My tiny story, “A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter,” has been selected for the Magical Menageries: Equus anthology!
When I say tiny, I mean tiny. It’s my shortest story ever, around 400 words, and may even end up a bit shorter before publication. It’s also hard to classify; I’d say it has one foot in prose poetry. But I had a lot of fun writing it and I’m glad it found a home. I believe the anthology is scheduled to make an appearance this summer. I’ll post when it’s available.
I just received my contributor copies and can’t wait to read the zine! My story, “Rumpelstiltskins,” is in this issue along with a nice illustration. Enjoy!
The new dark fiction/horror magazine Unnerving Magazine has accepted a flash piece from me for its inaugural issue.
The story’s called “Rumpelstiltskins.” It’s stylistically experimental, with a choral narrator, no named characters, almost no dialogue, and was inspired by watching my son play in a park with two of his friends. From there, I went on a flight of fancy about the impulse to evil in all of us. (My son, by the way, has one of the kindest hearts you’d ever want to meet, and his friends are equally sweet boys.)
I was going for a Shirley Jackson-“The Lottery”-feel, and also borrowed from that story the trope of crowd behavior devolving into something more sinister than the superficial current of everyday life. From “Lord of the Flies” came the trope of children left to their own devices succumbing to evil impulses, broadened to onlookers watching those children giving in to their own.
That’s the kind of horror that scares me the most. These days it’s hard to turn on the news without seeing how easy it is for otherwise average people to cross that line.
My far future flash fiction piece, “Grief Processed,” made its scheduled appearance in the September 1, 2016 issue of NewMyths.com. You can find the story here.
If you’re interested in how the story came to be, I said a bit about that in a previous post.
There’s also a nifty mini-interview with me on my author page at the zine.
Thanks so much to Scott T. Barnes and Susan Shell Winston for selecting my story. I enjoyed working with both of them and hope to repeat the experience in the future.
My far future science fiction flash piece, “Grief, Processed,” is slated to appear in the e-zine NewMyths.com in September. I’m delighted — I’ve had a bit of a dry spell and I’m glad that the turmoil of 2015 won’t end up having the effect of making 2016 a year entirely without publications.
As most of my stories do, this one started as an exercise inspired by a poem narrated in first person, direct address to an inanimate object. The first version was in fact far more poem-like with just a small turning point to hint at plot. I added another character to balance the piece, and the result became more story-like.
It’s one of my more philosophical stories, examining the role grief plays in the human condition.
I’ll post again when it’s available online.
My flash piece, “Matryoshka,” is now available in Parsec Ink’s anthology, Triangulation: Lost Voices. You can find it at amazon.com in print or for the Kindle.
It’s probably my favorite of my flash pieces — an original fairy tale of sorts. I hope you enjoy it.
Nature has podcast my story “Heartworm” — you can listen here. This is the first time I’ve had a story podcast (to my knowledge) so it’s a nice feather in my writer’s achievement cap. Geoff Marsh’s reading makes my words sound so classy. 😉
My cyberpunk flash piece, “Heartworm,” is now available in Nature. Because “Heartworm” is flash, I can’t say too much about it without bumping up against spoilers, but after you give it a read you can also read my short blog post at the Nature site, with the “story behind the story.” Thanks to my Writers Studio classmates and teachers, and my alpha and beta readers, for helping me take this from exercise to story. I’d also like to thank Colin Sullivan at Nature, who was a dream to work with.
My surreal (and some have said funny) ditty, “Barden Bernick, Living the Dream,” has sold to Every Day Fiction. It’s a weird day-in-the-life story of a guy who lives his waking life in an anxiety-riddled dreamworld and sleeps in rational reality.
And there’s Yiddish! I had Yiddish-speaking grandparents and my dad’s first language was Yiddish. I love the sound of Yiddish words, and I’d been wanting to use more than one or two in a story for a while. Also, since it’s hard to develop characters fully in flash, I’m always looking for ways to reveal character without using many words. The particular milieu in which I imagined Barden existing was an American liberal Jewish one similar to my own background, and it seemed to me that a smattering of Yiddish would help to reveal that about Barden without explaining it outright.
I have a soft spot for this quirky little piece and I’m glad it found a home. Thanks to the Every Day Fiction staff for taking a risk on this oddity.
I just returned the contract for the sale of my short SF piece, “Heartworm,” to Nature. I’ve had my eye on Nature since I read the first Futures Features anthology, the table of contents of which reads like a who’s who of SF. I worried that I didn’t write stories that were hard-SF-enough for this market, but I decided to take a chance and submit this story. I’m very glad I did.
As a bonus, Nature is a SFWA qualifying market. This marks my first sale to a qualifying market, which has been a goal of mine since I started submitting in late 2012. I’m excited to have unlocked this achievement!