I figure I've wanted to publish in FOURTH GENRE for about ten years; I checked and my trusty card file tells me that this was the eighth essay I sent them over that time period (three that they rejected were later Notable Essays in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS). (I know, I should be using an Excel spread sheet like everyone else., but well-thumbed card files are so tactile and nice.) "On Being Told That Her First Husband" went through a lot of revisions, at least a couple of years worth, before the version they accepted. This is such a big achievement for me. I was so excited when my contributors' copies arrived in the mail yesterday.
I was in the middle of an essay about Lizzie Halliday when I saw a call from the Australian publisher PURE SLUSH BOOKS for poems and flash for an upcoming anthology to be called 100 LIVES. Of course I couldn't resist a fictionalized monologue of the first woman to be sentenced to the electric chair in the U.S., an Irish-American arsonist and serial killer who instead lived out her days at the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. I'd forgotten all about it until my virtual copy arrived today.
Here's a taste: “There are those who say I’ll burn in hellfire for my sins, but I set my own fires, thank you.”
Sometimes a flash starts with a character’s voice, like “Gall,” which came out of nowhere but was inspired by a prompt at Kathy Fish’s Fast Flash Reunion. Thanks to Scott Neuffer at TRAMPSET for publishing “Gall,” and thanks, Kathy Fish and fellow Fast Flashers!
I've had some good news in the past week or so. A micro was accepted at TRAMPSET, a relatively new zine that's published a lot of really great writers. It's one of my voice-driven monologues, coming out next week. And another micro was accepted at ETHEL, which I found because the teacher of the "speculative fiction" class at CREATIVE NONFICTION is co-editor. The micro, a lyric riff on Vivienne Eliot, is part of THE LUNATICS' BALL. Their next issue will be in January; they post online, but it's a hand-made print magazine, which sounds really cool.
But here's the real good news.
I don't have my copy yet, but the cover is posted online, and one of the contributors got hers. A dream come true, finally having an essay in FOURTH GENRE. I'll be watching the mail.