With futile gestures, my insufficient hands negotiate her indomitable body.
My third published story of the year – and twentieth publication overall – is now live at Anti-Heroin Chic. The story is about intimate massage at various stages of a relationship. It is also about a pregnancy scare. This is a sensual but jarring two minute read.
The story was inspired by so many of my female Literary Twitter friends writing about their bodies. I was hesitant to try it – especially with so many men being justifiably mocked for their portrayal of women’s bodies in literature – but I received some important encouragement from @loki_writes and continued submitting.
Issue 5.1 of The Magnolia Review is out today and it features “John’s Oven” an older story of mine that was recently overhauled. The oven of the title is a metaphor for male insensitivity – I’d like to believe inadvertent – and this is the tale of a good thing gone wrong. The story is full of good food, a few laughs and contains an important lesson.
The Magnolia Review was conceived by Bowling Green State University creative writing undergraduates and started accepting submissions for their first issue in August 2014. Suzanna Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder.
My first Canadian publication arrived in my mailbox this week.
Set in 1953, in the small town of Port Colborne, Ontario, “Olympia” is another story based on tales my father tells. It appears in Volume 40/41 of The Nashwaak Review (published by St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB).
If you would like to order a copy of The Nashwaak Review, please send your cheque or money order made payable to St. Thomas University in the amount of $30.00CDN (includes shipping and handling), indicating the volume number 40/41, along with your mailing address to:
Rebecca Phillips The Nashwaak Review St. Thomas University Fredericton, NB E3B 5G3
So, 2018. Although I first started thinking of myself as a writer in 1992, 2018 marked my first full year as a full-time writer. (I spent the first seventeen years of this millennium working for a cruise line, saving the money I plan to live on for the foreseeable future.) Since I’ve always been a fan of statistics, here are my short story stats for the year:
Accepted: 22 (17 already published)
Pushcart Prize Nominations: 1
Honourable Mentions: 1 (Canadian Authors Association, Niagara Branch Short Story Contest)
Total stories: 36 (18 old & revised, 18 new this year).
For links to all my published stories, click here.
An anthology of miracles was published today. It includes my story “Martinello” – about a resurrected, 500 year old sheep. The greatest miracle, for me personally, is that this is my seventeenth published story this year. What makes it even sweeter is that “Martinello” was rejected by twenty other editors before Grant Hudson called it “a gem” and accepted it for his latest anthology.
This story takes its name from a sheep loved by St. Francesco of Paola. Five hundred years ago, workers ate the lamb and threw his bones into the furnace pictured above. When he learned of the murder, the future saint called upon Martinello to return to life and the lamb sprang from the flames, unharmed.
Although I’m not a religious person, I visited Francesco’s sanctuary in southern Italy back in 2013 and witnessed a steady stream of locals arriving at the main chapel simply to commune with the bones of the saint, which are on display. I started thinking then how comforting it must be to believe in something. I wrote the story to convey this feeling.
“Similar limestone stacks abound, with precipices so bold and striking even seagulls – who must find aerial views humdrummingly mundane – are awed by the vistas as they soar above the cliff.”
I feel like Shakespeare – inventing words I need. The editors at Levee Magazine were not only kind enough to indulge me, but even gave this story the lead in the premiere edition of their sleek, new magazine.
Order your own copy by clicking here. It’s softcover, only $3.98 (USD) for 114 pages, which is by far the lowest cost print, literary journal I’ve ever seen.
For the time being, you can get a taste of this story by looking at a preview copy. Follow the link, click on PREVIEW and RIGHT ARROW until you come to page 1.
This story (set on the beach shown above) was inspired by an afternoon of reading literary journals and being surprised at how bizarre many of the stories were. This is my try at writing “bizarre.”
“Standing at the far end of the platform, I turn toward a dozen people clustered near the center. All are facing me, staring, silent and dumbfounded.“
Today’s featured story at Train Literary Magazine is my 14th published story this year. Although written last June, it is based on a real event from twenty one years ago, when I was backpacking through Europe.
It is a short flash fiction story that is a little bit funny and a little philosophical – and it takes two minutes to read. Check it out at Train.
Never let go—not of memories, of friendship, of dreams, of hope, of love, or of the life you have. That was Irene’s final lesson.
Lucky 13! My thirteenth published story this year is about a recording of a dead boy’s voice, and an homage to the woman who told me the tape existed. This ghostly tale has haunted me for much of my life. You can read it in less than half an hour at The Piltdown Review: A Journal of Remarkable Finds.
Despite the grim and chilling subject matter, it ends on a very optimistic note.