Someday Street

Photo by David J. Thompson

 

Well, I am beyond thrilled that my story Someday Street was chosen as the winner of the second round of the Midwestern Gothic Summer 2017 Flash Fiction Series. You had to incorporate the prompt above and your story had to be under 500 words. A huge thank you to all the staff at Midwestern Gothic. This contest helped me break free from a lengthy bout of writer’s block.

I tend to get sentimental and corny when I find some success with my writing. Maybe it’s a symptom of getting old. But this one means so much to me because last year I was too intimidated by the quality of stories they routinely published that I didn’t even submit anything. I didn’t think I possessed the talent required to compete alongside the more accomplished writers. But this year I realized I had nothing to lose besides my fragile confidence, pride, and ego. Sometimes you have to go all-in with your writing regardless of any potential failure. A chip, a chair, and prayer, the mantra of a degenerate gambler. Or a neurotic writer of flash fiction.

You can read the tragically beautiful runner-up story by Vahid Arefi here

You can read my winning story here

 

 

 

 

 

A Dying Fire

 

I’m thrilled to once again have a story published by the #FlashFlood. Today is National Flash Fiction Day and to celebrate, 144 stories from across the globe were selected to appear on their site every 10 minutes for 24 hours. My tiny story is called A DyingFire. The only requirement was that your tale had to be under 500 words. Any subject allowed. So many writers I’ve either met on social media or admired from afar participated this year. It’s truly an honor to be published alongside all of them.

In a time when it feels as though the bigoted lunatic fringe is winning, and in some ways they probably are, it’s wise to disengage from the endless hateful rhetoric and engage with art and kindness and empathy and hope. Well, at least for a day. Let the talent, passion, and imagination of others transport you to a place that has no negativity, no mental pollution. Reading a story is like going for walk. At the end, you feel satiated and refreshed. Or I do. I used to roll my eyes a bit when my former therapist urged me to walk/exercise. She was emphatic when stating that it could ease the symptoms of depression. She was right. (Thanks, JJ.) Anyway, give all these tales your eyeballs. Prose loves eyeballs. Writers love eyeballs.

You can read my story here

You can read all the stories here

 

Let’s go back in time with my tune selections for this post, yes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powerball for Drifters

Welp, my new story Powerball for Drifters is live over at the wonderful Lost Balloon. Am I excited? Si. Am I grateful to Chelsea Voulgares for giving my tale a lovely home? Si. Has Lost Balloon published some of the most respected and talented writers out there? Si. Did I start parting my hair on the right for some unknown reason? Si.

Seriously, I am so grateful to Chelsea for publishing my piece. I know it’s corny and I’ve said it before, but if I can overcome a self-sabotaged past and find a morsel of validation from the writing world, then it should offer hope to anyone who has struggled at any point in their life. It’s never too late to find yourself. It’s never too late to believe in yourself. It’s never too late to part your hair on the right like an aging hipster doofus.

You can read my story here

NFFD Micro Competition

 

The National Flash Fiction Day Micro Competition announced their longlist finalists today. Out of nearly 600 entries, I placed 2 stories in the top 27. Ridiculous. I’m speechless.

You were allowed to submit up to 3 stories under 100 words each. To make the 27 longlisted out of 600 entries is just…WOW. And twice? Damn. I needed some good news. This qualifies. The Top Ten and winner will be announced tomorrow, but I’m not even worried about that. Just to make it this far is more than enough for an insecure writer. Truly humbled. Sorry about the blabbing, I’m just so thrilled.

The official longlist is here

 

[Update: I did not make the Top Ten. But it was a wonderful experience and I’m so proud to have 2 stories that the judges thought highly of and placed on their longlist. A little disappointed? Absolutely. Moderately encouraged? Absolutely. I”m happy with my placement but I need to be a touch better in the future.]