“We are bad men living among bad men; and only one thing can calm us — we must agree to go easy on one another.” Seneca
Rumble Fish published my flash story, Small Gods, in their Spring 2020 edition (pdf). proving that even during the pandemic, art goes on. This is my most revised flash ever, re-written twelve million times. It started out as an Artist’s Statement for something I didn’t end up applying for. It is still my Artist’s Statement. Also the story I did not read at the Hot Pillow reading cancelled at AWP 2020 in San Antonio, the last trip we all took together.
The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review has graciously published my bizarre short story “Roadkill Rodeo” in Issue 21, which can be purchased electronically or in print. The Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Review is a fine magazine that published another odd story of mine, The Last Time We Saw Charlie, in 2015. I’m willing to bet a drink that Roadkill Rodeo is in the top five stories with a dead psychic lemur narrator. Top ten for sure. It is one of my personal favorites and I’m glad it found a good home.
Jersey Devil Press published my short story “People Who Live in Invisible Houses” and I am grateful. This bleeds over the edge of technology and standard house paint into the fantastical. There aren’t a lot of homes for this sort of thing and Jersey Devil is one of the best. They are Heroes of Literature.
This took a longish time (5+ years) to get right. So many drafts. Survivors of my writing group will be glad to see an end. An early version of this got me into the Tin House writing workshop, I still don’t know how. I didn’t workshop the story at Tin House, but did with Kelly Link when she taught a two day at Hugo House. She patiently explained the flaws, which were legion, so I re-framed the whole thing. It still took three more years of revisions.
Gulf Stream published my short story Bomb Shelter, with a great collage by Jeff Hersch. This is my first full length short story published in a while, but two more will follow soon. January is an embarrassment of riches and I am grateful.
This is a rare thing for me: a realistic story rooted in personal experience. Real stuff includes the Beanfields, the dirt fort, terror at impending nuclear war, a murderer and a gun. But none of these people are my family. Such is the nature of fiction.