It’s easy to forget where it all began. Life happens, we change and move in different circles. Maybe things get stale and boring, and stifling yawns becomes our sole physical activity. Or our ego takes control and pulls us away from the familiar and safe. Maybe we slide into solitude and make love to the dark contour of a past love. Whatever the reason, the end result is that we tend to shun the birth and celebrate the growth. Or at least I do.
I’ve had some success with my writing. Some publications I’m extremely proud of, as well as contests I’ve fared well in. And without ever taking a writing class and only writing for a short time, well, it’s all pretty surreal. But I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without the FlashDogs. Their guidance and support have made a significant impression on me. My gratitude is immense.
The Flashdogs are an international cabal of talented writers. We’ve put out anthologies together, and competed against one another in various flash fiction contests. Members are always quick with a kind word or a digital pat on the back when you’re struggling with an issue of some sort. They read your stories and offer comments and feedback. And I know that if I ever had a question about writing or anything really, I could reach out to any of them and they wouldn’t mind. Heck, when my heart gave out last year, a charming bloke offered me a fresh one from one of his most recent victims. Thank you, Shakes! (Though my new heart makes me spell colour the weird way.)
Our community welcomes the gregarious and the bashful. Those comfortable under the spotlight and those who hide beneath shadows. Writing is exposing yourself to the masses. Our delirious mind is ripped apart and spilled across the page. It takes a certain amount of courage to share our stories, to send our work to journals knowing that we will probably be rejected. Self-doubt takes root. We cringe at every sentence. But we keep plugging away, resolute against a deluge of insecurities. And we help one another by being selfless and kind, by caring about words that spring from England, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, a little town populated by handsome sociopaths called Hamilton, and so many other places across the globe. This is our community.
This week on Sunday Prose you will see various stories from the Flashdogs. I didn’t want to link to contest stories, or anything that had a fee attached. The whole point is to just click on a title and read away. But that made it difficult and I couldn’t pick the exact stories that I wanted to in every case. And I truly hate leaving folks out. Eventually I’ll do another edition and include the writers not mentioned below. What started out as three stories grew to more than a dozen. That being said, I won’t be offering my thoughts. I just wanted to get my friends words out there in the blogosphere. Please take a moment and read their work.
Dinner With a Side of Everlasting Happiness by Grace Black (Sick Lit)
Feeder by Mark King (Maudlin House)
Vapor Trails by Voima Oy (Visual Verse)
Bruised by Elaine McKay (100 Word Story)
Silhouette by Jacki Donnellan (FlashFlood Journal)
Jump by Steph Ellis (Visual Verse)
Appearances and Disappearances by Catherine Connolly (Paper Swans)
The Human Factor by Bart Van Goethem (Flash Fiction Magazine)
Death Smells Like Bananas by Carlos Orozco (Molotov Cocktail)
The Rising by Karl Russell (Synaesthesia Magazine)
Silence by Liz Hedgecock (The Journal of the Compressed Creative Arts)
Footprints by Sal Page (FlashFlood Journal)
Unheard Frequencies by F.E. Clark (Visual Verse)
He Lies In Oak by Avalina Kreska (Visual Verse)
Witch Pegs by David Shakes (Wattpad)
Apocalypsia by Tamara Rogers (Flash Fiction Magazine)