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The story behind “We Sharpened Our Needles on Stones.”

We Sharpened Our Needles on Stones is truly a different kind of fiction for me. I put myself firmly another’s shoes, to the point of using the first person. The basis for the piece came during my research trip to Thailand and Cambodia, last year.

The afternoon before I was to fly home from Thailand, I met with a group of three men at the Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs; aka: ANPUD– an organization I found on these inter-webs before leaving Seattle. I explained my book project, Crazy Medicine. The ANPUD staff made themselves available to me for an entire afternoon.

Entering the offices of an organization called People Who Use Drugs, I had no idea what to expect. I had explained in advance that I had no moral issues around whatever it was that they did; I just wouldn’t be doing any of it with them. The strongest thing they offered me was coffee.

The three men in the office knew as little about what to expect from me as I did about what to expect from them.  Quietly, graciously, each man opened up, sharing personal, political, and organizational stories.

The third to speak began, “I come from middle class family” – a phrase he used several times as he shared his story. He had given me a ruby.

Of course, it took the usual hundreds of revisions to churn out the piece that was finally printed in Spelk. Over the course those hundreds, certain elements of the other men’s stories filtered in, plus my own ideas. But I remain grateful to the ANPUD fellows for their honesty. openness, and willingness.

About Publishing About Writing Human Read Alle's work The Glam

New flash nonfiction: “Dispatch from a Pandemic.”

Half empty? Half full?

Accepted last Thursday, published yesterday. Dispatch from a Pandemic: Seattle. Three hundred and forty words of questionable joy running in the excellent Another Chicago Magazine.

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Acceptance #4 for 2020

From a magazine consistently on lists of Best Flash Fiction – SPELK. Editor Cal Marcius accepted one of the pieces that resulted from last year’s trip to Asia.Alle

“We Sharpened Our Needles On Stones” runs June 29th.

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Alle interviewed on by The Bookends Review.

I *star* in this month’s “Cover to Cover” interview on The Bookends Review. Listening to it, I talk too much about my just-finished WIP and not about the book I am shopping. In the nomenclature of my ’70s youth: duh.

However, it is a most fascinating conversation, branching into toxic masculinity and the potential effects of COVID19 on publishing. Thanks to Ed-in-Chief Jordan Blum for talking with me.

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“A Fair Fight” chosen by Daily Short Fiction.

Daily Short Fiction is Twitter thingamagiggy that shares “one excellent short fiction story from around the web daily.”

My ratty little piece was chosen last Tuesday. So pleased.