Flash Fiction: A Million Times

You’ve heard this one a million times. A girl is standing on the corner in the East Village with her French bulldog, Lola. The girl is waiting for the light to turn so she can cross the street, but this guy comes along in Italian loafers and the bulldog piddles on the loafers. I know, it’s cliché.

As you’d expect, Italian loafers takes the girl to small claims court because the shoes are ruined. He doesn’t care that she apologizes umpteen times, or that Lola is old and having bladder problems. The small claims court judge rules in favor of Italian loafers because an owner should be able to control their animal.

But here’s where things get interesting.

Turns out, by some twist of fate, the girl runs into the judge in the courthouse hallway after the proceedings. I think he was on his way to the men’s room (speaking of bladders) and she walked up to ask him a question. She was attracted to the judge, which is odd since he ruled against her. Didn’t matter.

The judge considered whether or not he’d ask the girl on a date. He decided it was a bad idea. He imagined that one boomeranging on him. Not on the first or second dates, but later, after they’d slept together a few times. He knew she’d throw the Italian loafers ruling in his face. He didn’t want to take the chance, even though the girl was cute and he’d been divorced a few years. It wasn’t necessarily easy to keep doing the dating thing.

Meanwhile, the Italian loafers guy made out like a bandit, but the last laugh was on him because after he left the courthouse, he got hit by a bike messenger. Yep. He wound up in the hospital with a severe concussion. Clearly, the guy didn’t pay enough attention on the street. In Manhattan you need to be on your toes, not checking Facebook every five seconds; but this guy was looking at his phone and sustained a head trauma.

It’s just how it happened. What can you do?

All of this is rote. It’s a story we’ve been told so frequently we nod as we hear the part about the head trauma. It’s expected you’re not going to like Italian loafers guy. First, he’s walking around Manhattan in an expensive pair of shoes, then, on top of that, he takes the girl to court. And even though his shoes got ruined, and he did nothing but stand on a street corner, the reader expects the writer to exact retribution against the guy for not accepting the girl’s apology. Besides, everybody loves a French bulldog named Lola. Let’s face it, that’s not working in the guy’s favor.

But, the thing is, the writer never explained that those shoes were given to him by his girlfriend as a college graduation gift. A girl he later married. The guy was distracted by his phone because he’d been waiting for a text from his wife. She was going into labor any second with their first kid. He was checking the phone for incoming texts, just like he’d been doing every five minutes because he was a nervous father-to-be.

So, there’s an unresolvable conflict. Now the reader could like the guy, because he’s going to be a dad and it seems like he got the raw end of the deal with the ruined shoes. And he wound up in the hospital and missed the birth of his first, and what would turn out to be, his only child. The guy seems like a regular saint, right?

What’s a reader to do?

Really, all of this is proof you can’t trust writers. I’m not talking about me, because I’m the narrator. I’m reliable. I’ve been telling you nothing but the truth from the get go. But those writers, they’re a crafty bunch. They split the road, then split it again and take not just the path less traveled, they create a new road no one saw before. They like tricking the reader that way, and somehow, the reader likes it.

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New Flash Fiction essay on Jersey City Writers Website

Hi all, I wrote a brief 500 word piece called A Few Words About Flash Fiction for the Jersey City Writers website. It was posted yesterday.

The piece has numerous links to some of the top literary journals that publish flash, and other resources that will be of interest to anyone who wants to write Flash Fiction.

Please give your click love here to read it:

http://jerseycitywriters.org/a-few-words-about-flash-fiction/

I will also put a link to this piece on my Published Stories page for future reference.

 

New Story – The Temple Maiden – Live on Gone Lawn!

My new flash story, The Temple Maiden, is now live on Gone Lawn, Issue 13.

Please read it by clicking here: http://journal.gonelawn.net/issue13/Deminski.php

Once again, many thanks to Yarrow Paisley for her editorial encouragement and acceptance of this piece.

Fyi – many of the details in this story are based on a trip I took to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2011. Photos of this trip are here: https://cdeminskiphotos.shutterfly.com/oaxaca

I saw, and photographed, many of the items mentioned: black pottery specialized to that region; the turquoise encrusted skull in the museum highlighting artifacts from Monte Alban. Also, I personally climbed the pyramid mentioned in the story and visited the church at the top.

A permanent link to this story is on the Published Stories page of this blog, so you can easily find it and read it again if you like!

New flash fictions, Ozone and Belongings, up on Camroc Press!

I’m very excited to announce Ozone and Belongings have been published by Barry Basden, Editor of Camroc Press Review. This is the first time my work has appeared in this journal.

Camroc Press’s editorial emphasis is work that has a deep emotional focus.

