New Flash Fiction: A FAIR FIGHT


This one is awesome in a disgusting way that involves the worst kind of rodent. If you just … can’t …, then please don’t.

Newest piece I edited for JMWW Journal

North Lake, I Remember

Michael Royce is a gifted and sensitive writer. In this day and age, it is lovely to be returned to a (seemingly) easier time. Brings to mind E.B. White’s “Once More, To The Lake.”

Leaving Seattle, visiting San Antonio. Go figure.

This weekend, I am signed up to go to San Antonio for a VBBC (very big book conference). Given that San Antonio was declared a State of Emergency for the virus, I was going to skip the conference. However, given that I live in Seattle, I decided: WTF. I could go to the co-op and get coughed all over. Anyway, I will be prowling the exhibition booths for small presses to which to submit my novel. All good wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts welcome!

Alle wins semi-finalist!


You guys! I just learned the Boulevard Magazine named my essay “Goddess of Mercy” a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category.

Boulevard [is one of the eight magazines] young writers and poets pay attention to…since that’s where they hope to publish their work.” —Charles Simic, The New York Review of Books.

kuan-yin“Goddess of Mercy” remains unpublished. Perhaps the loving kindness shown it here will change its feng shui.

An acceptance!

The excellent lit mag X-R-A-Y just took my flash fiction, “A Fair Fight.” Expected to run in 4-6 weeks.

This has been a difficult piece to place. More in my usual By The Numbers, upon publication. However, I long suspected that this weird little number would go to a small magazine with a searing quality.

Another agent asks for full manuscript.

Out of the blue, a Facebook friend offered to connect me with her agent. I sent the query yesterday evening, and this morning, received the request for the full manuscript. I am amazed at the power of community and eager but not disconnected to reality. I am growing up about this business.

A little pissy to report that my first publication of 2020 …

is only available to read if you purchase the issue for $8. Seems like a lot of money to make you read 800 words, even if the print edition is is GORGEOUS. I will probably publish the piece here on About Childhood after a month or so, once the magazine has had a chance to sell their copies. In the meanwhile ….

Hong Kong My Twenties: By the Numbers

Circa 1993, this flash non-fiction started life as two paragraphs from the first draft of my still-unpublished novel (grumble). During one of the many hundreds of revisions of the book, small sections leapt out to me as possibilities for short stories or flash pieces. This was one such piece.

Toward the end of 2018, I had a 800 words ready, fiction and a non-fiction versions. I sent them about and about, never really getting anywhere.

Toward the middle of 2019, I came across Under the Gum Tree. What a beautifully produced journal! Seeing that they had a travel section and published flash, I knew which piece I was going to send.

At the end of 2019, editor, Robin Martin, contacted me. UTGT was interested but needed a little more …. something … from the piece. Robin let me try again. I stumbled across a way to tie an afternoon spent observing Hong Kong with the feeling of always being out-of-step; ie: disassociation.

Yep, we’re back to the theme of sexual trauma.

I saw how my desire to no longer write about sexual trauma was getting in the way of a piece that was all about not understanding sexual trauma. I was just gonna have to go there.

I sent a draft to Robin. She returned it with the note, “You went there.”

I was still a number of drafts from the final version. (That’s why they pay us literary writers the big buck, folks.) Thank you to Robin and also to Clare Frank for letting me work on “Hong Kong, My Twenties” until it was fully baked.