Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Every Day Fiction October Calendar

For individual links, go here.

Oct 1 Kevin Jewell Enter Not
Oct 2 Barry Davis Devil Do
Oct 3 Rumjhum Biswas My Daughter
Oct 4 Dave MacPherson Gallery Four
Oct 5 Jason Stout The Unstoppable Evelyn McHale, May 1, 1947
Oct 6 Oonah V Joslin You Must Remember This
Oct 7 Richard Lamb The Watch
Oct 8 Kevin Shamel Outlast the Stars
Oct 9 Amy Corbin The Adoption
Oct 10 Brian Dolton Weaving Fancies For The Children
Oct 11 Acquanetta M. Sproule Dern Spot
Oct 12 Sarah Black Pies of God
Oct 13 Milan Smith Sasha’s Knee
Oct 14 Douglas Campbell Forlorn Hope Fancy
Oct 15 Jonathan Pinnock Visiting Time
Oct 16 K.C. Ball In His Prime
Oct 17 Celeste Goschen Life Without Jerry
Oct 18 Stephanie Siebert Greedy
Oct 19 Robin Vandenberg Hernfield Sea Shell
Oct 20 Alexander Burns Apotheosis Cake
Oct 21 Joshua Reynolds Rush Hour
Oct 22 Nuala NĂ­ ChonchĂșir Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude In A Mirror: We Are Not Fake!
Oct 23 Sarah Hilary Revenge of the River Gods
Oct 24 Ann M. Pino End Times
Oct 25 Erin M. Kinch A Million Faces
Oct 26 Iggy Smythe Any Rapport In A Storm
Oct 27 Jim Harrington The Kiss
Oct 28 Sylvia Spruck Wrigley Darren Is Updating His Facebook Status
Oct 29 Tels Merrick All of My Heart
Oct 30 niddy Monster in the Attic
Oct 31 Kyle White Sweet Bite

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Peggy Noonan on America/Anne-Marie at EDF

First, because it has import on a larger scale, I was pleased this morning to read an essay in the Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan called "A Hope for America" and no, it isn't all-about-Obama. It focuses on the big picture, AMERICA as a concept as well as a country, and the state of things, the emotional well we seem to find ourselves in, and what our candidates should have their eyes on. I recommend the article if not the book (of course, there is a book which I haven't read yet since I just heard about it). Here's a quote that sums up the solution she advocates in her article.
"What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace--a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we're in and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative."

Second, because she is a friend and an excellent writer, Anne-Marie Gomez makes her debut at Every Day Fiction today with her story "Lester's Lucky Day." It's crackerjack. Go immediately to EDF, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flash Fiction Online October 2 "Dani-Girl"

Yep, I'm excited! October 2 is the day Flash Fiction Online will publish "Dani-Girl's Guide to Getting Everything Right." This is the story I wrote in the summer after reading Ron Carlson's "Ron Carlson Writes a Story."

I did exactly what he said. It was a Tuesday, one of my two days a week I can count on not being bugged by the real world. I sat down in the morning with a title and a vague idea about what I wanted the story to be. Actually, it was a story I'd written years ago, but it had fallen flat and I filed it in some deep-six archive on my hard-drive. The original concept was still a good one, so I decided to tie the story to the new title that had popped into my head. The title supplied the framework or skeleton on which to hang the story. It gave it attitude.

Carlson says the trick is to stay in the chair. Haha! Easier said than done. BUT in his book, he coaches you. Here's the first sentence. Don't worry about it. What do you know about this first part that is important to tell the reader? See it. Write that down. Don't worry. You can fix it later. What next? What else do you happen to know?

Well, you get the drift. And it was amazing. When I had the urge to leave the chair, my stomach growling, my body itchy, my mind wandering toward the television set, I told myself, wait, stay put, what else do you know. And I knew something else. "Dani-Girl," "The Breach," and "One Question" are the only three stories that flowed out. Boom. There they were with only a little revising, a little editing. And there's always editing and revising. Don't tell Ron, but I would have revised his first sentence in his example in the book had "The Governor's Ball" been my story! Ah, but his whole story worked so another lesson. Things don't always have to be perfect!

Getting a story from beginning to end doesn't always work this way, but when it does, it's a reward for all the times it doesn't flow.

I hope you all read it and like it. Let me know what you think. October 2.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tagged Again

Michael Alatorre has 'tagged' me in the quirky game. You can track him down here, but beware, he has the look of a leopard. A lot of rules here, but I'll try.

The Rules Are:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

My quirks are:

One...I have no problem keeping myself company. I'm never bored. There's always something to read, write, paint, watch, make, find, put together or play.

Two...Please don't hold this against me. I do not despise "reality" TV. Right now, Wednesday is my favorite night with a full line up: ANTM (this one is a true guilty pleasure, it's so cheesy, but irresistable), Project Runway, and Top Design. Be still my heart.

Three...I like rap music. Not ALL rap music, but some of it's pretty cool. What ever happened to EM? I'm now beginning to like metal thanks to Storm the Gates.

Four...I use rollers in my hair. Who's got time to spend pulling her hair straight and under?

