Go Read Something!

If you haven’t realized yet, SmokeLong Quarterly is one of my favorite journals. They really do find and publish some of the greatest work being written today. Some of the best flash fiction I’ve read in the past couple of years has been in their journal, and this particular story is no exception.

Check out Chase Burke’s “The Baseball Bat.”

Go Read Something!

I love a unique idea.

I love a unique idea that is executed well.

In this short story, a woman gives up her family for lent. The realizations and fallout that result are surprising.

It’s a beautiful story. Check out Kelcey Parker’s “Lent,” published by Image.

Go Read Something!

I love it when a story speaks to me on a personal level. I love it when I can identify so completely and heartbreakingly with the narrator for whatever reason.

This story is amazing in so many ways. It plays with time. It plays with memory. It plays with the way we reflect on our pasts and how we wish for changes that we can’t make.  Not to mention it portrays childhood in the late ’80s with pitch-perfect accuracy.

Go. Read. Enjoy!

Egg Toss, August 1989” written by Meagan Cass and published in SmokeLong Quarterly.

Where the heck did February go?

So, I didn’t write a blog entry of substance for the entire month of February. Crap. In fact, I didn’t even realize this until I went to post some entries on here.

I missed an entire month.

I wish I could say that I missed it because I was busy writing, but that would be outright lies.

I wish I could say that I overlooked it because I was so busy working, but the fact is, my work schedule was pretty much same ol’ same ol’ in February.

I wish I could say that the month blew past because of all the chaos of life in general, but, meh, life was pretty much ho-hum for the most part.

I could blame it on the fact that February is such a short month. And, really, the fact that I’m noticing this on what would be February 31st (you know, if there were 31 days in February) shows that I didn’t miss the month entirely… but I did.

I will say, however, that I did get some writing done this month, just as I had committed to doing.

I sent some stories to a few friends for feedback and, now that I’ve heard back, I’m going to refine a few and send them out. They’re pieces I’ve been working on for a while and I basically just needed a few people to chime in and tell me they were ready (with a few minor modifications). Of course, nobody else on the planet might agree that they are “ready,” but we’re not focusing on that right now.

I also revised a couple of stories from NaNoWriMo. I’m realizing that I really need some help in determining which direction to go with them. I’m at the point where I could either push forward and turn some of these stories into lengthy, full-blown short stories (of the 5,000-10,000 word variety). Or, alternatively, I could condense them down to their barest essentials and make them flash pieces (fewer than 1,000 words).

For example, there are two stories that I’m currently working with and they’re each in the 2,000-3,000 word range. One is much closer to completion than the other is … depending on where I go with it. I’m thinking that one needs to stay on the shorter side of things, but 2,000 words is kind of “no-man’s land” for short stories. It’s not a flash fiction/short, short piece and it’s not the typical length of a publishable short story. The other, however, is already close to 3,000 words and really (really) needs some additional development… but I can’t decide if I should make the one shorter and the other longer. Or make them both shorter. Or make them both longer.

Go long? Or go short? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I’m enrolled in an online writing course that, as far as I can tell, focuses on revising and refining. It begins in a couple of weeks, and I had a credit with this institution, so it’s “technically” not costing anything. It’s a workshop format, so I’ll get feedback from other course participants and the instructor (a published author, whose work I admire). I think hearing some feedback and thoughts will really help me to begin making better determinations about which way to go with my editing and revision. I’m a little nervous about the ten weeks that I’ve committed to this workshop (ten weeks!), but I think that will be good… (I’ll read this back to myself when I’m stretched thin and sleep-deprived come mid-April).

So, all of this is to say that I might have missed writing a blog entry for the month of February (the whole. damn. month.), but I did accomplish some writing, or at least I did determine that I need to make some decisions about writing. Whatever. I’ll take it.

Go Read Something!

I mentioned in a previous post my adoration for writer Brianne Kohl, and shared one of her stories.  Well, here’s yet another I really enjoyed written by her.

I’m really hoping that she becomes a famous author some day. Not only because I enjoy her writing, but because I can then pretentiously tout that I’ve been reading her work for years

Future Bohemic Boyfriend,” by Brianne Kohl, published in The Bohemyth

Go Read Something!

The tricky thing about flash fiction is often the ability to make the scene or premise clear and obvious in a very brief space. You only have so many words to capture something profound and meaningful.

Because these works are so condensed and quick, unpacking them can mean different things for different people. A writer friend and I both read this short piece, and we both came away with very different impressions.

Yard Work,” by Anthony Varallo, published by NANO Fiction

Go Read Something!

Parental relationships are complex. The viewpoint of a parent is often difficult to portray in a believable and valuable way, at least for mothers. I can only speak for mothers because I am one, and I know how complicated it can be to express the feelings and experiences in a way that rings true for the reader. While this short story bears no similarity to situations I’ve personally faced, I think the author did an extraordinary job of capturing the mother’s truth.

The Accident,” by Shawna Mayer, published in the Journal of Microliterature