Skip to content

Category: flash fiction

“Manifesto of a Neglected Chipmunk” Featured in Anthology Work

FYI – this is what the number one Google image result for the phrase “Neglected Chipmunk” looks like… pretty much sums up my story.

Quite some time ago, a flash fiction story of mine, Manifesto of a Neglected Chipmunk, was featured on the Rose City Sisters’ flash fiction anthology blog. Happily enough, the kind sisters of the Rose City thought this story was good enough to warrant inclusion in their forthcoming print anthology, Pasadena Flash, which is going to be a best-of collection of the many stories they’ve published over the years.

I’m not sure when the book is going to drop, but it’ll probably be before next Christmas, so if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get your Christmas shopping done before December 24 this year, you’re probably in luck 🙂

Like the website, the book will be perfect for people who love to read but don’t have a boatload of time to fritter away doing so. (Some of us aren’t so lucky.)

Leave a Comment

New flash fiction piece up

When I started my Wednesday Wrants, I said that part of the reason I wanted to do them was to have some avenue for my ranting frustrations, but also a record of something I could write about later. My newest flash fiction piece, Johnson County Mr. Coffee, is just that.

I ranted a few weeks ago about our fancypants coffeemaker a few weeks ago in this post, and it inspired the following story.

Go check it out, and tell me what you think 🙂

Leave a Comment

Why you should write about Thanksgiving

I’ve been working on my second novel for a couple months now – a short story collection about women and their tattoos. The first chapter I wrote was about a tattoo done on Thanksgiving. I think it’s one of my stronger chapters, and it was also one of the easiest to write. Last night while I was trying (and failing) to fall back asleep, it occurred to me that the reason for that is because Thanksgiving is such a rich topic to write about. If you’re a writer looking for something to get the creative juices flowing, I suggest writing something about Thanksgiving. Why?

  • Great material for sensory images. You’ve got the visual, the gustatory, the olfactory, even the auditory and the tactile. I can’t even begin to think about Thanksgiving without smelling deep fried turkey.
  • Built-in conflict. Sometimes as writers we struggle to create conflict out of nothing. When it comes to Thanksgiving, there isn’t a single one I’ve had where there wasn’t some kind of drama floating about.
  • Opportunity for dialogue. People will talk about just about anything at Thanksgiving, to just about anybody.

So if you’ve never written about a Thanksgiving event, I challenge you to crank out a little flash fiction piece to get the juices flowing. Mmm… that makes me think of turkey.

Leave a Comment

Weekly writing challenge 1/1/2011

As part of my writer goals for 2011, I am making myself write something every week. One of the things that helped keep me motivated last year was to give myself a weekly writing challenge. If I got inspired by something, I made it my challenge to put it to paper. If someone threw out a challenge, I picked it up. Some were easier than others, some ended up getting killed in the creative process, and some turned out to be phenomenal.

I was handed this challenge by one of my Twitter followers who is hosting a contest. I typically don’t go for writing contests because they usually have some ridiculous price tag and a ridiculously unattainable or puny prize. I also typically don’t bite for horror, because it’s not really my genre, but then again, I don’t really have a genre so I figured I could pull it off. It may or may not be as predictable plot-wise as every horror film from the 1980s, and may or may not be far too much like Rosemary’s Baby, but I hope what it lacks in originality it makes up for with literary merit and proseworthiness. But you be the judge of that.

New short story – The Rainbow Prison.

1 Comment

New Short Story: The Camera

Last week I was struggling with whether to finish either of the 2 short stories I’ve been working on for what seems like ages and whose writer’s block has given me fits of semi-insanity, or tabula-rasa it and start over, when a friend told me a crazy story.

It was all about how he found this camera while we were in Lawrence, which I remember, and how he found the person it belonged to, just by the pictures that were on it and his powers of deductive reasoning. Well, the truth might be stranger than fiction, but I’ll let you be the judge of just how implausible this really sounds. Check out The Camera and let me know what you think.

Leave a Comment

The winding Internet road

Do you ever start at one place on the internet and end up on a completely different place, with only vague recollection of how you got there?

