flash fiction

The Post Valentine’s Day Post

Greetings! I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day – and if not – realize it’s one day a year and it’s over now. On my Facebook Timeline, a “memory” from 3 years ago popped up. It was when Husband crafted a rose for me. I shared it and he ended up with mad props from a bunch of people. Does that count as my Valentine’s Day gift to him?

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I chose a white rose with gentle red markings on the tips while we were at Wegman’s. I was/am happy with that. On Sunday – the day – Husband bought me a miniature rose bush. He is such a sweetheart.

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Next week I start a Flash Fiction workshop with Kathy Fish. I am so excited! I’ve admired her work for a long time. I can’t find my copy of Wild Life, but will be hunting it down to reread before class. Yes, I am that suck up.

The class is coming at a great time; I haven’t been producing much. I’m not blocked. It feels more like taking a breather. I’ve had several ‘insights’ into the book that I wrote for National Novel Writing Month – generally arriving seven minutes after I curl into bed for the night. I’ve dutifully jotted them down knowing the rewrite will be happening soon enough. I don’t know when, but it’s part of my process and I’ve learned to trust it.

Speaking of trust…I feel sorry for anyone who ends up with Leslie Gibbins as a lawyer. She is why I’m late posting today. Things that should have been taken care of in 2007 remain incomplete. Now, with a real lawyer, we’re figuring this out and correcting her ineptitude. Seriously, there is a couple in town that I do not like and I wouldn’t even want them to choose her as a legal representative. The worst part being that we didn’t choose her; someone else did. I know, maybe Leslie’s fun to drink with, but it’s Lent and I gave that up. Maybe she’s improved with age – I don’t know, but today, I am upset (but not surprised) by her failure to do something simple. Not that she cares, but it’s costing us hundreds of dollars. If it weren’t a pointless and costly endeavor to try to sue a lawyer, we’d be tempted. This, of course, is just my opinion, from my dealings with her…a reflection if you like. Creekside and all that…

Cheers! Thanks for stopping by!

*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary (I should hope so!)

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Short month; full calendar

In a recent letter to a friend, I came up with the idea of sending out a submission a day for a year. Thinking about it further, I decided on a more sensible goal of 31 submissions in 31 days – or one a day in January – and achieved it. My thought was that if I did that much, I could continue, and if not, that was fine, too. I mean, really, 366 in 366 is a lot to commit to, but I’ll probably pick another month and do that again – just not this month.

For a short month, there is a lot on my calendar. I met with Nancy yesterday to discuss life and writing. Monday, I’m auditioning for a role in 1 of 9 ten minute plays. Lent is fast approaching so soon there will be dinners out on Fridays for fish fries (and no dishes to wash!) On the 18th, the novel critique group is meeting once again after its brief winter hiatus and later this month I have the amazing good fortune to be taking an online course about Flash Fiction with the incredibly talented Kathy Fish.

One thing I will be submitting to is the 21st Dear Lucky Agent contest hosted by Chuck Sambuchino. This time, Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein from McIntosh & Otis is the judge. I’m sending the first page of “Ellie’s Elephants.” Wish me luck!

The news has been filled with the sad passings of people with enormous talent. Bowie will be read about forever and I want to give kudos to my cousin, Gregory Cason for being part of a tribute. He’s all bashful about it, but his name is on that byline and I’m proud of him. Hugs and high fives, Greg!!!

All right, I’m off to write, read, and make tomato sauce for dinner after our trip to the lawyer tonight. Thanks for stopping by!

2.4.2016

*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Stops, starts, strange changes, and such…

With the addition of Kim Chinquee to our novel critique group, both Gina and I decided to submit new work instead of continuing with the books we had been working on. The next time pages are due, I’ll be busy with travel and appointments so I’ve been working on my pages. I have a good start on this new book and I know where it ends, but to get there is going to be interesting. Coming out of the flash workshop adds to my delight since I can take my time and explain things instead of compressing every nuance. Thank God!

