New work in Change Seven Magazine & The Vignette Review and other news…

Happy first day of summer! I’ve just completed the first week of the two-week flash fiction workshop and am enjoying the experience immensely! The writers who are helping me beta test it are excellent. They’re posting such inspiring work and are giving each other really insightful feedback. I am thinking of running the first “official” workshop in August, so stay tuned! I’m keeping a list of those who have expressed interest, so let me know if I should add your name.

Some new stories have been published recently in great, new zines, so I’m very excited about that.

The debut issue of The Vignette Review landed today, edited by Abigail Sheaffer, and it’s gorgeous. My piece, “River,” may be read HERE. The issue is bursting with beautiful summer themed vignettes, such as “Salt” by Camille Griep, “Time to Run” by Robert James Russell, and “Ladders Like Silk Stockings” by James Claffey, among others.

Also, I wrote a flash length creative nonfiction piece about my 5th grade music teacher for the 2nd issue of Change Seven Magazine, founded and edited by the great Sheryl Monks.

The piece is called “We Learned to Pronounce Prokofiev” and you can read it HERE. The issue also includes work by: Donna Vitucci, Susan Tepper, Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, Frank Morelli, Jan Parker, Val Nieman, Eric Rampson, Laurel Dowswell, Patty Somlo, Peter Haynes, Ron Hayes, Rosalyn Marhatta, Allison Grayhurst, Shuly Cawood, Howie Good, Spencer K. M. Brown, Terri Brown-Davidson, Justin Hamm, Dean Pasch, and Corey Noll.

I was thrilled to see this story reviewed at And you may read that review here: “Education, Musical and Otherwise”.

Nancy Stohlman, who hosts Denver’s long-running F-Bomb Reading Series, is launching the first annual National Flash Fiction Festival, July 21st at the Mercury Cafe and it’s going to be HUGE! I will be reading along with the brilliant flash fiction writers, Paul Beckman, Robert Vaughan, Karen Stefano, along with all of the F-Bomb Series All-Stars. I’ll say more about this great event as it gets closer to July 21st but here is the announcement: F-Bomb National Flash Fiction Festival!

Whew! That’s all for now. Hope your summer is off to a great start!

Fast, Fun, and Free: Help me Beta test a two-week generative flash fiction workshop…

vintage-typewriter[HA, OKAY, THAT FILLED IN LIKE FIVE MINUTES…THINK I’LL CAP IT AT THE EIGHT PARTICIPANTS I HAVE NOW, BUT STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WORKSHOPS! THANKS!] Who’s game? I’m going to run a two-week generative flash fiction workshop right here on my blog beginning Monday, June 15th. I need fellow flash writers (or aspiring flash writers) to help me Beta test this for possible future workshops.

So! The two-week free workshop will include:

* Daily prompts

* Reading suggestions

* Comments & Feedback on your work

* Opportunities to give feedback on each other’s work

* Suggestions on places to submit

The idea is to get lots of new writing done and to make it fun for all of us! I would like to limit the workshop to 5 participants. Respond here if you’re interested!

Some new stories…

Busy week ahead as my youngest daughter graduates from high school (*sniff) and off to a wedding over the holiday weekend. I’ve got some new work recently published in two great places:

Three flashes in the Spring issue of the always beautiful FRiGG:

“The Children Called Him Yuck-Yuck”

“There’s No Time for Prairie Dog Town”



As always, I love the artwork throughout the journal and especially the art accompanying my stories. There is fantastic work you won’t want to miss in this issue, including work by Daphne Buter, Paula Bomer, Patricia Parkinson, and Bill Yarrow. I was especially blown away by Gail Siegel’s beautiful story “Commuting”.

Also, I have two new microfictions in Gone Lawn 17. I love this zine. It is described as “a webjournal of artistic and progressive literature” and they publish the coolest stuff. My pieces are:

“Vocabulary” and “Bear”

I’m happy to have received in the mail Blake Kimsey’s winning chapbook of the Black River Chapbook Competition through Black Lawrence Press, Families Among Us and Karen Stefano’s collection from 1Glimpse Press, The Secret Games of Words. So eager to read both of these amazing writers!

Later this week I’ll post a new flash fiction exercise, so stay tuned. Enjoy your long holiday weekend, all!

