New Stories & Interview At The Short Story

TSSLovely Marie Gethins interviewed me about all things flash and my recent co-authored flash collection with Robert Vaughan, RIFT, for The Short Story. Marie asked great questions!

I have a couple of new stories published in stellar places! First, “Imagine Your Daughter Is a Cherry Red Convertible,” a micro under 100 words, at New World Writing. Many thanks to editors Kim Chinquee and Frederick Barthelme.

And “I Have Not Pushed Back My Cuticles with An Orange Stick Since the Nixon Administration,” at the wonderful, long-standing journal, Monkeybicycle. Monkeybicycle published one of my first stories, “The Next Stanley Kubrick,” back in 2007 or so. I’m honored to be back. Thanks so much to editor James Tate Hill.

dodge luhan houseAnd wow, it’s August already! Looking forward to the workshop I’m running with Robert Vaughan in Taos later this month. Some few spaces remain if you’re interested in joining us! What a magical place.

“Watermelon” reprinted at Catapult

The wonderful newish Catapult (and if you don’t know them, you should, they’re doing amazing things*) has reprinted my short short, “Watermelon” as part of a series showcasing stories and essays from the archives of great magazines, in this case the late, great Quick Fiction. Author Marie-Helene Bertino (Safe as Houses, Two A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas) had this to say of my tiny story:

Weighing 132 words, Kathy Fish’s “Watermelon” is the shortest story in our series. I’d quote Shakespeare—but though it be but little it is fierce—if I subscribed to the sentiment that smaller things are lacking. The final image is simple, enigmatic, and perfect. I’ve thought of it regularly in the years since I first read it. On why the story carries a particularly profound effect: I too have brothers.

In her introduction to the series, Bertino says:

In 2001, Quick Fiction began to publish slim volumes of short short stories—hundreds of trapdoors—each 500 words or fewer. What airy nothing could anyone locate and name in so few keystrokes? The whole world, it turns out. It’s been years since Quick Fiction stopped publishing, yet I’m still assaulted by the memory of unexpectedly lovely phrases, gut-punch juxtapositions, pivots on the line. I search my copies, fattened by dog-ears, for answers again and again. The five pieces I chose for this series are ones that “bother” me the most.

You can read “Watermelon” here.

* “Catapult is an innovative publishing venture created by the founders of Electric Literature and Black Balloon Publishing. The company includes a print and ebook publishing program of the highest literary caliber, a robust series of top-quality writing classes, a daily website of narrative nonfiction and fiction, and a community platform where emerging writers can share their work.

Catapult nurtures emerging writers by helping them better their craft, and supports more established writers by evenly sharing revenues from the classes they teach, and by paying to publish their work online. Catapult strives to be a successful business model for the future of independent publishing.”

Some new stories…

Busy week ahead as my youngest daughter graduates from high school (*sniff) and off to a wedding over the holiday weekend. I’ve got some new work recently published in two great places:

Three flashes in the Spring issue of the always beautiful FRiGG:

“The Children Called Him Yuck-Yuck”

“There’s No Time for Prairie Dog Town”

and

“Pulse”

As always, I love the artwork throughout the journal and especially the art accompanying my stories. There is fantastic work you won’t want to miss in this issue, including work by Daphne Buter, Paula Bomer, Patricia Parkinson, and Bill Yarrow. I was especially blown away by Gail Siegel’s beautiful story “Commuting”.

Also, I have two new microfictions in Gone Lawn 17. I love this zine. It is described as “a webjournal of artistic and progressive literature” and they publish the coolest stuff. My pieces are:

“Vocabulary” and “Bear”

I’m happy to have received in the mail Blake Kimsey’s winning chapbook of the Black River Chapbook Competition through Black Lawrence Press, Families Among Us and Karen Stefano’s collection from 1Glimpse Press, The Secret Games of Words. So eager to read both of these amazing writers!

Later this week I’ll post a new flash fiction exercise, so stay tuned. Enjoy your long holiday weekend, all!

Some thanks and three of my micros/prose poems up at Fictionaut

Last night’s reading at the Mercury Cafe went really well! Huge thanks to uber talented Katharyn Grant, who hosted the evening and who also very generously read a couple of my stories and did them more justice than I ever would. Thanks also to Sally Reno, who read a fantastic story of her own before giving the kindest introduction, ever. The F-Bomb series that Nancy Stohlman curates is a fun, interesting, flash fiction only event and I was glad to be a part of it. So thanks also to Nancy for the invitation! I think I read better than usual last night, so maybe with practice I’ll come to really enjoy giving readings. Anything can happen!

I want to talk a little here about the intersect between microfiction and prose poetry. How do we tell them apart? Is it even necessary to distinguish them? For myself, prose poetry is more imagistic, metaphoric, and well, poetic. It doesn’t require the arc that flash fiction does (and some would argue even flash fiction doesn’t require an arc, but I would say, it should at least give the sense of an arc, if that makes any sense). Prose poetry, to me, is pure sound and image and language and rhythm and flow. I like to write it. I like to get out of pure storytelling mode sometimes, though I don’t consider myself a poet at all.

So! I’ve started participating at Fictionaut again and I’m having a lot of fun. Just throwing up whatever strikes me to get new readers to the work and also reading all the fantastic stories and poems on there. Jane Hammons is posting her work again and do go and find her, she’s a genius.

Anyway, here is a link to three prose poems/micros that appear in my Matter Press chapbook, WILD LIFE. They are…strange, be warned:

Three Micros.

Microfiction: The Cartoonist

Child-hand-drawing

The supper: Mashed potatoes with bits of beef and gravy mixed in. Large tumblers of cold milk. Your father’s bald head bent over his food, filling his cheeks like a squirrel. Birthmark shaped like the state of Maine on his forehead. Nobody talks, except for “pass the. . .” Your mother, looking weary, bags, actual pieces of luggage, under her eyes resting on her cheekbones. Your baby brother, banging his spoon, his smile too big for his face. A crow flies down through the chimney and enters the dining room, ruffles its feathers on the buffet table. Evil, triangle shaped eyes. Your mother rises, grabs the broom, shoos it out. Furrow her brow. The bird flies back and forth, slamming against the walls, the windows. Feathers drifting down over the table like confetti. Your mother screaming, swinging the broom. Exclamation points all around her head. Your father’s words: sit down you lunatic, in a bubble above the steamed peas. Big brother in the shadows, slumped against the doorway, his baggy jeans and sleepy eyes. Smaller than everything and everyone else.

(originally published in the sadly now gone elimae and featured in my flash fiction chapbook Wild Life from Matter Press)

As Outside the Clouds Made Fists / New Review of TWCBI

clouds

Christopher Allen asked me to contribute something to Metazen, a journal I’ve long admired. I haven’t been writing much flash lately, working on a much longer story, so it was fun to write a microfiction. You can read it in 40 seconds here: As Outside the Clouds Made Fists. Thanks, Chris and thanks Metazen for having me. I feel 78% cooler as a human and a writer now.

Also, Chris posted a fantastic review of Together We Can Bury It at Fictionaut, saying, among other very kind things:

“…the profound beauty of Fish’s prose starts and ends with the lovingly observed character.”

You can read the whole review here: Books at Fictionaut: Together We Can Bury It