“surprisingly bizarre & unexpectedly touching collection of short/flash stories that deliver healthy doses of heartbreak, memories, weirdness, and violence”

RIFT FINALRIFT received three new glowing reviews this past week! Co-author Robert Vaughan and I could not be more grateful for the surge in attention the book is getting lately. Thank you to everyone who has bought the book, read it, reviewed it, mentioned it, promoted it, etc.!

Gabino Iglesias, in his review at Dead End Follies, says:

“Rift is constructed so that each writer has an equal amount of space and they trade stories so that, instead of half and half, readers get four sections in which they alternate narratives. This works really well because it allows for the stories to flow nicely and for each voice to feel fresh every time it comes around. Fish is up first, and her work throughout the book is outstanding. Her knack for surprising the reader and writing about relationship as it were a new theme is enough to make this book one that all fans of short fiction should check out. There are many standouts from Fish, including Vocabulary, which puts an entire new relationship and its possibilities inside a paragraph, Grip, which pushes the boundaries of how much sadness and reminiscing can be crammed into a very short tale, and The Blue of Milk, which is at once gritty and incredibly haunting but also poetic and beautiful in the way only unexpected encounters can be. That being said, this is a review and one piece needs to be held above all other and given the space/spotlight of a quote, and that story is There is No Albuquerque, a narrative that packs the heart-wrenching biography of a pale-eyed woman born with a hole on her neck and three horns. This one is what happens when literary fiction, bizarro, and magic realism collide:

When I was little, my mother used to stand me before the mirror every morning and make me say: I am beautiful. After she died, I keep doing it for a while until Buddy told me to stop. After he married the Tattooed Lady, they soon lost interest in me, and I was sent to a foster home. My foster parents thought I was retarded. They told everyone who would listen that they saved me from a dumpster. I ran away when I was sixteen.

You can read the entire review HERE.

Gay Degani, in her lovely review at Heavy Feather Review, says of Rift:

“Imagine a coffee shop, something independent, unique, not part of a chain, where the air is filled with a rich, dark aroma, where the tinkle of music is subtle, underlining real conversations about real things. Now imagine a solid wooden table, highly polished by hand, scarred by time, yet warm with love. Stitting across from you are two writers you admire, not just for the skilled pieces of written art they create at their computers, but also for their humanity, their generosity, their views on the human condition. Who would those two writers be? How about Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan? What if they were taking turns, telling you stories? What would that be like?”

You can read the rest of her review HERE.

At The Tavern Lantern, the blog for the lit journal Literary Orphans, Ray Nessly wrote another wonderful review. In it, he says:

“Simply put, Rift is a collection of stellar examples of an infinitely variable art form, by two writers at the top of their game.”

You may read the entire review HERE.

Many thanks to Gabino Iglesias, Gay Degani, and Ray Nessly!

*cover photography courtesy of Casey McSpadden

New stories, nominations, a podcast, and more…

I have so much to be thankful for as 2015 draws to a close. The short short collection, RIFT, co-authored with the great Robert Vaughan, is set to officially launch from Unknown Press on December 1st. Huge thanks to Bud Smith and Unknown Press! When Robert was in Denver for the F-Bomb reading, the talented and energetic Levi Andrew Noe interviewed us both for “Rocky Mountain Revival: Audio Art Journal” and you can listen to the interview and Robert and me reading some of our stories. It was great fun to do and thanks so much to Levi for being such a generous host!

My story, “Grip,” was nominated for Pushcart by R.K.V.R.Y. and you can read it here. Many thanks to everyone at R.K.V.R.Y., particularly editor Mary Akers. “Grip” is included in RIFT.

On the heels of that news, Scott Garson, editor of Wigleaf wrote to tell me he’d nominated my Wigleaf Postcard for inclusion in Best Small Fictions, 2016. And you may find that by going to Wigleaf and scrolling down a ways. It was published in April.

Both “Grip” and my Wigleaf postcard are works that mean a great deal to me personally, so I’m especially grateful for this recognition.

My story, “Giant” is up now in the Fall 2015 Issue of New World Writing, edited by Kim Chinquee, who is now also the Senior Editor there. Much gratitude, always, to Kim. The issue includes work from Bobbie Ann Mason, Claudia Smith, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Robert Lopez, T.L. Sherwood, Tiff Holland, Pamela Painter, and more!

Also! I’m pleased to have two new stories forthcoming soon in New South and Alice Blue. (This week I believe.) This will actually be the final issue of Alice Blue, a great lit journal that’s been publishing for ten years. Sad to see them go. Edit: My story, “Sea Creatures of Indiana,” is up now and the issue is jam-packed with goodness. Go read the whole issue, because it’s stellar.

We have a page for RIFT now up at Goodreads and already have a review posted by David Atkinson, who read with Robert and me at F-Bomb. Many thanks to David!

Finally, the F-Bomb reading, hosted by the amazing Meg Tuite, was a huge success and great fun. Nancy Stohlman has created this great series of readings aimed entirely at furthering flash fiction, with monthly guest hosts and guests. November’s reading included Robert Vaughan, Len Kuntz, Kona Morris, Leah Rogin-Roper, Katharyn Grant, David Atkinson, Levi Andrew Noe, and more!

I will be hosting the next event on January 19th, featuring terrific writers and friends Sally Reno and Gay Degani. More details here!

RIFT – Coming December 1st!

RIFT COVER

Thrilled by our beautiful cover! Many thanks to Bud Smith at Unknown Press, and to cover photographer, Casey McSpadden at Cross River Photography

For more information about RIFT, co-authored with the great Robert Vaughan, see our page at Unknown Press

My upcoming collection, “Rift,” with Robert Vaughan!

Things are moving quickly with the upcoming co-authored short fiction collection with Bud Smith’s Unknown Press. Robert Vaughan and I are busy exchanging edits and deciding the layout and order of our stories. We have found an amazing photographer for the cover art (which I’ll reveal soon!), and we are actively seeking blurbs. And once again, I’m knocked out by the generosity of my fellow writers and literary heroes who are providing blurbs for us on very short notice! These are exciting times and I’m both thrilled and grateful. Look here for updates on the book’s progress, but we are hoping for a December launch!

fish tankJust last weekend I finished up with another two-week Fast Flash© Workshop AND a weekend flash fiction workshop with Word Tango. Both, I believe, were a success! The two-week group were extremely talented and hard-working and just all-around great. I’m happy to hear they have formed their own workshop now and they’re calling it:  “The Fish Tank!”

Word Tango , the brainchild of Jennifer Kircher Carr & Elizabeth Pettie, is a fabulous new resource for writers. They  will be offering critiques, networking opportunities, and weekend workshops, so check out their services. I’m very honored that they entrusted their first workshop to me! And what a wonderful group that was too!

And this made me very happy:

Twenty Female Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW in Entropy Magazine. The list includes: xtx, Amber Sparks, Roxane Gay, Paula Bomer, Alissa Nutting, Jen Conley, Heather Foster, H.L. Nelson, Steph Post, Amanda Gowin, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Christy Crutchfield, Berit Ellingsen, Letitia Trent, Mary Miller, Jac Jemc, Audrey Hirsch, Leesa Cross-Smith, Andrea Kneeland, and, incredibly, me. Many thanks to Entropy Magazine and Kevin Catalano!

That’s it. I have another Fast Flash© Workshop starting later this month. I am enjoying these so much! October is going to be VERY BUSY!