Fifty Random Sentences or How to Face the Blank Page…an exercise for when you’re stuck


I’ve sorely neglected the writing tips/exercises aspect of this blog because I’ve been writing so much lately! I promise to get back to it, but in the meantime here’s a reblog of my 50 random sentences exercise…I don’t know why but you have to click on “view original” and get to the link that way, sorry!

Originally posted on Kathy Fish:

vintage-typewriterRecently writer/editor Wendy Russ asked me if I would again contribute a small piece of writing advice for Lascaux Review. (Here is my previous article: Read). I decided to share with their readers an exercise I’d devised and that always seems to work for me, no matter how stuck I am. Some people have already written to me to tell me they tried it and now they have some great first drafts!

Soooo, if you’re stuck right now (and I am, frequently), go and have a look:

Fifty Random Sentences or How to Face the Blank Page.

I’d love to hear back from you if you had success with this exercise!

View original

New stories in Wigleaf plus postcard with apologies to the state of Nebraska

IMG_1094 (1) copyThis week I have two new short shorts in one of my all-time favorite zines for flash fiction, the wonderful Wigleaf, edited by Scott Garson. The first is a triptych, called “Enigma” and the second is a blocky, one-paragraph flash called “Game Show.” Scott also gives his authors an opportunity to write a postcard to Wigleaf. I’ve never done this before, but as I was on the road when the acceptance came, I actually stopped and got the postcard you see here and wrote exactly how I was feeling at the time. And for that, I have to apologize to the state of Nebraska. I was not feeling kindly toward you when I wrote it and nothing that happened was your fault. Except for the mean clerk at the Oasis Travel Center…

Anyway, here is the link. Hope you enjoy. While you’re there, if you’re not a regular Wigleaf reader I recommend you read the other stories. It’s consistently stellar flash fiction and I’m proud to have my work there. Wigleaf.

Beautiful Smokelong Quarterly: Part Two

And now for the remaining story excerpts from Issue 47 of Smokelong Quarterly, the launch of its beautifully redesigned site. I just continue to find the stories so original and breathtakingly written:

from “Mutable Pleasures” by Meg Tuite: “Attentive lust tasted as salty and unbridled as the wall. I holed myself up with the sock in my room. I sucked on it like a kid with a blanket for a few hours. It edged out the dark skid marks in my mind. Humiliation and anxiety were replaced with distance from school, homework or the need to be social. At some point, the alarm clock ticked out half past two, and I’d been seduced by sections of this cotton gnarled up and balled inside my intestines. I was a snake with a mouse stuck in the middle of me. There was no exit. It wouldn’t come out the other end.”

from “Rabbit” by Natalie Lund: “She emerges from the bushes and pauses, aware of us. It’s the first time she’s watched me and that eye reflects everything: the fear and the shame.”

from “Write Nothing Down” by Molly Faerber: “In the north they curve pocked and pitted, tumble down to pine trees and unplowed snow. We walk all day, stand by the milky waters, count the splay-toed prints in the underbrush. Our breath blurs and thickens in the air, and all around us shards of frozen water ring with cold, glistening.”

from “Map” by Susannah Felts: “Our homes, of sturdy floors and walls./ Slipping daughters’ freed teeth from beneath pillows, acting our parts./ Separated—by the lifted tips of our fingers./ We hammer out other lines.”

from “Rockaway” by Luke Wiget (and my favorite accompanying art by Lauren Crosser): “And he kissed her but couldn’t find anything. He only found her inside of her mouth. There wasn’t a fleck in the world that would convince him anything existed there besides her. The sea waved. Everything waited.”

from “Two Truths and One Lie About Marian ‘Lady Tyger’ Trimiar, Former Women’s Lightweight Champion of the World” by Annie Bilancini: “This Lady Tyger with the future in her strut and their children dancing around her, parrying against the encroaching night: the street lamps are little moons pulled in her wake. This woman is our sister, our daughter, they think. She will fight the battles that need to be fought, and she will win.”

from “Cords” by Gay Degani: “When my mother died, there was no hospital, just the morgue downtown, her little Honda T-boned, the medical examiner explaining she died instantly, no suffering. Can anyone die instantly? Wasn’t there terror in that split-second before? Did time slow down enough for her to deny or accept her fate? Did her life pass by like a hyper-speed movie? Did she miss saying good-bye to me? I asked myself these questions, I asked God, I asked Aaron. There was no harnessing the darkness. I clung to it. God kept silent, my father retreated, Aaron left.”