Five...I've created my own Sudoku solution method which works great for everything except diabolicals. At that point it, it just feels like guesswork.

Six...I hate shoes and go bare-foot most of the time.

For this social game, I'm supposed to tag six others. I'm going to follow Michael's method of using favorite books, in my case The Razor's Edge.

Amy at Rich Interior World
Ryan Burkhart at Ryan Burkhart
Dino Paxenos at MediaScapegoat
Caitlin at PurlWise
Okay, I'm tired of search for fellow Maugham fans. So if these guys haven't read it, they should.
Kevin at Shameless Creations
Michael at MSherlock
Jane at Chasing in Circles

For those interested in playing, I look forward to their posts. If they opt for not, (hopefully) no harm done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eyes Not Averted

I signed up for The Southeast Review's writing regimen and today they sent a Robert Olen Butler quote, "Being an artist means never averting your eyes." Hmmmm.

Here are all the things I should be doing: WORKING ON MY BOOK. WORKING ON MY BOOK. WORKING ON MY BOOK.

Here's what I've been doing:
1) Checking in with my writing buddy. We're keeping each other on track.
2) Checking to see who's read "Stranger on the Porch" and commented.
3) Reading Michael's "Crossing the Bridge" story. Proud of that boy. Gave him a 5.
4) Checking my email.
5) Blogging.

Guess what? See that quote up there. That's a message from the universe. That's it. I'm getting to work. You should too. What the hell are you doing reading this?

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Stranger" at Every Day Fiction today!

"Stranger on the Porch" is now available at Every Day Fiction. If you have a few minutes, please read and leave a comment at the site. It's less than 1000 words so it goes fast! Thanks to all of you who are a constant support, no names lest I forget someone really important! You all know who you are!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tania's White Road

Got Tania Hershman's THE WHITE ROAD today and read the the same-titled story. Outstanding. Wish I'd written it. Congrats Tania. Can't wait to read the rest.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Art News-Faraway Journal

I was toodling through my Duotrope newsletter yesterday, looking for places to send my poor orphan Steven who has yet to find a good home, and I checked out FARAWAY JOURNAL. Disappointed to learn at the site that they were closed for the next issue, I spent some time exploring and was suddenly caught by the words "ARTWORK STILL NEEDED."

Now, I'm not used to thinking of myself as an artist, especially one that might send off work for consideration, but I thought why not? My friends say they like it (I know). But I sent the magazine pix anyway, digitals of Blue and Fence, acrylics with metal and wire, and guess what, they are going to chose one for their next issue. I am so excited.


Friday, September 05, 2008

September Sentiments/Georgia Review/Hillary, and I don't mean Clinton

SEPTEMBER. In the old days, September meant school, me walking out the door on Mayor Drive heading toward Calle Mayor K-8, and later in the opposite direction toward South High. Usually it was foggy in the morning living that close to the beach, only a mile away, and rarely hot in the AM, except of course, on those first days of classes. Record heat. Always.

I wanted to wear my new clothes, wool skirt, turtleneck, knees socks in high school, but on the occasions when I couldn't resist, I ended up feeling--and looking--like a Good Humor Bar left forgotten on the grass in the broil of August.

Eventually, September meant school for my kids, me driving carpool every third day, and dropping them off on Mentor. They wore uniforms, neat and tidy at 8:15, wrinkled and stained by 2:25 or whatever that odd pickup time was. And I ended up back at school too, teaching English, except the community college starts in August, dog-day hot, me wearing pants and a jacket despite discomfort because of my need to look professional--and vanity still intact--to look thinner.

But now, in September, no more school in my family, everyone launched in their own directions, so I stay home in shorts and tank-tops, no shoes for most of the day. I miss that old discipline, the preparation for a new year, new adventures, new successes and even new failures. The rhythm of September works if one can capture it, and that's what I'm going to try to do. I've been "lolly-gagging," my mother's word, and now it's time to work. September, hmmmm.

GEORGIA REVIEW. A couple of weeks ago someone I don't know left a comment on this blog. I'd written about submission season and my dilemma: What to work on, book or short stories? Organizing writing priorities is a problem for those who must also support themselves with day jobs and therefore can't spend full days over the computer. About the same time, Kev received some advice from one of his favorite authors who championed "the novel" because the readership of short stories is small. Here's one response to that discussion:
"What a sad approach: give up writing short stories on the chance of getting more readers and I suppose more money with novels. Then, when the novels don't work out, you can just give up writing, since apparently that wasn't what mattered in the first place. Shrink the artist's world; yes, that's just what's needed."

I don't know the author of the comment: Stephen Corey. I thought, hmm, isn't that the name of a short story or a poem? (Richard Cory is a poem) I googled it. And was shocked at what I saw! Stephen Corey turns out to be the editor of The Georgia Review, one of the holy grails for short story writers!! This man read MY blog?!? Holy ***t.

I sent Mr. Corey a note, thanking him for taking the time to comment, then I danced around the site and decided to order a recent copy of the mag and when it came, there was a note from him. He hopes that if I like what I see, I'll blog about the Review. Me!

