Posts Tagged With: short story

stories in the world

Much gratitude to JuxtaProse for including “Shelter in Place” in a recent issue. They were amazing to work with, and I’m thrilled to be invited to the party of authors they assembled. You can read that piece here.

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If you’re not sick of me after that, you can check the most recent book review of Paolo Bacigalupi‘s The Water Knife here.

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Thanks, always, for checking in to this space. I aim to end the year writing, the same as I began it, and to make a dent in the pile of books I can’t wait to get lost in. Here’s to stories of all kinds and the way they shore us up in hard times, plant the seeds of change, and inspire us to be better humans.

 

 

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Categories: book review, books, fiction, short story | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

saltfront

 

saltfront cover - Issue 3

saltfront cover – Issue 3

Deepest gratitude to the editors at saltfront for including me in Issue 3. It’s hot off the presses and gorgeous.

Out of Salt Lake, ecological storytelling is this journal’s jam. I’m thrilled they said yes to my story “The Leaving Half.” About a Japanese-American girl working at a gas station mini-mart across the street from a pulp mill, the story’s also about loss and love, destruction and preservation.

Sorry online readers, to read Issue 3 means buying these pages and treating yourself to some really lovely poetry, art, and fiction. I promise supporting this small band of literary soldiers will be worth it.

Here’s a teaser:

More than this, there was his art sprung from the skins of what he purchased at the Timber Mart.  The plastic triangular casings from pre-made refrigerated sandwiches. Little Debbies or gum or hamburger wrappers.  Unsettling at first, the found objects that boomeranged back to her, origamied as fish or birds, others cut and collaged into tiny landscapes.  Most she carried to her apartment and staged on the bookshelf opposite her futon couch, where she could sit and examine his puzzling presence.  On tender days when she felt most alone, she’d rearrange the tableau of his art.  Tug gently on the folded wings of the birds, willing them to fledge and soar above her, their flight a glorious transformation, weightless.

 

 

 

Categories: fiction, publishing, short story, writing | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

humdinger

ShenandoahWashington and Lee University’s literary magazine whose contributing authors often appear among winners of prizes like the Pushcart and O. Henry, has done two things right this year:  publishing Heather E. Goodman’s story “Humdinger” in the spring, and then selecting her as the co-winner of their annual Shenandoah Fiction Prize.

A story of two friends, Beth and “Henry,” the sort of women I want to be when I’m much older – gritty, outdoorsy, fierce – “Humdinger” is also about love and loss, the complicated tangle of the human heart’s desires, human restraint and recklessness.  And ice fishing, which is fantastic.

Here’s hoping this story will go on to reach a wider audience and win other prizes.

Meanwhile, read Goodman’s story here.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: fiction, publishing, short story, writing | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

resurrection

As she often does, in her latest story “The Resurrections” published at Terrain, Heather E. Goodman writes about complicated relationships that are real, gritty, honest.  Her characters muck around in each other’s hearts and on the land, aiming for grace, yearning to be understood, seeking forgiveness and sometimes getting it.  There’s palpable tenderness rising up out of this hardscrabble life etched by a series of deaths.

The narrator grieves the death of his wife Elna, of his father, of the business he and his father built together, of his youth and the loss of a young man’s full life.  “The Resurrections” isn’t a long story, but it’s stitching is both intricate and simple, giving the impression that Goodman knows exactly what it’s like to be a grieving widower, an older man on a threshold between a past he can’t do anything about and the awakening knowledge that he’s got enough life left in him to hope for the future.

Goodman’s prose is spare, always, and prismed here with the flinty winter landscape and a friendship that resolves to thaw itself nonetheless.  Even the animals have agency and longing, evident in the hound dog Beagle who can’t seem to help digging up his dead friend Smokey, a cat.

Delicious fiction.  Read it.  It’s the sort of story you’ll carry with you.

 

 

Categories: book review, fiction, nature, publishing, short story, Uncategorized, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

lemon queen

This spring has been full of firsts.  Spotting meadowlarks and mountain bluebirds.  Watching a pair of screech owls raise their clutch. Rescuing a kitten from the engine of my car (a story on its way in another post) that rode around smashed on top of the manifold for at least 75 miles and lived to tell about it.

Of course, the explosion of life in the natural world is largely about work done behind the scenes beforehand, which is the case with so many other things, and also with fiction.

Blue Earth Review has been kind enough to say yes to publishing “The Lemon Queen” in their latest Spring Issue, Volume 12.  As always, I’m deeply grateful and tickled that another creation is out in the world.

BER Volume 12

 

Categories: fiction, publishing, short story, Uncategorized, writing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

depth perception

Deep and sincere thanks to Matthew Limpede and the staff at Carve Magazine, who said yes to including the story “Depth Perception” in their Spring 2014 Premium Edition.  I’m in great company in these pages and ever grateful for the chance to be there.

 

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Categories: fiction, gardening, outdoors, publishing, short story, Uncategorized, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

the short story is anything but dead

Many writers compelled to craft short fiction do so against the big question about whether the short story is dying.  As a writer and a reader, I don’t feel this is true at all.  But then, I’m a fan of the form, even on days when I want to light my work on fire.  Short stories are the perfect length for the hectic life.  They’re much easier to inhabit, to fully drop into and then emerge out of, than novels.  You can get the satisfaction of a full narrative arc in the time it takes to commute to work, cook something at the stove, or wait at a doctor’s office.  I’ve even read flash fiction while brushing my teeth (a few times I’ve stood at the sink with suds in my mouth, the toothbrush forgotten).

I’m not saying reading short fiction should only be shoe-horned between other activities; I’m only pointing out it can be done that way, very satisfyingly.  Also, I’m guessing the reading life looks like this for many of us — more catch-as-catch-can and less feet-up-on-the-couch than we’d like it to be.

I’d argue the short story isn’t as “pallid” or “ill from neglect” as Mary Gaitskill once suggested.  Nor are short stories just “written for editors and teachers rather than for readers,” as Stephen King once lamented was the by-product of a shrinking readership.   There are many fine journals out there doing the good, hard work of keeping the short form alive, and a heap of talented emerging writers showing up in those pages.  And there are readers.  Plenty of them, and not all of them writers.

Readers are smart, after all, and know when they’re in good hands.  This is one of the first tenets you learn in any writing program.

Speaking of being in good hands, each year the Chicago Tribune invites writers to submit short fiction for its Nelson Algren Award.  Named after the writer Nelson Algren, the contest is free.  You can submit two stories.  If you win, there’s a generous prize, your piece is published in the paper, and you get to be in the company of fellow Nelson Algren winners like Louise Erdrich, Julia Glass, Melissa Bank and E.J Levy, to name just a few.

Beginning in February of this year, the Tribune added a book geek’s membership society called Printers Row.   Taking a page out of One Story‘s mission to send singleton stories to subscribers every three weeks, Printers Row sends out a weekly short story.  It’s also free to submit work for this project, and you can track your submission on Submishmash.

Heather E. Goodman‘s kick-ass story His Dog won the 2008 Nelson Algren Award and is now out as a Printers Row piece.  Goodman’s characters are a hardscrabble lot, eking out a life on the land and with each other.  The story is tender, gritty, unrelenting and carries you toward an inevitability that is the perfect final act, though you don’t see it coming.  But don’t believe me.  Read it for yourself online or pony up for a Printers Row subscription.  You’ll get to hold this gem in your hands and be reminded each week that the short story is alive and well.

Categories: fiction, publishing, short story, writing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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