Saturday, August 15, 2015

The New York Times on the connection of fiction and crossword puzzles

I really liked this Opinionator piece by Ben Dolnick on the connection he sees between solving crossword puzzles and writing fiction. I hadn't thought about it before, but as I had been just thinking about the "puzzling" aspect of short story writing yesterday, I found this very apt.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Sixfold publishes under an interesting premise. You send in  a story with a minimal fee. Then you're sent back stories in rounds which you critique and rate and by this method, better or best stories rise to the top. I was game a round or two ago, but not under the illusion that the story I sent in was great or would win. I just wanted some feedback.

My story came out somewhere in the middle of the range. Some people liked it, some people did not. I thought that was pretty fair. My yardstick was based on another story altogether. Here's the link to that one:

Yeah, you have to scroll down to near the end of the list and look for the entry Marian Chase. The author has chosen to be anonymous, but luckily their story is still available. Do me a favor, make an extra effort and go read it.

And after you do, go enter the Sixfold contest. Find out all about it HERE.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

And the winner is...

I'm re-posting this from Confessions of Ignorance, as it actually is more appropriate here.

I was talking to a friend last night and the conversation suddenly led me to remember that the winning M.O. story was up at Criminal Element and I said I would post a  link here. So I got over there and read it this morning and liked it. It's a very different sort of story than the one I wrote, and, I suspect, than the other candidates. Here, forthwith, is "The Cocoon", by Louis Racovich. Congratulations, Louis.

I assume it's purely coincidence, but I got something of a consolation prize from Criminal Element the other day, in that I won a copy of Charlie Martz and Other Stories, which is a collection of the unpublished short stories of Elmore Leonard. When you consider that the entire television series of Justified came out of one Elmore Leonard story, you may agree that a Leonard story is no slight thing. So I'm looking forward to the book's arrival.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Flash Flood Fiction--some links

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm taking part in Flash Flood Fiction Day which is now live. Every ten minutes or so a new story pops up. I've been dabbling mainly at random and have been enjoying the stories very much. But in case you don't feel like wading through the so far 128 stories, here are couple I've run across which knocked my socks off:

"Grizzly" by Angela Readman

"The Devil's Blessing" by Johnny Heriz-Smith

A funny one:

"Two Clones Walk Into a Pub" by Lance Cross

Or of course you could always read mine:

"The Rival" by Seana Graham

Or just head on over and choose something at random. There's pretty much every kind of story there, they're short, and it's fun.

No, really--DON'T try this at home.

Friday, June 26, 2015

M.O. "Wishful Thinking" results and Flash Flood Fiction Day

(Reposted from Confessions of Ignorance)

Sorry to be straying so far off track here these days, but I thought I'd mention a couple of things that I actually know something about. The first is that the results of the M.O. Wishful Thinking contest have come in, and though I didn't win I still enjoyed the process and am glad I took part. I'll post a link to the winning story here I think on the 10th, but if I get sidetracked you can always check in over there.

Meanwhile, though, a friend happened to mention the Flash Flood Fiction Day coming up on Saturday (tomorrow) at Flash Flood Journal, and I somehow managed to write something up quick and get it in in time to be published there. They tell me it ought to be up at about 2 PM British Summer Time (BST) or 6AM California time, as near as I can reckon. So look for "The Rival", or just check out the website and see what everyone's come up with. I know that's what I'll be doing. The maximum word count is 500 words, so these will be short pieces for your delectation.

Kids, don't try this at home.

Friday, June 12, 2015

made the M.O. shortlist

I have a story that's made the short list over at The M.O. , which is the contest section of Criminal Element. I was pretty excited about just getting to be a contender, as I'd tried once before and didn't get that close. I sent in the bio and photo for the Rogues Gallery yesterday, but hadn't heard that the shortlist story beginnings had gone up on the website. So the first news I had of it was when someone I don't know found my email, presumably through my blog, and took the trouble to tell me that someone else was doing a good job of promoting their story, and then went on to tell me that I didn't stand a chance of winning.

Well, I never thought I had a great chance of winning. But if the whole contest is really about how large a pool of people you draw in to vote for you through social media, then what's the point of winning? It doesn't mean anything about your story, it just means that you're a good marketer.

So my request to you is to head on over to read the opening paragraphs of the stories in the contest and do what the contest asks of you: vote for the story that you most want to read the rest of. Seriously, it doesn't have to be mine. After all, I  won't be voting for it. I already know the ending.

Oh, and here is the winning story from the last round: "Fix Me" by S.W. Lauden. However it rose to the top, it's a pretty great story.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Chance of Showers

“In the Event of Rain”, the sign on the locked iron gate read, "All Ceremonies Will be Postponed." Ann looked first at her rain soaked wedding gown and then at her waterlogged bridegroom, wondering if she'd ever meant to marry at all. "We can still get a refund," she said.

"Let's elope instead," Joe said.

Ann smiled, remembering what it was about him.