Posts Tagged #fiction
Vaguely heartshaped, that’s how you described her face, and I always imagined her—with my child’s-eye, literal imagining—as having a face the color of a pink valentine’s candy heart, a face with a pointy chin and also big eyes made of chocolate, because you said hers were brown and melty.
That’s how I saw her, my grandmother I never knew.
The photos were all lost in the legendary house fire, so I never got to see her, how she really looked. I used to long to be able to visit her, like my friend Annie did her Nana. I thought that the first thing I’d do was crawl in her lap and tell her how much you missed her and how much you talked about her. It seemed that would please her, and the way your face looked when your talked about how her singing made the moon rise, how she played a mean game of cribbage and could bait a hook with one hand made me want to know her, and please her.
Later, when I was near-grown, everyone began to remark how like her I was. I used to pull my dark curls away from my face and look for signs of the tell-tale sweetness emerging, but to me, the eyes reflecting back in the mirror were cold as the glass itself, cold as any Canadian January. My face itself was more of a pillow shape. I began to wonder what sort of sieve memories run through, to sugar them so.
Much later still, describing you to my own children, I honeyed your brown hair, I made your eyes the color of the ice on a bright day in March, that fresh slate color, and I made your hugs as warm as raisin-oatmeal cookies fresh from the oven. I waited for them to pepper me with the questions I once would have asked.
My children were raised on your photographs, though. Raised, too, on reality TV and iPods and textbooks, not fed random poetry and left to wander woods and libraries alone, the way I was.
I thought I was doing the right thing, educating them, drilling them with the math facts that I myself could never pin down, the after-school tutoring, summer enrichment programs, sending them to the Catholic school for good discipline and rigor.
But I think I made them blind.
This short piece was written from a prompt in workshop, using the Amherst Writer’s and Artists method.
I’m pleased as punch to have had two stories published this month, and so am taking this moment to celebrate. As any writers out there know, the rejections outnumber the acceptances by a ratio I’d rather not think about. (Plus, I’m not good at math, anyway).
So—check them out some cold winter night (or warm summer night, to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere).
Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, Winter 2016 • December 24/Unsent (fiction)
Runner-up in Short Fiction Contest, Theme “The Heart of Winter”
Turk’s Head Review, January 2016 • Sea Change (flash fiction)
This is very belated, but I’m thankful and honored for the mention over at michaelalexanderchaney.com! Great site, packed with literary advice and reviews. Check out this post for flash publication ideas.
The flash markets on this list include the best around. They’re not impossible to break into. Not as much as say, Willow Springs, whose editor informed us recently here on this blog that only one out of a thousand pieces gets picked for publication from the slush pile. One out of a thousand! That’s roughly the same odds as Bono being the next pope, of sneezing with your eyes open, or [ gulp ] of asteroid 1999 RQ36 smashing into Earth.
While these magazines are not so apocalyptically stingy with their acceptance, they’re still selective (and I’ve got an asteroid belt of rejections from them in my in-box to prove it).
You might think of this list as as continuation of an earlier post on the very best, since these magazines are more challenging to break into than those on the other two lists I’ve compiled: Top 10…
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So excited–my newest sci-fi short story, The Cloud, was selected for inclusion in the June issue of Black Denim Lit. Read it and let me know what you think! Thanks to my workshop and Avery for reading early drafts; your comments were so helpful.