37 Flavors of Rejection

Tags

,

[WARNING: Although this post contains no animated GIFs, it does contain a healthy sprinkling of something called humor.]

Thirty-seven minus thirty-three, that is.

My talented writer pal Aeryn Rudel is far better than I at keeping pace in the blogosphere. Frankly, I don’t know how he does it and still has time to crank out story after story after story, but I digress…

I love following Aeryn’s journey toward acceptance, peppered (natch) with the inevitable thirty-seven flavors of rejection, sometimes because the vicarious feeling of pain soothes me. There is no schadenfreude here, only a comfort that comes from reminding myself I’m not the only writer in the world whose work gets the big fat thumbs-down. I swear publishers and editors and agents are polypollical beings. All of them.

Today, friends and readers, I’d like to share not thirty-seven, but four, rejection flavors that almost always make me want to pull a Mel-Gibson-in-Lethal-Weapon-(the first one), grab the first multi-thumbed person I can find, and leap off a building with him. Or her. Or her thumbs.

As always, I mean that in the nicest of ways.

My four featured flavors, in order of insanity-producing intensity, taste like this: Continue reading

Write what you love

Tags

, , ,

[Warning: This post is animated-GIF-free.]

Let me tell you a secret.

I want to be Stephen King.

Okay, I don’t actually want to be Stephen King. I don’t want coke-bottle glasses and I don’t want to live in Maine, nice as it is in July. I’m also happy being a few decades younger than King is.

But I’d still like to write like the man writes.

Here’s the thing. I’m not Stephen King. (apologies for the rhyme — it’s not my fault his surname rhymes with ‘thing’)

I’m just me. Christina, Tine, that chick from Somewhere in the American South, or whatever I happen to call myself on Friday evenings.

Take-home message? Sure, I have one. It tastes like “write what you love,” not what you want to/pretend to/hope to love. Continue reading

Good News and Bad News

Tags

, , ,

The good news first:

I and some of my favourite flash fiction writers are now for sale on Amazon.com. Check out The Molotov Cocktail: Prize Winners Anthology for details. There’s some fantastic work in here by fellow writers Sylvia Heike, Aeryn Rudel, Fred Senese, and others.

Shiny-new dead-tree format!

Shiny-new dead-tree format!

The bad news second:

Saturday Night Reader, the magazine that published my humourous piece “Debt,” is closing its doors. It’s going to be a SAD-urday Night.

Sniff.

Sniff.

Print Anthology Update

Here it comes, folks! And I’m going to be in it!

The Molotov Cocktail

prize winners

Big things are happening at The Molotov Cocktail headquarters. As you can see, our final proof of the Prize Winners Anthology has arrived, and we’re on the verge of approving it for release!

Also, our initialFlash Monster II deadline is 11:59 PST on 10/15, so get those entries in while you can. As usual, we’ll  then be running a Procrastinators’ Special (with corresponding fee increase) until 10/19 for any of you stragglers.

This flurry of activity means we’ve had to take a breather from our regular content. Our next issue will be the Flash Monster mega-issue on Halloween. And we’ll return to our usual semimonthly issues on 11/15.

But check back in the meantime for the exciting announcements about our Prize Winners Anthology release and the results of the Flash Monster contest!

– The Editor

View original post

A Reader’s Rubric

Tags

, ,

[As always, those looking to be stimulated by seizure-inducing animated GIFs of random celebrities are encouraged to try a different website. I hear Sesame Street’s is quite colourful.]

I’m not much for rubrics, those pesky little university-endorsed things that supposedly make grading papers objective so that when Suzie the Freshman visits the Dean to complain about her under-inflated grade, you’ve got something to back you up.

I’ve never been much for grading writing, either. My favourite grad-school professor limited our syntax papers to two double-spaced pages because he said, and I quote, “Most people can’t get from the first to the last word in a sentence without losing their minds.” He didn’t want to read twenty pages of shit, and when I started teaching, I understood what he was talking about.

But I digress.

It turns out I do have a sort of rubric, even if it lives in my head. It’s a simple one, and starts with a single question:

Is this good?

Now we have talk about what “good” means.

When I’m reading flash fiction slush (which, by the way, I like a lot more than reading frosh comp five-paragraph essays on sleep-inducing topics like ‘The Dangers of Cell Phone Usage’ or ‘Why Carbonated Drinks are Bad for You’), I have a list of questions running in my head. Here are a few:

  1. Does this resonate with me?
  2. Is this memorable?
  3. Do I ‘get it?’
  4. Has this concept been played out before?
  5. How original is the form?

I’d like to expand on each of these. Ready? Let’s go. Continue reading

Previously published (or, don’t be as stupid as I was)

Tags

[Warning: No animated GIFs in this post, either. Although if I could find one of me smacking my head against my keyboard, I admit it would be appropriate. You’ll just have to imagine that one. Instead, I offer you this photograph by Ondrej Supitar via Unsplash.]

