Found out yesterday that my story The Man Who Lived Like A Tree has been nominated by the good folks over at Referential for this year’s Best Of The Net Awards.
This is, of course, very pleasing news. Referential is a unique literary magazine in that each and every piece of writing and art on the site refers to one previously published, creating a kind of literary social network of writing and authors. The Man Who Lived Like A Tree is a story I am very fond of. Looking back at my draft files, I can tell you that the story went through 12 drafts between May 2010 and November 2011, with the first draft weighing in at 967 words and the final draft at 724. So as you can see, it took a long time and many goes at the story to get the right amount of words in the right order before it was accepted and finally published by Referential back in February. It’s a story that I lived with on and off for well over a year and it is great to see it resonate both with readers and the Referential editors who selected the story for inclusion in the site’s Best of the Net nominations.
You can see the full list of nominees over on Referential’s blog, where you will find links to all the selected fiction, poetry and non-fiction. There’s some great writing on the list so I am very please to see my story in amongst them. As I have said before, Referential is a great site to spend time following the links between the varied and engaging writing on offer. This list is a great place to start.
Volume 3 Issue 10 of the projectile for incendiary flash fiction, The Molotov Cocktail is published today and features my latest short short story, A Pack of Rats.
This issue also features Dream Girl by Joseph Lewis V and Contraband by Paul Beckham. Use the links to enjoy the latest from the most explosive literary journal on the web.
Fleeting is a rather brilliant online literary magazine. On the about page they describe themselves thusly:
Fleeting publishes exclusive short-form fiction, nonfiction and poetry by new and established writers. We like daring, lucid, erudite, amusing and infectious writing.
And playwright/short fiction author Anna Reynolds thinks the site is home to:
‘Some of the most stylish and provocative new writing online.’
All of which explains why I am so pleased to say that they have just published my latest piece of flash fiction: Her Hands Like My Hands.
I would warn you that the story contains some mild (in my opinion anyway) sexual content and as such is probably not suitable for reading at work. While you cannot leave a comment on the Fleeting website, please feel free to share any thoughts about the story in the comments to this post.
Living Room Songs is a collection of pieces recorded by Ólafur Arnalds which, some of you may recall, made the number two slot of my Top 5 Writing Music Albums of 2011. While I was busy last November, drafting short fiction while listening to the album on repeat, Andy Harrod was going one step further and writing flash fiction directly inspired by the moods and tones of each of the seven tracks. The result is the excellent Living Room Songs. Andy presented each piece on his blog to read for free, perhaps inspired by the tracks of Living Room Songs being available for free download on the album’s website. Following this, he decided to produce a limited run physical release.
Living Room Stories – Handmade Edition comes in the form of a seven-inch vinyl sleeve containing a front cover and the seven individual stories presented upon separate cards, each with their own attendant artwork. For anyone of the generation that remembers handling vinyl singles it is a wonderfully tactile choice that fits the music-inspired nature of the project perfectly. Each piece provides a glimpse of a scene, telling the story of a couple in snapshot, each ‘track’ managing to remain both separate from yet still informing the others in the set. I found the stories compelling and not a little mysterious. The spaces that Andy Harrod leaves within the ‘story’ of Living Room Songs allow the reader to fill in the gaps and make the story along with him. Such an approach works well alongside the music as the prose mirrors and maintains the tone and mood of the piece it is inspired by, a feeling or image carrying the reader in the same way that music carries a listener. In fact, I followed the advice of the introduction and took the time to listen to each track along with the reading of the relevant piece, something I would recommend (the songs can be downloaded for free, and indeed purchased, here).
A tender peek into the emotional landscape of a realtionship, Living Room Stories bridges the spaces between flash fiction and poetry and music. The layered descriptions and building up of resonant imagery both within each piece and across the ‘prose-album’ gives a sense of crisis and rising emotion that can’t help but engage the reader. It is an interesting experiment in creating fiction from music and a beautiful object that truly comes alive when reading along with the music which inspired it. The first edition run of 25 copies sold out in only 36 days but lucky for you, dear reader, the second edition is now available, and I would recommend grabbing a copy while it is still available.
If interested you can look at a digital preview Living Room Stories here.
I’m very pleased to be able to say my latest short-short, Things I No Longer wish To Possess is up at Staccato. I’ve been trying to place a piece with them for a while now and am really pleased to have done so with this story. A short list that tells a sad story.
Read Things I No Longer Wish To Possess here.
If you like it, or even if you don’t, leave a comment on the story post with your thoughts. Writers love feedback. Especially this one.