,” and you can find it here. Enjoy!
Archive for Announcements
Hey, look. Flapperhouse is featuring “5/15/1984,” one of my two poems from their Summer 2015 issue.
I’m an over-writer, and I know it. No matter what I’m working on, I know I’m going to have to dial myself back, get rid of all the extraneous material. Even then, I know it’s going to be too long. It’s something I’ve learned to live with.
Enough about me.
Here’s the thing: I am in constant awe of writers who can pull off short-short fiction. Serious awe, in the truest definition of the word. No hyperbole here.
Once, when I lived and played music in San Diego, a guitarist walked up to the stage during one of our breaks and asked if he could check out my guitar. Reluctantly, I said yes, and he promptly flipped it over and played it left-handed. A guitar strung for me, a right-hander. He was brilliant, too.
I’m talking about myself again.
My point is this is the same way I feel when someone like Foust, the author of the new collection Sins of Omission, does what she does. I’m amazed, confused, and yes, damn it, I’m all kinds of envious.
I’ve heard people say that flash fiction is a gimmick, that those kinds of stories don’t have an arc, a beginning, middle and end. Short short stories leave you hanging, in other words. To those people, I say, yes, anything can be a gimmick. Oh, and I also say they haven’t been reading good flash fiction.
Good flash fiction does what all good stories do. It changes you in some way, leaving you in a different place than where you were when you started. It gives you a new view into the world, into an a-ha moment you never knew you couldn’t live without. You can occasionally go through an entire long story or novel and never experience that moment, by the way. The good news is every story in this collection has at least one of those moments.
The forty-two short-short stories in Sins of Omission are small only in the actual amount of paper they cover. Every other thing about them is huge. Plus, you’re always going to want to go back and read them again, so there’s that.
So trust me. You should buy this book.
“Galápagos” was partly inspired by an article I read last year about Harriet, Charles Darwin’s Galápagos tortoise, who died in Australia in 2006. Yes, 2006.
The magazine will be available in print soon, but you can find the online issue here. (I’m on page 24.)
Check it out, lit-mongers. My poems “5/15/1984” and “Red Planet” are in the Summer 2015 issue of Flapperhouse.
I’m smack in the middle of reading my copy now, and as is always the case, there’s some excellent work in this issue. And I haven’t even gotten to my pieces.
(I’m on pages 39 and 40, by the by.)
Here’s a link to a review I wrote of Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest, an excellent and funny modern fantasy novel by A. Lee Martinez.
In case you’ve missed them, here are a few recent bits of writing I’ve done lately for the Court Street Literary Collective:
Here’s an update on the “Publications” section of the website:
I now have scans of all the out-of-print stories posted, including “Holy Roller High,” “The Big Send-Off,” and “Sins of the Father.”
To view the stories, go to the “Publications” page of the site and click on the links under the publication cover images. Or you can click the links below.
“Holy Roller High”: A group of students faces off against a zealous itinerant preacher when rock music and just a pinch of teen rebellion intersect with fire-and-brimstone religion. “Holy Roller High” was published in Lullwater Review.
“Sins of the Father”: A young man’s troubled encounter with his grandfather causes him to contemplate a future without a family. “Sins of the Father,” a short story, was published in Oracle Fine Arts Review and placed in the Top 100 in the 74th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
“The Big Send-Off”: When he receives a discharge from the military, a young man realizes the day he’s been anticipating for four years may not be all he hoped it would be. “The Big Send-Off” was published in Oracle Fine Arts Review.
“The Last Resort”: An overweight man, willing to do anything to shed pounds, goes to a weight-loss clinic where he begins to realize the doctor in charge may be much more than he appears. “The Last Resort” was published in Aoife’s Kiss.
“The Screamin’ Bean”: After a long time apart, two friends meet at a hip and strange coffeehouse to catch up on old times. “The Screamin’ Bean” was published in Oracle Fine Arts Review.
I wanted to let everyone know that I’m in the process of putting up scanned copies of some of my stories. So far, I’ve uploaded “Holy Roller High,” “The Big Send-Off,” and “Sins of the Father.”
“Sins of the Father,” in addition to being published in the Oracle Fine Arts Review, placed in the Top 100 (out of 18,000 entries) in the 2005 74th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. No one was more surprised than me. That’s not false modesty–I’d actually forgotten I submitted it to the contest.
To view the stories, go to the “Publications” page of the site and click on the links under the publication cover images.