No entry

No entry

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the Letter S for Stupid and the Number 1 for

All it takes is one website to lock you out.

Confused? I’ll explain.

You already know I write flash fiction. Some of it’s decent; some of it gets picked up by nice editors. I pen stuff, I submit it, and the nice editors look it over as long as I follow their submission guidelines.

And, in most cases, as long as whatever I’m submitting hasn’t been previously published. Continue reading

The gift of flash

Tags

, ,

[Attention: This post contains no animated GIFs of celebrities freaking out. It does, however, include an awesome photograph by Morgan Sessions via Unsplash for those who appreciate the beauty of stillness.]

I had a few alternate titles in mind for this post:

  • How I got the flash bug and why I’m in no hurry to get over it (gag)
  • I write flash, and you should, too (even worse)
  • A flash a day keeps insanity at bay (true, but way too rhyme-y)

So I went with something shorter, sweeter, and all multiple-entendre-ish. Consider it my gift to you.

Great things from tiny sparks

I got all nostalgic the other day last month here on Le Blog and put up a few links and pics of the short stories I grew up with. You won’t find them on your ten-year-old’s school reading list, which is too bad. If more kids read Shirley Jackson and Stephen King, I think we’d live in a better world. Especially if all of Jackson’s and King’s work was in cursive.

But I digress.

Flash fiction is a gift. Continue reading

Why I Won’t Give my Flash Away

Tags

, , ,

[Warning: all animated GIFs in this post have been replaced with sarcasm.]

I’ve been having a good run so far, averaging about one publication a month in the world of flash fiction. As expected, a few people have asked if they can read it. When they do (and it doesn’t happen often), I point them to my list of pubs.

Sometimes I get reactions like this:

My web browser is having problems. Email me that piece and I’ll read it.

Sincerely,
The Dipshit

Or this:

But I don’t want to create a free account on Platform for Prose. Can’t you just send your story to me?

Cheers,
Your Lazy-ass Pal

Or even this:

What? I have to buy a subscription to Saturday Night Reader to read your stuff? No way. Send me the PDF.

Later,
The Cheapskate

My response?

Dear Dipshit, Lazy-ass Pal, and Cheapskate,

I regret to inform you I will not be sending along my writing for your reading pleasure. Please find my reasons below.

A) Since you can’t figure out how to navigate a website, you probably won’t figure out how to navigate my story.

B) If it’s too much trouble for you to set up a free account, I fear that reading a two-page bit of flash might do you serious damage.

C) When the nice folks at Publication X pay me cold, hard cash for my writing, what makes you think I’m going to cheat them out of their well-deserved income?

That is all,
Moi

Bottom line? I work hard to put my writing out there, and the people who accept it work hard reading, editing, formatting, and publishing. They deserve their web traffic and, when applicable, their subscription income.

Thanks for understanding.

777 Challenge

Tags

, ,

Since my word-count is usually something more like 666 when I check it, finding a non-demonic number on my Twitter feed was rather refreshing. Author E.G. Moore began the Triple Seven Challenge, and fellow writer Jennifer Todhunter nominated me in turn:

In a rather unfortunate turn of events, page seven of LUCKY THIRTEEN (soon to be retitled, revised, and generally juiced-up) has a mere seven lines on it. I suppose that makes my job easier. Here are those lines:

“But miss,” Number Two said, “how do you know we are from Florence?”

“You’re from Florence. Your friend here,” she said, nodding towards the other man, “is from Siena.”

Danny left them shaking their heads in confoundment. She didn’t get many chances to perform the trick, but when she did, the experience was satisfying. She’d have to tell Giorgio about it later on. He always got a kick out of Danny’s knack for discerning the dialects of his homeland, and he’d know about the famous — or infamous — Gorgia Toscana. The habit of turning a ‘k’ into an ‘h’ marked many a Florentine like the sign of Cain. Giorgio would have a good laugh at tonight’s story.

Okay, okay. It looks like more than seven lines, but you do want the context, don’t you?

And now it’s my turn to nominate seven authors:

Charlotte Gruber (AKA World’s Bestest CP)

Elizabeth Davies (Word-weaving Welshwoman Extraordinaire)

Bud Jillett (Guitar Player and All-around Nice Guy)

Sylvia Heike (Fellow Flash Fiction Freak)

Tegan Wren (Whose awesome novel INCONCEIVABLE is coming soon)

James Stryker (Who I hope will post seven lines from his dark CCBB backstory)

Sharon Bennett (Because she hints she’s got a novel in the works)

That is all.

Writing tools: the high-tech, the low-tech, and the unnecessary

Tags

, , , , , , ,

[Standard warning: There are no animated GIFs in this post. Not even one of Oprah.]

Stephen King talks about a sort of writer’s toolbox in his book On Writing. I’ll be discussing a different set of tools on Le Blog today.

Ready?

Let’s go.

Continue reading