Today, I was late at work waiting for some other people to provide some stuff for me, so while I was waiting, I decided to catch up on some Google reader. As much as I try to stay up on what’s going on in the industry, it’s really tough, and I often fail. Still, there are a few choice sites that I like to make sure I’m always up on. One of them is midlist thriller writer J.A. Konrath’s blog – A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. I rarely read an entire post end-to-end, because they are often long and I am lazy, but I was entranced by this one. If you’ve dealt with anyone offering you a book deal, which I have and to this day am SO glad I declined, even though I am a nobody, take 5 minutes and read this post. It’s a lot of fun.

After I read the entire post, I did something else I almost never do – I left a comment, and took some time to read some of the other comments. I typically avoid these because I get overly emotionally involved in comment arguments between strangers hiding behind the safety net of anonymity the internet affords and my temper starts flaring. These things never matter, so it’s usually just best I leave them alone. I once read 3 pages worth of comments on an article about Uggs. People have some seriously strong pro-Ugg and con-Ugg opinions. Despite my general avoidance of comment spaces, I decided to troll the comments on this post for A) other writers and industry professionals I can follow on Twitter and B) to see what the response was on this very flagrant post.

One of the comments left was this:

Hi — love the post! I’m an author and I run a small independent publishing company (Bucks County Publishing) and we are primarily involved in paperbacks but we do eBooks too… it is a side thing really because the overhead is so little to do it. We price all of our full length eBook novels at $2.99 and anything shorter is $1.99. Simple pricing. It is ridiculous that these publishing companies want to gauge the customer OR kill the medium…. or both.

I, too, am an author, and I love small independent publishing companies. So I decided to check out their site, and see if they were accepting submissions, because I am a predatory author. As it turns out, they are, and as far as I can tell, it would be a really really good fit for me and my work. Then again, I’ve thought that about lots of book publishers I’ve submitted to who have summarily rejected me. Still, what luck to just find this by link-jumping on the internets. Then, I got to thinking about other neat things I’ve stumbled upon by random internet jumping…

Line Zero: I heard about this new print journal on Twitter. They were looking for submissions for their first issue, I submitted, and I got accepted. Really, I just lucky at the right time with the right journal.

LinkedIn is notorious for sending me down these weird internet paths. Somehow I got from a friend’s LinkedIn page to Smashwords, and that’s how I found out about them. I am still evaluating whether I want to take the ebook self-pub route, but if and when I do, this will be how I do it.

Rose City Sisters: Another Twitter find. The site editor started following me on Twitter, put out the call for submissions, I threw a flash fiction thing together, and decided it would be a good venue for getting some flash fiction practice under my belt. They’ve posted 2 of my stories since.

The volunteer thing I didn’t get: Another stumbly motion on Twitter.

Oh, and I guess I should mention that I found J.A. Konrath’s blog when I was doing some research for a post on this site regarding my distaste for SASEs.

So, if we’re counting, three of my publications came from internet-winding, even if they’re on independent sites and journals. If the Bucks County Publishing people publish me, that’ll make four. Not too bad for just messing around on the internet and finding the right opportunities at opportune moments. Maybe I should just set aside an hour a week for internet “creative space.”

Leave a Comment

Weekly writing challenge 9-7

I’ve been struggling with killing a lot of my less-than-stellar ideas for the last few weekly writing challenges. Sometimes, no matter how many ways you try to look at and change a piece of crap, it’s still a piece of crap.

But this week, it was all inspiration and just an eesny bit of motivation and perspiration. I write best when it comes like that. Not to say that this new flash fiction piece is my best work ever, but I give it the stamp of approval instead of the wadded ball in the trash.

This was inspired by an album released early last week by artist who is part of my favorite band, and a word I have hated ever since an unfortunate incident in college. Enjoy 🙂

Leave a Comment

Weekly writing challenge 8/25

I’ve been battling iliotibial band issues with my marathon training, and I’ve been going through a whirlwind of emotions about it. Runner’s World had an article the other day about how dealing with running injuries is a lot like the normal grieving process (DABDA) and I think I am finally reaching acceptance, so I felt it was crucial to write this flash fiction piece, just to help me get that much closer to healed.


Leave a Comment