I will, but first I must say it is a little intimidating. When I used to go to Iowa in the summer and spend hours with my buds at Prairie Lights, we'd order double-shot capuccinos and dig though lit mags for clues about how to turn readers on. One of those lit mags was The Georgia Review. Slick production, the cover satiny under fingertips, sophisticated art. And inside. Clear font on quality paper. Beautiful. It even smelled good. Sounds like I'm sucking up, doesn't it?

We writers know where the stories for the America's Best series come from, and we want those mags to publish us, and The Georgia Review debut their share, but in the new issue I received, there is only one fiction story. One. Lots of interesting articles, a feature about Richard Hugo, poems, essays, reviews, but only "The Color of Darkness" by Alexandre Mas with a killer first line: "Many years ago, when I was little more than a girl, my eyes failed me" made it in. What are the odds for writers to get into these quality lit magazines? I think I actually moaned. But...

That's the way it is. I've always accepted this fact. If an writer wants to make it at that level, then he or she has to be enormously talented and self-disciplined. Not one of those things, but both. It's a reality check, not a bad thing. However, typing this, I feel a little down, reminded that this is a big world filled with many, many talented writers all struggling to do the same thing. So what can I do to keep my heart in the game? Really? Read the best, learn from the best, and not think about the publishing side of the scoresheet. If I worry about the where, I will end up playing Spider Solitaire all day and sucking up episodes of Law and Order all night. After I read Mas' story, I'll report whether it blows me away or not.

HILLARY THE DAUGHTER. Today's final note is about my daughter, faithful reader, chief advisor, straight-talking editor for my stories. She never lets me down. She tells me exactly what works and what doesn't in my work in such an honest, compelling way, I can't afford not to listen to her. Since we share DNA, she seems to get what I'm going for even when what I've emailed her is an embryotic disaster. Thanks, Stalwart Hill. And Jane. You too, thanks, sis.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bayou Black and Blue

It's been hard to get news of what's going on in Houma and Montegut, but the little bit I've gleaned is that the doors to Terrebonne Parish are closed to evacuees until Friday. The power grids are down and no electricity is expected for a couple of days. Streets need to be cleared of trees and debris before anyone will be let back in. I've called my cousin who evacuated to her brother's house in Georgia but haven't heard back yet. I don't know what's going on down there, not as bad as expected but still damaged. Everyone seems to think that since New Orleans was by-passed the drama in Southern Louisiana is over. But it's not.

In listening to NPR coverage, I heard the fire chief of Montegut say that his "smoke signals" for help haven't reached any one and they are still waiting for water, communications equipment, and diesel fuel. In our media driven society, it's a shame that entire populations of people still manage to fall through the cracks.

Here's the NPR link: Storm Stricken Louisiana Town

*********************SEPTEMBER 4 UPDATE***************************
Heard back from Ms. Claire Louise. She's almost to Mississippi, returning to Houma from Georgia. Expects to sleep in her car tonight since she can't get to her house until sometime tomorrow. Still no electricity in the city.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

September Calendar-Every Day Fiction

Every Day Fiction is publishing "Stranger on the Porch" on September 12. Check out the EVERY DAY FICTION site here and subscribe. One new story published every day for 365 days a year, and now one year complete. Happy Anniversary EDF!

Sept 1 K.C. Ball I Must to the Barber’s Chair
Sept 2 Abby “Merc” Rustad Bench Trial
Sept 3 Brian Dolton How the Rainbow Came To Be
Sept 4 Greta Igl Free
Sept 5 Frank O’Connor, freelance thinker The Holy Fool
Sept 6 Oonah V Joslin Closer to the Truth
Sept 7 Tels Merrick Are We There Yet
Sept 8 E.K. Entrada A Certain Patch of Grass
Sept 9 Robin Vandenberg Herrnfeld Three Wishes–A Fairytale
Sept 10 Avis Hickman-Gibb All the Continents of the Sun
Sept 11 Deven D Atkinson Becoming Cottontail
Sept 12 GAY DEGANI Stranger on the Porch
Sept 13 Tommy B. Smith The Eric Jones Show
Sept 14 Erin M. Kinch A Castle in the Clouds
Sept 15 Anna Schwind Another Boot
Sept 16 Celeste Goschen A Beautiful Lie
Sept 17 M.Sherlock Crossing the Bridge
Sept 18 Kevin Shamel Double Virginity
Sept 19 Sylvia Spruck Wrigley The Banshee
Sept 20 Selena Thomason The Cat Won’t Stop Playing
Sept 21 Bill Ward The Unbelievable Non-Adventures of Gasbert and Zephyr
Sept 22 Frank Roger Complete Understanding
Sept 23 Megan Arkenberg Ghouls
Sept 24 Lenora Rain-Lee Good A Pitiful Face
Sept 25 Sarah Hilary Tuesdays and Thursdays
Sept 26 Jens Rushing Blankenship & Dawes in: Chrono-Conundrum!
Sept 27 Anne Marie Gomez Lester’s Lucky Day
Sept 28 BD Wilson Zalophus Philosophy
Sept 29 R. L. Copple The Carpool
Sept 30 Mari Ness The Shoes