Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

Triangulation: Lost Voices Accepts “Matryoshka”

Woke up this morning to email informing me that Parsec Ink’s  yearly anthology series, Triangulation, has accepted my flash piece, “Matryoshka,” for its next anthology, Triangulation: Lost Voices.

I love this story and I’m glad it found a home. It’s an original fairy tale told in a storytelling voice unlike any I’ve used before, so it was exciting that someone else felt the experiment worked. But it’s the concept that I love most about the story.  Questions of identity and personhood fascinate me, especially as they concern women.  I  won’t spoil the story for you — I’ll just say the spark for this story was an article I read a while back about women over fifty often feeling as though they’ve become invisible to society.

I’m not sure when the anthology will be available, but I’ll post here when I know.


I’m All About Nice Surprises!

I stumbled across something unexpected on Jim Harrington’s Six Questions For… blog.

Sherri Ellerman, flash fiction editor of Liquid Imagination, had some very nice things to say about my story, “Going Under,” and held it out as an example of what their submission guidelines mean by “surprise us with fresh ideas and language.”

Thanks Ms. Ellerman!  Though you may be surprised (if you ever meet me) to find that I’m female. 😉

“In the Bunker, the Last Day” Now Up at Phantasmacore!

This may hold the record for the shortest interval between acceptance and publication for any of my stories:  “In the Bunker, the Last Day” went live today at Phantasmacore.

It’s free to read, so get on over there and take a look.  I hope you enjoy it.



Phantasmacore Picks Up “In the Bunker, the Last Day”

Just learned today that Phantasmacore is going to publish a somewhat satirical, post-apocalyptic flash piece of mine called “In the Bunker, the Last Day.”

It’s a weird little story with a very unusual, somewhat experimental structure. As the mother of this precocious little one,  I’ve always had a soft spot for it.  Particularly when I haven’t read it in a while, the last line makes me laugh.  I probably shouldn’t admit that my own work makes me laugh or cry, but there you have it.  I’m delighted it has found a home.

I don’t yet know exactly when it will appear, but don’t worry.   I’ll post here when I know.

I had something of a lull in my novel-reading extravaganza while in Scotland.  One would think that being on vacation would mean more reading rather than less, but I suppose it can only be a good thing that we were so busy having new experiences during the day that I had no reading time, and I was too exhausted to do anything but fall into bed when we got back to the hotel at night.  I did read a bit on the plane.  Also did some reading last weekend on the plane to and from Boston (we went to a family wedding).

Since my last novel-reading report, I have finished works by Le Guin, Haldeman, Heinlein, Herbert (a Dune sequel I’d never read before), Farland, H.G. Wells, Anne McCaffrey, Shirley Jackson (I’d never read The Haunting of Hill House, somehow), and Keyes (ditto Flowers for Algernon).  I’m now reading Bujold (the third Vorkosigan).

I also finally read Mark Helprin’s collection of short stories, Ellis Island, and Karin Tidbeck’s collection, Jagganath, both of which I loved and are high up on the “I want to write stories like this” list.  Tidbeck’s stories are, for the most part, of the same variety I associate with many “interstitial” writers I admire.  Except for a couple of stories, like the title story, her worlds are pretty much realistic except for one or two things that aren’t.  It’s those things that give a wonderfully uncanny mood, which is something I’d love to be able to capture in my own work.   As for Helprin, I’ve loved his work since I read Winter’s Tale back in the day.  As I read his collection, I kept wondering how it was I’d never gotten around to it before.  Some of the stories in Ellis Island are more realistic than others, but I admire most his magical pieces, which are simply transporting.  His voice sometimes feels out of time, like from the 19th century, but without archaic language.  I really love that effect and would love to try to channel his voice in something of my own.

Now that I’ve sold another flash piece, I really need to polish up the two I have in the works and start them circulating.



“Going Under” Up at Liquid Imagination

“Going Under,” my flash fiction piece mentioned in this previous post, is now available to read for free in the May 2014 issue of Liquid Imagination.  You can find it here.

I love seeing how zines that illustrate fiction interpret my pieces. It’s an unusual opportunity to see how the thoughts and emotions I sought to communicate came through to an artist in another medium.  I’ve linked to the illustration for “Going Under” below:



The picture combines the frayed corner of the place mat with some cut flowers in sunset colors — a lovely interpretation that takes the place mat and sunset images directly from the piece and adds a third element, the flowers.  I really admired this impressionistic interpretation of a rather darkly themed piece.