 
The library’s summer hours began, so I’m out of there until September and yesterday was my last day mentoring. It worked out beautifully as I was able to attend the concert where Isabella and her friend Amy played. I am going to miss them—and being mistaken for a substitute teacher. Yes, the double loss of free Wi-Fi spots is going to suck, but I’m playing with the idea that the loss will make me concentrate on the new book and revising the last one. Hey, it’s possible.

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The water lily in my frog pond bloomed. Thank you, Christy! I see frogs on there all the time, so I’m thanking you on their behalf, too.

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Otherwise, the garden is doing well. Peas are growing and soon I’ll need to thin out the squash plants.

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Husband reworked the sides of the driveway bridge this weekend and we have a plan on how it will look when we’re done.

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Eck! I don’t want to get into the ineptitude—let me correct that by saying the continued ineptitude—of certain Erie County departments and car dealerships, so I won’t. I’ll try to resolve those issues before I vetch about them here, but really, I am angry that people are more interested in making excuses than solving problems. I mean, if it’s your job to fix things—fix them. How hard is that to understand?

 
Whatever.

 

By the by, I hope everyone will join me in a toast to XO Man and his new bride. Cheers to them. I was thrilled we were invited to the ceremony, sad we couldn’t make it, but so happy for them both. Mazel Tov!

 

I’m having a fun time reading an advanced copy of “I Am Barbarella” by Beth Gilstrap. I have the privilege of interviewing her soon for The Tavern. I swear I love my job.

 

That is not the only thing I’m reading of course, but that one I’ll be posting about in the future—and I was on her site today—she gave me ideas on how to spruce up mine.

 

So, I guess that’s it for this post. Some things have wound down, others are ramping up—life. I guess that’s how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by to read my Creekside reflections. I trust your experiences will vary.

One thing done, twenty more added to my to do list.

Here it is, the fourth of June and the garden is finally planted. The screened in tent went up last night and I moved the swing in there this morning. The weather man said it was supposed to be sunny today, but that is not how the sky appears. It is the start of fun part of the year where I’m better off waking early to get outside to beat the muggy heat and the biting bugs. I am not a morning person. I’m not sure I’m an outside person either.

 
The author and my editor liked my review of Muscle Cars. I’ve been asked to conduct an interview with an author I’m unfamiliar with, so when I get a chance, I’ll be expanding my repertoire at The Tavern. Also, I may be revisiting a part of my life soon. I’ll know more on Tuesday, and I don’t want to jinx it, but it involves politics.

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Husband and I made it to our 15th anniversary. It fell on Sunday and he brought me The New York Times, Dunkin Donuts coffee, and these gorgeous flowers. They are holding up well. I guess we are, too—at least we haven’t killed each other yet. The day before our anniversary, there were a few iffy moments.

 
Condensed to Flash: World Classics is out and available at Amazon. I am honored and proud to have a story in there. It’s a gorgeous book with so many great stories by incredible writers. Many thanks to Mark Budman and everyone at Vestal Review Press.

 
Last week was brutal with rejections, so I’m hoping things turn around soon. I’ve got 5 new flash pieces from the workshop—well, one wasn’t directly from there, but the association is close. I’m going to run them by a few friends and then submit. I’ve slacked off with that part of the process recently, but it is difficult not to go outside and enjoy being able to do just that. This winter was unrelenting and I’m so glad it is over. We’ve had the daffodils, the irises are blooming and soon there will be peonies.

 
Thanks for stopping by!

 
(These are my Creekside Reflections; your experiences may vary.)

Fun with Cell Phones

042903_1502[01]If you know my husband, you know he doesn’t text and his spelling skills are…special. Yesterday, he was in the elevator shaft, someone called his cell, he climbed out, chatted, set the phone down and climbed back in. A bit later, Ryan, the guy he’s been riding into Buffalo with, asked him if he just texted him. Husband said no. Ryan asked if he knew where his phone was. Husband grabbed for it and found it was gone. He looked where he set it down and it was there. Ryan cryptically told him, “Don’t leave your phone out where Don can get it.”

