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.

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!

Flash Fiction: Strings

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Strings

The aunt and uncle’s farm, early spring, the earth smell of unsown fields, and Sunday lunch. My uncle sprawled in the recliner, his work boots raised like an affront. Burning Camel stuck to his lower lip. Snoring. The aunts and my mother drinking coffee, my aunt whispers about strange things coming out of her when she goes to the bathroom. My mother spies us on the floor pretending to play crazy eights. She indicates with her cigarette the back door. All our lives we’ve been following that little point of fire. We are given kites to assemble. Rickety-ass kites. Balsa wood and paper. Balls and balls of string. We tromp down the path between the trees. The field opens up to us like something born. My older brother Bill and his girlfriend shy in the face of their molten horniness. They drop their kites and head for the barn. Bits of colored paper we tear halfway, straddle them on the strings, watch them race like children. My younger brother innovates with headlines he tears from the Press-Citizen: Local Boy Bowls 7-10 Split! Up, up it goes. The rogue German Shepherd is trying to bite everyone. Bit cousin Nancy in the face last month. Couple Wed 75 Years Die Fifteen Minutes Apart. Heavenward. O glorious day! The kites bob and weave, boxed by the wind. The German Shepherd running in circles. Planets Collide! Bill comes hopping out of the barn screaming. His knee wide open, dangling, meat falling off the bone (the way my aunt describes slow cooked pork ribs). The German Shepherd, insane over the blood. They’d been jumping from the hayloft, Bill and the girlfriend, his knee sliced by something under the straw. Some farm implement lying in wait, some menacing blade. Space Aliens Take Over House of Representatives! To the clouds! Bill, howling. Blood just everywhere. His knee inside the German Shepherd’s jaws. Nobody sees Uncle John until he’s there, taking aim. A blast. Bill on the ground alive and bleeding. The German Shepherd, dead. Little brother still tearing up the newspaper. Rickety Kites Survive Nuclear Blast! The kites, untethered, rise further, disappear. Our faces upturned like the best kind of prayer.

*Originally published in New World Writing.

Beautiful sentences: Flash Fiction in New World Writing

I’ve been reading the Spring, 2014 Flash Fiction issue of New World Writing and swooning over some of the lines. It is said that in flash, you have to make every word count, every sentence, and it’s true. There’s no room for the ordinary.

Here are some of my favorites:

How many Monarchs are there? Enough to make the boughs of giant trees bend beneath their weight, even while each one weighs less than a paper clip. ~from “Dave at the Sink” by Gail Louise Siegel

Monarch-butterflies-pacific-grove

and

Even though my mind is quite awake, my body is befud­dled, and parched from the ruckus from my head. ~from “License” by Girija Tropp

and

Downstairs, fail­ure waits at the kitchen table where my husband’s black work gloves rest palm to palm like the sin­gu­lar clap of a large man—a lum­ber­jack shak­ing the podium at which he speaks. ~from “Thaw” by Lydia Copeland Gwyn

and

canoe

“Wouldn’t it be great,” he said, “to row and row until we aren’t here anymore?” ~from “Oar” by Sherrie Flick

and

She fresh­ened her lip­stick com­pul­sively when she talked about him: his sil­ver beard, his open shirt, the gold chain across the hair on his chest, Just like a BeeGee, she said, smack, press­ing her lips to a square snatched from the bath­room roll. ~from “Kenny” by Tiff Holland

I’m honored to have a story in the issue called “Strings” and I hope you read that one, too. There are also flashes from such amazing writers as Andrew Nicholls, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed Taylor, Eric Bosse, Nelly Zann, Pamela Painter, Terese Svoboda, and Tom Hazuka. And the issue is still taking shape, so stay tuned!

Many thanks to the fabulous Kim Chinquee.