The queen of flash? Beloved flash guru? How to describe Kathy Fish, who teaches brilliant flash classes and writes brilliant flash and whose "Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild" in Jellyfish Review was probably the most brilliant flash last year. (Already included in two forthcoming anthologies, Best Small Fictions 2018 and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018.)
Kathy had a really nice comment on "Clara at the Bus Station," my recent piece in Fictive Dream, which I started in her online weekend flash class last year. (I was unnerved by the first rejection of that story, a supposedly helpful reader's report that was actually a very reductive summary of the plot and character, and I didn't send the story out for a while after that. Sometimes it's hard for me to regain equilibrium after criticism. You'd think I'd be used to it by now.)
And today on twitter Kathy praised "Checkmate": "'Checkmate' by @doylejacq in the @bluefifth review is a wonder of a one paragraph flash, using repetition to fullest advantage and brilliantly circling back to the beginning. Love it."
When I wrote to say thanks, she added: "I loved it. I love how the story just keeps opening wider, but stays on point from beginning to end Brilliance."
My twitter family are all such good writers and faithful readers. Loved hearing from Cathy Ulrich, Pat Foran, K.B. Karle, Jolene Mcilwain, Melissa Ostrom, Tara Isabel Zambrano, Kaj Tanaka, Chloe N. Clark, and Dina L. Relles, who all retweeted "Checkmate," and so many others who did likes and comments. I have a lot of local writer friends and acquaintances in the Bay Area, but not so many who are primarily flash writers and readers. (I treasure Lynn Mundell, Kara Vernor, Frances Lefkowitz.) It's great to hear from these flash writers and to read their work online.