I’m continuing on my novel reading binge but have added some short stories back into the mix.  Since my last post, I’ve completed novels by Dellamonica (the second and final Astrid Lethewood), Ahmed, Sturgeon, Abbott and some literary novels.  Amusingly, I read Jo Walton’s Among Others right after Hans Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key: A Novel — both books, which couldn’t be more different from each other, featured characters named Wim. What are the odds?  I quite enjoyed Among Others and its continuing homage to science fiction and fantasy.  I have a number of new books on my reading  list as a result of reading Mori’s reviews in-novel.

I’m also almost through Ted Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others.  I’ll be miserable when I’m finished, as I think that will mean I’ve read all of his stories currently available in print.  He’s long been in my pantheon of favorites, a frequent inducer of the “I want to write stories like that” feeling.

I should have some news to report about the long awaited Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Issue 59 soon.  I hope so, anyway.  Meanwhile, enjoy “Going Under.”



Sale to Liquid Imagination

I’ve just returned the contract for my flash fiction piece, “Going Under,” which will appear in Liquid Imagination at the end of this month.

It’s a strange little story that is hard to classify, though I think of it as dark fantasy or slipstream. Or perhaps absurdist horror.  It was one of the first new stories I wrote after coming off my writing hiatus in 2012 and it took a while to get it right.  I’m glad the folks at Liquid Imagination liked it and gave it a home.  I hope you’ll like it, too.

I have several new flash pieces in the works.  One is already making the rounds.

In other news, I’ve been on a reading tear of late.  About a week ago, I had a sudden, powerful urge to dive into a novel rather than read short stories. I’ve been finishing one every two days or so (one a day on weekends) ever since.  I’ve been enjoying Scalzi, Willis, Butcher and Dellamonica as well as a couple of literary novels I’d started but never got around to finishing.

I also read Osama by Lavie Tidhar and thought it was stunning. You know that feeling you get while reading, the one that says, I-want-to-write-something-like-this?  That’s how I felt while reading Osama.  Highly recommended for those who don’t mind their speculative element subtle and mysterious (which is often how I like it best), who appreciate language that is beautiful without being overly lyrical, who find genre mixes intriguing, and who like emotional impact with their fiction.  Osama is atmospheric and full of mood, but its emotional impact goes far deeper than that — and it lasts.


“Legacy of the Fallen Stars” Part 4 Up at Bewildering Stories and Update on Current Projects

The fourth installment of “Legacy of the Fallen Stars” is up this week in issue 569 of Bewildering Stories.

The final installment should be up next week.   As always, it’s free to read, so enjoy!

Meanwhile, I have some new writing projects underway.

The first is project flash, whereby I am seeking to replenish my inventory of flash fiction after some sales.

In the past, I’ve not really focused on flash because I think it’s the hardest form to master, at least for me. As a reader, I find about half the flash I read not so much economical as thin, and not so much rich and rewarding as relying on a reversal or a punch line in the last sentence (which, by the way, sometimes works nicely but other times feels contrived to me).  But the other half, which manages to create a richness of mood, voice, character, and story I find admirable.  Sometimes, it’s even quite amazing.

The challenge is putting together a piece that creates an impression of richness — of mood, voice, character, and story — all in under 1000 words.  In that search for richness, I find that my own flash leans toward lyricism and sometimes bumps up against prose poetry.   Much of it is structurally experimental, again necessitated by that quest for richness.  I have some other formally experimental flash in the works but I am also working on a new piece that is more typical in terms of structure, and I’m excited to see how it turns out.  It’s also my first attempt at cyberpunk, which has been fun.

Additionally, I have been working on a longer piece that is nearing completion — my first fairy tale retelling.  I have also been going back through several years worth of writing exercises looking for things that excite me and could end up as stories.

There’s enough there to keep me busy for a while.  Several dystopias, several space operas, a couple of shapeshifter ideas, a superhero or two, a couple of witches, a handful of wizards, one biological science fiction idea, a magical item, and at least one ghost are represented.  Also there’s an idea that involves a professional classical pianist and another that involves a sous chef, both of which could be fun.

Finally, though I’ve always been daunted by the idea of trying a novel, I may end up with the start of one by default.  I have  a story that’s received comments from pro-market editors that it is trying to do too much and should be expanded into at least a novella, possibly a novel.  Though I’d rather not spend my time on another novella (and instead on something easier to sell until I hit that first professional sale), whether this story sells or not I am toying with the idea of expanding it into a novel.  I’ve already invested a substantial chunk of time in the core idea of the short version, which has received uniformly positive feedback from alpha and beta readers as being original and cool.

We shall see.