I had a feeling it was going to be hard to write a review when I agreed to do it, and I'm not in a hurry to do another one. But I got to say a few things about flash nonfiction and name some writers that I admire. My review of the new anthology THE BEST OF BREVITY is up at CRAFT today.
An acceptance of my microfiction "Head of the Household" from COTTON XENOMORPH, a magazine I love. (I love the editor-in-chief Chloe N. Clark's poetry and fiction too.)
The micro has been rejected at magazines that are less interesting (in my subjective hierarchy of flash magazines, that is). CX has had the piece since September. In my paranoia, I thought they didn't like it and were hoping I'd withdraw it! I also was sure I'd been rejected by them before, but in fact this is the first time I sent something to them. Always nice to hear something specific in an acceptance: "What a wonderfully written and deeply unsettling piece."
They seem like just the right place for this eerie ekphrastic micro based on Dorothea Tanning's surreal painting "Portrait de famille (Family Portrait."
I haven't heard from them, or seen proofs of my flash "Charcot's Monkey" (probably I won't), but the print journal SONORA REVIEW, long overdue, just posted a tweet saying they're coming soon.
I've been writing during the pandemic (has it really been a year?), but sluggishly, sporadically. This past week I managed to finish a partly written essay and write a brand new flash that I like a lot. Sent it off to the Magic-themed anthology that inspired it, but if it's rejected there, I'm happy with it and will feel fine sending it out further.
And Sarah Freligh wrote to me today that she used my essay on Jayne Anne Phillips' chapbook SWEETHEARTS in her "Less Is More" class. "Flash, Back: Revisiting Jayne Anne Phillips" is the closest I've gotten to publishing in SMOKELONG QUARTERLY. (Tyrese Coleman solicited it from me for their blog when they started their Flashback series.) Haven't sent to them in a long time, since they always reject me.
I'm thrilled to appear FICTIVE DREAM's #FlashFictionFebruary series for the third year running. All the stories have been great so far. My flash "The Recliner" just went up today.
The artist Claudia McGill does gorgeous original art work, and generously sends it to the writer if they ask. In past years she's created art specifically for each story; this year she created a body of abstract art for editor Laura Black to choose from. This piece seems to fit the emphasis on colors in "The Recliner" very well.
Another of those next-day acceptances that I love in the flash world. Nick Olson at mac(ro)mic (where I've published once before) accepted my flash "Mistaken" less than a day after I sent it. (And before it had been rejected anywhere else.) Laura Black at Fictive Dream (where I've published several times) accepted my flash "The Recliner," which is coming out next week. And I have flash coming out in Ethel, NUNUM, Free Flash Fiction, and Sonora Review, as well as a slightly longer story in Midway Journal. Feeling better about my productivity in 2021.
Love hearing that my work is being taught in college classes, especially when it's by writers whose work I admire. Jill Talbot wrote to me a while ago that she taught "Little Colored Pills" in her creative writing class at the University of North Texas. Yesterday Andrew Bertaina wrote to me that he is about to teach "My Mother's Suitcases" in his writing class at American University.
I love publishing essays in print journals, but the downside is that only one of my six Notable Essays in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS is available to read online. So I'm thrilled that NEW OHIO REVIEW is going to post a lot of its content from issues 21 to 23 online, including my essay "Haunting Houses." Steve was looking over my shoulder when I filled out the permission form, and he urged me to say yes, I'd do a recording, and now I'm wondering whether that was a good idea. Not sure whether Garage Band on the Mac is as easy to use as it used to be, but I'll give it a try.
I just finished a draft of an essay for THE LUNATICS' BALL that I've been expanding and compressing and reworking and revising for a couple of years now. The newest version is labeled draft #25. Sent it out to one place that asked to see work from me soon, fingers crossed. Print journals generally take at least several months to respond, even as long as a year.