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!

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.

My turn at The Next Big Thing: TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT

Huge thanks to my friend, Susan Tepper, for tagging me on this…is the word “meme”?…for writers. You can read her response to it on Jules Archer’s blog, Jules Just Write. Susan’s answers are fascinating and so is her book, FROM THE UMBERPLATZEN, and Jules’ blog is the coolest.

Aaaanyway, the questions for this seem better fitted for novels and I’m promoting a short story collection, but what the hell.

Here’s the cover of my book. It was designed by the amazingly talented Jana Vukovic:

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I love it.

And here is the Goodreads page for the book with some early reviews: Goodreads.

And now, to the questions:

1) What is the title of your book?

TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT (The Lit Pub)

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, it’s stories, so the ideas came from everywhere, from life and living and people and love and strife and things I’ve done and the odd contents of my brain & heart.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Literary Short Fiction

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d want all ordinary looking unknowns. Like me.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s a book of Kathy Fish stories.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither.

7) How long did it take you to write a first draft of your manuscript?

See? This is really for novels. But the stories were written over a period of ten years.
I’m slow.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t think I can compare it to other books specifically.

9) Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I’m going to say Molly Gaudry inspired me to make the collection (of already written work) because she asked me to and her faith and belief in my work was, and is, a huge inspiration.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

You really have to be a fan of short fiction to like this book. On Goodreads, all the time, I see these reviews of short fiction collections that start out with, “I don’t really like short stories” and I shake my head in despair. And you have to be open to odd, experimental forms, prose poetry type things, etc. And I’m laughing because now I sound like I’m trying to talk you out of reading this book! No, no, you should read this book. It represents the best 20% of the stories I’ve written. In my opinion. If I threw in all the stories I’ve ever written, it would be a bigger book, but there would be stories in there that are just so so. There’s no reason to make a collection of so so stories.

It’s a small, good book and I’m proud of it.

UP NEXT: Two writers I’ve known for many years and who have terrific books to promote. Tiff Holland will be talking about her chapbook from Rose Metal Press, BETTY SUPERMAN and Eric Bosse will be discussing his collection from Ravenna Press, MAGNIFICENT MISTAKES.

Books I've read, am reading…

I’m making some progress on my initial set of ten books to read. I listed ten so that I would not be so overwhelmed. I have strayed from this list since I made it, reading Sweet Talk by Stephanie Vaughn (it’s fantastic, I love her writing) and rereading Pride and Prejudice. When I finish these I’ll make a new list which will include Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby and Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife. Also, Jensen Beach’s book For Out of the Heart Proceed, which comes out in May. But I still feel overwhelmed. There are so many great books.

1. Shut Up/Look Pretty –Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michelle Reale and Amber Sparks READ, loved, want to review, but damn if Len Kuntz didn’t write an amazing, thoughtful review here on his blog

2. The Last Repatriate –Matthew Salesses JUST STARTED

3. Wild –Cheryl Strayed

4. Birds of a Lesser Paradise –Megan Mayhew Bergman READ, it’s so good

5. Treasure Island!!! — Sara Levine

6. Betty Superman –Tiff Holland READ, SO good! Tiff Holland!

7. Threats: A Novel –Amelia Gray

8. Bluets –Maggie Nelson READ, gorgeous, still thinking of this one…

9. Girlchild — Tupelo Hassman

I can't keep up….

…with all the books I want to read. I feel I’m always falling behind. But lists. Lists are good. And I know I’ll buy new books and chapbooks at AWP. So here’s my list. I’ll read all of these and then I’ll make a new list and then it will feel less daunting.

1. Shut Up/Look Pretty –Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michelle Reale and Amber Sparks

2. The Last Repatriate –Matthew Salesses

3. Wild –Cheryl Strayed

4. Birds of a Lesser Paradise –Megan Mayhew Bergman

5. Treasure Island!!! — Sara Levine

6. Betty Superman –Tiff Holland

7. Threats: A Novel –Amelia Gray

8. Bluets –Maggie Nelson

9. Girlchild — Tupelo Hassman

And all The Lit Pub titles. I mean, all of them.

Recently I read Richard Thomas’s Transubstantiate, my first ever neo-noir post-apocalyptic novel and it’s great and something I don’t have the skills for at all, so, admiration for that one. I also read Myfanwy Collins’ debut novel, Echolocation and it’s absolutely wonderful. I’ll say more about it, here, soon. I read Susan Tepper’s From the Uberplatzen: A Love Story, a tiny novel told in flashes and I’ll be interviewing her soon for Fictionaut, about one of the stories in the book.

What else? I’m currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I love it. It’s making me understand my quiet self so much more. There are apparently true benefits to the introverted style of being and this book feels important to me.

I’m also reading Snow Child, a debut novel by Eowyn Ivey and oh, I’m loving it. I seem particularly drawn to stories of people living in log cabins (i.e. Little House on the Prairie). The writing is beautiful and the story, sad and strange. Also, there’s lots of snow. (love the cover!)