Okay, so Husband says he said something about it to Don and after some back and forth, Don told him he’d need to sort things out with Norm. At that point in the telling of the story, I’m like “What the feck! Give me that.” I opened Husband’s phone and Don had texted to Ryan, “Can I sit on your lap and steer the truck?” I read it and after laughing for several minutes was finally able to tell Husband what it said.

Don texted to Norm, “I miss you,” which wasn’t horrid, but Norm texted back “I know,” upon which Don added, “What are you wearing?” No response. (All the words in the texts were spelled correctly and there was punctuation. Dead giveaway that Husband had nothing to do with those texts!)

I told Husband he should tell Don that I found the texts and got upset and woke him up in the middle of the night to explain. Apparently, he did and Don didn’t believe him, so Husband just called and I had to listen to Don grovel and say he was sorry for his bad taste in jokes. The whole time, I wanted to laugh, but restrained myself until after we hung up. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. It is stupid, I know, but it’s also kind of nice that the jokester got joked.

***

My first “real” book review comes out tomorrow. I’ll link it here when it goes up and if I remember. There are just a few more days left in the Flash Fiction Workshop with Meg Pokrass. The story for the second prompt gave me trouble. It was too long and I was frustrated. I went back to it, finished it and wound up with 1340 words. From there, I trimmed. I cut. I eviscerated. At 995 words, I posted it and got good reviews. She thinks it may be “the one” to get me into Pank or Smokelong. Here’s to hoping. There are three more prompts, so after I post this, it’s back to work.

Otherwise, it’s been disappointing, this writing life. Several rejections arrived, I did not make the final cut for an anthology, but I did get an encouraging note from one place. I guess that is something.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.

 

 

Fresh out of Data Usage Jail

Oye to the data usage hell I’ve been through recently. I’m convinced it is Twitter or a bug associated with Twitter that sends me over the edge, but it is now the 7th, the cycle restarts today, and I’m here. Welcome to the May 7th 2015 edition of Creekside Reflections. Aren’t you pretty? I’m so glad to see you!

 
So, besides the nail biting as to whether or not I would go over the limit, wonderful things have happened. “Like what?” you ask. Well, the reading. It was great. The 5 authors: Stephen G. Eoannou, Mary Akers, Gina Miani, Jeff Schober, and Kim Chinquee were wonderful. Class acts, each and every one of them. If you ever get a chance, go to their readings, buy their books, read their words. Totally worth it!

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Is that all? No! The readers at r.kv.r.y. went through a huge, respectful and insightful give and take on a piece we received. End shot, Mary resolved the differences and in January, there is an incredible issue in the works based on the title piece, Flame.

“That’s all?” you scoff. No! I’m preparing to send 25 pages of an old novel to my critique group today. Next week, I’m meeting with a woman I met through Bella Poynton’s playwriting class to discuss our stories. I’ve nearly psyched myself up to plunge into another revision of “Life and Crimes.” A story I couldn’t figure out is turning into a play that writes itself. And the topper of them all: I’m in a flash fiction workshop with the witty, the talented and the great flash fiction writer, Meg Pokrass. I have one draft of a story done and posted there and already have fantastic advice on how to improve it. I’m not even going to mention the awesome note she sent. I am so excited to work with her!

Outside, the trees are turning green, the apricot flowers bloomed, and I have peas coming up.

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Aprflower

 

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Saturday night a gorgeous, well-trained Rottweiler with no collar came to our door. He wanted in in the worst way, but the cat said, “Oh, hell no.” I gave him Tye’s old blanket in the tractor shed and he was out there for a while. In the morning, Husband met him and then he left for town. When he returned, the dog was gone just as quickly as he’d arrived. I’d just been writing in a letter to a friend about how I kind of missed having a dog around, and boom, there he was.

Trouble

You know, I really want an agent, a 6 figure book contract, and a spot on the New York Times bestseller’s list. Just saying…

Thanks for stopping by!

(These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)