Kerry Wins at Last

I’m super excited and frankly stunned to learn that I’m the winner of the Sherman Chaddlesone Flash Fiction Contest. My story, “Kerry Was in the Kitchen, Cooking” will appear in the next issue of the New Plains Review. It’s a great honor, only my second fiction publication, and the cash prize doesn’t hurt right now either.

It took my protagonist, Kerry, a while to get here. In fact, I wrote this 1000-word vignette 25 years ago. Maybe 26. As far as I can recall, only one other person ever read this story till now. Maybe two. I’m a little hazy on the details.

Anyhow, I’m sure glad I recovered that file from the Brother WP500 diskette on which it languished for so long.

Box o'floppies

There’s a lot more where Kerry came from…

Photo by Jeremey Keith, licensed under Creative Commons.

Please Forward

Please ForwardI know I shouldn’t be excited about something so grim but nevertheless I am happy to announce that Please Forward will soon be available in bookstores (officially on August 15) and is now available¬†for pre-order at all the usual places, including my favorite bookstore.

This anthology collects online writings that erupted in the aftermath of the flooding of New Orleans in 2005. As such, it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, upon which I have expounded at some length.

Continue reading “Please Forward”

Red Rock Review

Red Rock Review

I’m holding in my hot little hands the Spring 2015 issue (#35) of the Red Rock Review, a literary journal from the College of Southern Nevada. Red Rock Review is notable for publishing such luminaries as Marge Piercy and now yours truly. Check it out, page 71, “Dreams,” a short piece of what might be called fiction. Long-time readers of this blog may be intrigued to know this story/essay had its genesis back in 2006, during a two-week inner vacation which I wrote about in somewhat vague and mysterious terms. It took over eight years to bear fruit, a long gestation. This is my first time in print, I think, and certainly in a literary journal of this caliber. I’ve also got work coming out in a couple anthologies later this year. The question remains, how best to leverage this into something more? What next?

PS: You can get a copy of the Red Rock Review from their website. Copies of “Dreams” are available from the author for a song.

PPS: Uploaded to Academia.edu

Journals, Volume X

I’ve been keeping a journal long before I started this blog. I started in 1977 when I was a mere whelp, and I’ve been writing on and off ever since.

Unfortunately all my journals got soaked when the floodwalls failed and New Orleans was flooded. Like an idiot, I’d left them in a box on the floor in the lower level of our house. It is one of my biggest regrets.

I thought they were gone forever, but through the miracle of technology I am bringing them back. Today I am proud to announce the publication of Journals, Volume X. This is the tenth volume of my journals, written during the summer of 1989 as I hitch-hiked around the United States.

You can get your own copy from Lulu now. Although the download is free, I recommend popping for the $15.98 printed copy if you want a unique art-book. The reason it’s so expensive is that it is full color on all 75 pages. The PDF just doesn’t compare with the experience of holding the book in your hands. It’s like holding a sodden mess plucked from the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina. Only it doesn’t stink, and you don’t have to wash your hands after touching it. Plus I get a one cent commission for each copy purchased. I don’t want to make any money folks, I just love to sell books.

Allow me to explain a little more. When I unearthed my sodden journals from the wreckage of our home, I couldn’t bear to throw them away. When they dried out, many of them proved legible. I took Volume V back to Indiana, where we had evacuated, and photographed each page with a digital camera. I put those pictures on Flickr and also made a book with Lulu, but the quality of the images was not quite high enough to satisfy me.

Later on I figured out how to get much higher quality by scanning each page. I won’t bore you with the details of image processing and then creating the PDF. Suffice it to say that I got frustrated and put it aside for a couple years. But all this time the files were still waiting patiently on my hard drive for me to finish the job.

My main goal was just to preserve my journal for my own satisfaction, and for my family. But I do think the end product is weirdly compelling in its own right, even to people who don’t know me — maybe especially so.

Every page is actually legible, some more so than others, depending on the pen I was using at the time.

30

I showed this book to a student here at the University today. He found the entry written on the day he was born. That made me feel old.

Will I ever get the time to give my other journal volumes the same treatment? I don’t know. I hope so. I see that Lulu now offers a scanning service that could save me labor, but it is more expensive. It bears investigation.

A tip of the hat to Jon Konrath for turning me on to Lulu with his book Summer Rain.