New Flash Fiction Publication: “A Distressing State of Purity.”

A day’s break from the Favorite Ten Books in Ten Days Post-a-Thon to point you toward

Kibbutz

my latest flash fiction publication, in the outstanding journal, Literary Orphans:

A Distressing State of Purity.

PS: Literary Orphans’ presentation could not be more different from the cheery photo I employ, here. Let me know whose you think is more accurate!

 

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New Position: First Reader at Vestal Review

VR Cover53I could not be more thrilled to announce that I am now a first reader for Vestal Review, the longest-running magazine dedicated solely to flash fiction.

Some dear friends call the first reader position “The Gatekeeper.” One could also think of it as the receptionist: I am one of a crew of folks who each read 20-30 submissions a week, straight from the submissions in-box. If I believe piece is excellent and suits the magazine, I send it on.

If I don’t, it goes down the shoot.

One of the great things about this position is that it will allow me to keep up with my work at jmww. So I get to be a small fish in a big pond and a big fish in a smaller pond.

Yay, balance.

“The Best of Crack the Spine” includes me.

Crack Spine

At long last! The Best of  Crack the Spine is now available!

The anthology includes my sassy flash fiction, “Dressed Left.”

It is my first inclusion in a Best Of, and it is a printed thing; an honest-to-goodness book. Goodness gracious.

 

 

 

 

By the Numbers: “The Summers of Carefully”

 

Writing flash as I do, it strikes me that the number of words in a piece only slightly exceeds the number of times I have to submit before the piece is accepted.

Alle’s famed comic hyperbole strikes again; The word count for The Summers of Carefully is 286. Right Hand Pointing was its 40th submission.

puppy swimmingCarefully was inspired by a facebook question from a fellow writer: “You guys, how do lifeguards smell?” Without hesitation, I posted that which I made up: “Lifeguards smell like the wind and dead fish.” Then I edited to add, “But not enough to matter.”

Like I said, 40th submission. There were a number of re-writes in there. One–when Cousin Traci arrived–bumped the piece from under 50 words to its current length. That revision did not *pop* the way many ideas do for me. I remember staring at the first paragraph for a long time. It was so boring.  Cara on the beach with only her fantasies. She needed a foil. A square foil.

I started submitting it. I got some good feedback–including one lovely rejection from Tahoma Review, and another excellent note from The Vestal Review. But I never felt the piece was the best it could be. Twice, I stopped submitting so as to work on it.

The second time I sent it to its room, I called on the ineffable Carole L. Glickfeld, with whom I work when my fiction flummoxes me. At that point, the puppy was a one-liner. “They watched him rescue a puppy. Awwwwww.” Remi was not yet identified. The puppy-lifeguard was an amorphous “he.” (Really bad choice; really bad. Never do that again. Never, never, never.)

puppy elf
Puppy Elf writes for you.

Carole was curious about the puppy. “Not enough coming from the puppy.” I worked on the puppy part and then put it away for awhile. Weeks later, I re-read it in preparation for sending to Right Hand Pointing. I forgot I made the change! It was as if the puppy elves did the work for me. How kind!