The UK flash writer Sophie van Llewyn has a great two-part article on "Unusual Structures in Flash Fiction" ("exquisite, boundary-shattering, unconventional pieces"). Up early today, scrolling through twitter and Facebook, I was thrilled to run across my flash "The Missing Girl" in her list of "extra sources of inspiration" at the end of part II.
Steve and I both read last night in the Lit Crawl event for 100 WORD STORY's great anthology NOTHING SHORT OF: SELECTED TALES FROM 100 WORD STORY. Wonderful venue (the art gallery Creativity Explored), wonderful audience with lots of friends, wonderful readers—Ethel Rohan, Cornelia Nixon, Peg Alford Pursell, along with editors Lynn Mundell, Grant Faulkner, and Beret Olsen, who were able to read a few more stories from writers who weren't there. Steve and I were able to catch Lyndsey Ellis and Cocoafly readers in the first leg, and eat some great tapas with friends after our reading.
Emily Devane, a writer whose flash fiction I love, has reviewed THE MISSING GIRL for the journal SHORT FICTION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. The review of four books is only available in print, in the UK, but she was nice enough to send it to me when I asked. Here's what she says: "Jacqueline Doyle’s ‘The Missing Girl’, holds a mirror up to the girls who become victims of neglect, of abduction, of predatory male behaviour. The eight stories within are gut-punch short. Doyle uses second person daringly, so that the reader is forced to become the potential abductor: ‘watch her blush as she turns wondering eyes to you’ (The Missing Girl, p.2). Next, the reader is the hit upon girl on a Hawaiian-themed boat trip, several piña coladas down: ‘Whoops, he says, sorry, but he doesn’t look sorry, and you know you should leave now but you don’t.’ (Hula pp.11-12). ‘My Blue Heaven’, a piece of fragmentary flash about an older man whose affair with a young girl ends bloodily, takes on several voices, including the man, his wife, the friend, the motel clerk – the victim, Molly’s, is conspicuous by its absence: literally, she becomes ‘the missing girl’ of the title. The final story in the collection, ‘Nola’, tells the disturbing tale of a woman still regretful at her part in her friend’s disappearance: ‘Nola never did come back, did she?’ (Nola, p.26) This is a powerful collection, with razor sharp stories that linger."
This comes at a good time, because my publications are lagging. Three on the horizon, which is not a lot, and many rejections of flash that I thought would not be so hard to place. Steve and I will read in Lit Crawl on Saturday, which will be fun, but that's also the only reading I have lined up. I'm writing, but it's a potentially long flash project that may never see the light of day. Teaching is taking a lot of my time. End of complaints.
IIt's been a year since my chapbook THE MISSING GIRL arrived in the mail, and today I'm grateful to Black Lawrence Press and so many others: the literary journals who published my flash and nominated me for awards, the Bay Area bookstores who are selling THE MISSING GIRL, my writing group in San Francisco for their critiques and unflagging support, writers who took the time to write blurbs or review the book (so many more than I expected!)—and all the READERS who have responded to the book, those I know, and those I don't know. (Love the twitter flash community. This year I met two flash writers in person that I never would have otherwise. Looking forward to meeting more in Portland at AWP.) I'm filled with gratitude at what a great year it has been for my little book.