from “A Deer’s a Deer” by Taryn Tilton: “At dinner, I don’t say much, just tell my mother that everything tastes good. Everything’s actually cold, and we forget to say the blessing. My friend mentions the goats I raised for show, and my father cuts in. “Tell you what,” he says to me, “you and your animals, smost disappointing part.”

from “Nancy” by Coco Mellors: “Nancy is sensitive because she belonged to my grandmother, who is dead now, and who let her have her own electric blanket because the house was often drafty and cold. “Nancy is my reason for being,” she would say and pat her under the blanket.”

from “Antarctica” by Michelle Elvy: “The sky is heavy metallic: the hour before snowfall. He pulls his collar tight and heads home and when he gets there his wife’s standing naked in the kitchen. It has started to snow and the only colour in the room is the orange of her fingernails. The snow falls and they can’t get warm, no matter how hard they make love.”

Whoosh. So that’s that. Go read, if you haven’t already…

Beautiful Smokelong Quarterly: Part One

Have you seen the new look for Smokelong Quarterly? It’s stunning. I’m so proud to be a part of this issue. I’m back from AWP and just getting all the stories and interviews read. Man, it’s impressive. As always. I wanted to talk about the stories, but time and exhaustion do not permit proper reviews, so I thought I’d pick out some bits from each to tempt you to go read the stories if you haven’t yet had a chance. Nine today and the rest in my next post…You won’t be sorry! The stories are phenomenal.

from “The Pool Guy” by Jessica Alexander: “Do you like it? He said like what. I said my body, Thomas. Touch it. He did not budge. It’s not a body. I said it’s a crack in a house where the TV plays all day.”

from “The Dentist’s Parrot” by Ann Hillesland: “While shooting x-rays, the doctor puts a lead blanket over the parrot’s cage. The parrot likes the muffled dreaminess—it reminds him of his rainforest home’s heavy air, so different from this air-conditioned chill. He closes his eyes and imagines the thick brown river, the shaggy heads of trees, green imprinting the sky.”

from “Alphabet War, Alphabet Letters” by Shannon Sweetnam: “Her dreams are simple, but unpleasant—bang she is shot, the bomb explodes crash goes her home caving in upon her, yet she does not wake crying because there at the foot of her bed is her favorite Siamese cat, there in the distance, the sound of Father talking quietly to Brother in the kitchen, the smell of coffee, the knowledge they have returned.”

from “Moon Wishes” by Mark Jabaut: “A bloated, pale orange moon bent the horizon like an overweight tightrope walker.”

from “At Night, By the Creek” by Ashley Hutson: “We have been pretending we are brave so long we believe we are brave. Bravery is like a sport we practiced until everyone said we were aces. We are young, I notice. We are always young.”

from “Six Ways to Break Her” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam: “Her father sculpted her from melted vodka bottles in his workshop where he slept and ate and molded this daughter from his mistakes.”

from “Wayne Kumai, Novelist, Centaur” by Matt Bell: “Our Wayne Kumai’s bio is getting dangerously close to being too personal. He tries to adjust his course. This is a professional statement, he thinks, not a tell-all biography. Stick to the basics. Magazine publications: Cryptozoology Lit Review, Centaur v. Fawn, Casa del Caballo. He writes a quick sentence about not having an MFA, for increased credibility with his intended audience, then deletes an additional sentence about the institutional insularity of today’s writers.”

from “The Replacements” by Kirsten Clodfelter: “Lemon is drawn to their mother shape and smell, climbing without any prodding into soft laps warmed by cashmere sweaters in bright colors she longs to taste.”

from “Discipline” by Michael Don: “Though Harold made it through an entire war, and only had one bad ear, the good one too good for his own good, the one I must have shouted into. I tried hard but couldn’t imagine anyone or anything able to harm Harold, so I imagined him even angrier, my head a basketball as he dribbled it off our dining room table. A flash of light and then I remembered the Shabbat candles, and my mother who lit them coughed.”

Aren’t those gorgeous? Part Two to follow!