So thrilled to have my lyric riff on Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot out in the gorgeous new issue of ETHEL. I have never been in a handmade, hand-sewn literary journal before, and it is just gorgeous, clearly a labor of love. I'm grateful to editors Joanna Penn Cooper and Sara Lefsyk for creating such a beautiful artifact and including my work.
I've told Vivienne's story in two essays for THE LUNATICS' BALL, one about dancers who died in lunatic asylums (Lucia Joyce, Zelda Fitzgerald, Vivienne), one still in progress on literary marriages. Somehow "The Waste Land" has haunted the collection from the beginning and it was wonderful to riff on Eliot's poem and Vivienne's tragic life the way a poet would.
My micro "Easy Street" is up today at FFF: FREE FLASH FICTION. I can't remember the prompt that inspired it, but I wrote this at the latest Kathy Fish Fast Flash Reunion. Really excited that I'll be taking another of her classes in May.
And after a very long time, I heard from the print journal SONORA REVIEW that they're printing and sending out the latest issue in three weeks. (I expected it last summer; the pandemic has thrown off a lot of magazine schedules, especially university-affiliated print magazines. I was surprised that FOURTH GENRE stayed more or less on schedule.) I just finished revising "Capturing Augustine" and sent it to a handful of places; SONORA REVIEW is publishing "Charcot's Monkey" from the same LUNATICS' BALL group of flash.
I think some contributors have received their copies of ETHEL, another print magazine I'm eagerly awaiting.
It’s the first day of spring, a beautiful sunny day in the Bay Area, and I have three flash in the grand new issue of TINY MOLECULES. Big thanks to Kelsey Ipsen and the other editors for publishing "Eyes on Me," "Damned for all Eternity," and "A Mary with Teeth.". So many great writers have appeared in their first eight issues, and I’m honored to appear in their company.
The flash grew out of the reading I was doing on nineteenth-century mental asylums and the Irish-American experience. Originally I thought I would include fictions in THE LUNATICS' BALL, prefaced with a line from Virginia Woolf: "Let me imagine, since facts are so hard to come by …"
The project feels more unwieldy by the day, and probably won't include fiction after all.
I'll start with the bad. A flash nonfiction of mine almost made it into a top online journal (European) but the editor asked me to change the last line. I said no and explained why (it really didn't make sense the way he wanted it). He wrote back two weeks later (that is, yesterday) and said that was a deal-breaker and he wouldn't be publishing it after all. I was so surprised and chagrined that I almost cried. But I haven't changed my mind about the last line, and wouldn't have been happy at all if I'd agreed to the change.
And the good. Just read proofs for my three flash about 19th-century Irish immigrant girls, coming out in TINY MOLECULES on Saturday. Looking forward to it.
And more good. Somehow the audience for print journals doesn't quite seem real, compared to the online audience for online journals, particularly for flash on twitter. So I was blown away to get a detailed email from a really good emerging essayist about my essay "On Hearing That Her First Husband" in FOURTH GENRE. It was really so uplifting to hear that she'd loved the essay, and what she'd loved about the essay. I compliment essayists on twitter, but really should write to essayists too!
That essay went through a lot of drafts over a period of years. Hearing from an appreciative reader makes me feel great.
It's St. Patrick's Day and we're going to have vegetarian Shepherd's Pie tonight and listen to Irish music online. And Friday I got my second COVID vaccine, which means that a week and a half from now I can finally go out into the world (masked, socially distanced, but much less worried).
For the past ten years, the UK has been celebrating Flash Fiction Day in a big way every spring, with a Flash Flood online, and an annual anthology. I've been in the Flash Flood a couple of times. A couple of years ago I was turned down for their anthology (theme: doors; I placed both of my subs elsewhere). This year at the last minute I decided to write something for their theme again: magic. "Spelling Lachlan" was just accepted by Santino Prinzi for the NATIONAL FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY 2021. Here's the list, which includes three other writers in my online writing group Quills (Lisa Ferranti, Jolene McIlwain, Claire Polders)! I'm excited to be in an anthology with them.
NFFD will be celebrated on June 26 this year.
My flash fiction "Mistaken" is up at MAC(RO)MIC today. The editor Nick Olson also posted the flash nonfiction I published with them several years ago, "Waiting for BART." (Who would have guessed I'd be so nostalgic for BART?) Nice responses from a lot of my twitter flash family members, who get up earlier than I do.
Karen Schnauber solicited "Zig Zag" for her flash reprint site MIRAMICHI FLASH. A nice surprise. I'm glad to get some more life out of that one, which I still like a lot.
When I started THE LUNATICS' BALL, I imagined a hybrid collection of fiction and nonfiction and wrote a group of flash about Irish girls in nineteenth-century asylums. I don't think I will include them in the project after all (it's enough of a challenge getting the memoir pieces and nonfiction profiles to cohere), but I'm really pleased that TINY MOLECULES has accepted the remaining three as a group, as they belong together. TINY MOLECULES is fairly new (seven issues so far) and has published lots of flash writers that I know and admire.
“Eyes on Me,” “Damned for All Eternity,” and “A Mary With Teeth" will be out on March 20.
Still waiting for two print magazines that should be out soon with work of mine. SONORA REVIEW posted a tweet saying they were coming soon. And so did ETHEL. ETHEL will be my first publication in a hand-made, hand-bound magazine. They've posted pictures and it looks beautiful. Can't wait to get it in my hands.