These works are in company with several other pieces I’ve gotten published this year that I’ve challenged myself to write since they explore territory that goes far beyond what I’ve written in the past. It’s difficult to be so “naked” in front of a reading public, but it’s taught me about honesty in my work to “go there.”

I hope you’ll take a moment to read these pieces here: http://www.camrocpressreview.com/2013/10/carol-deminski.html

A permanent link to these works will be available on my Published Stories page.

New Story: For Art’s Sake Accepted by Word Riot!

Huzzah!!

My flash fiction work, For Art’s Sake, has just been accepted by Kevin O’Cuinn, fiction editor at Word Riot.

This is a new milestone for me, a third piece of flash being pubbed in the same journal: Woo Hoo! (Deep endebted thankfulness to Kevin, as always.)

The pub date has not yet been determined but when it’s published I’ll let you all know with a joyous announcement and link for your reading pleasure. For now, a placeholder will go on the Published Stories page…

Thanks!

New Story: Recyclables Now Live on Pure Slush!

Hi everyone,

I’m so excited! Matt Potter, Editor of Pure Slush, (a literary journal based in Australia) has sent the good word over the wires. My story Recyclables is now live on the Pure Slush website, within this month’s theme issue “The Office.”

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CLICK HERE to read this new piece of flash fiction!

http://pureslush.webs.com/recyclables.htm

Matt has asked me to let readers know there is a comments feature on the site. All comments posted to the story will become part of its history…so, write on people! Feel free to leave a comment if you like. 🙂

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As I usually do a permanent link to this story will always be available on my Published Stories page so you can easily find it, and my “back catalogue.” 😉

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Special Free Bonus! Pure Slush also publishes the Hue Questionnaire. It’s a “what’s your favorite color” on steroids, or in my case…maybe asteroids. Curious?

Click here and navigate to my name to read my answers:

http://pureslush.webs.com/authorsd.htm#903144735

ENJOY!

The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest

Normally I do not pay attention to short story contests. However, The Kenyon Review has just opened their electronic submissions link today, Feb 1st for anyone who wishes to enter their short fiction contest and they do not charge a reading or entry fee.

What I love about this contest is that it skews towards flash fiction writing, with an upper limit of 1200 words.

All you talented flash fiction writers who read my blog regularly… please consider clicking on the link below and submitting your best work to The Kenyon Review. You will have until Feb 28th to submit.

GOOD LUCK!

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LINK TO THE CONTEST INFO: http://www.kenyonreview.org/contests/short-fiction/

LINK TO SUBMITTABLE SUBMISSION FORM FOR CONTEST:

https://thekenyonreview.submittable.com/submit/79fe80e3-391a-4c22-acff-9d050998f81d

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Information about the contest:

The contest is open to all writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Submissions must be 1200 words or fewer. There is no entry fee.

Katharine Weber, the Richard L. Thomas Chair in Creative Writing at Kenyon College and author of five critically-acclaimed novels, including Triangle and True Confections, will be the final judge.

The Kenyon Review will publish the winning short story in the Winter 2014 issue, and the author will be awarded a scholarship to attend the 2013 Writers Workshop, June 15th-22nd, in Gambier, Ohio.

New Story Accepted by Pure Slush!

Hi everybody,

Great news has come in over the wires from Matt Potter, editor of Pure Slush. He’s accepted a flash fiction piece called Recyclables for his February issue, with a theme of “the office.”

As usual, I will post an announcement and link when it goes live.

Thanks!

Carol

Nominated for a Micro-Award

I would like to extend my kind thanks to Blink-Ink editor Doug Mathewson for nominating my pair of 50 word flash pieces: Mother, A True Story; Father, a Lie for the 2013 Micro-Awards.

I share the honor with author and fellow nominee Sharon Coleman for her piece Foreign.

Both of our works appeared in Blink-Ink’s (printed) Issue 12 this year.

The Micro-Award, http://www.microaward.org/, is a literary prize given for a flash fiction piece under 1000 words. The award was created in 2008. Winners are scheduled to be announced on March 17, 2013.

Flash Fiction: Stench

 Stench

It came out of her slippery with blood, a wizened old man’s face with a peanut body. It wailed through the afternoon no matter how much bourbon she fed it from the drip tube. The force of the lungs would not cease, some monstrous thing calling its still unborn sisters and brothers. She swaddled it in an electric blanket to bake the stench away.

Flash Fiction: Einstein’s Hair

 Einstein’s Hair

Einstein’s hair crawled over the Princeton dirt towards the library. Physics wasn’t the point. A cataclysm happened billions of years ago and sent its light to earth. Space dust formed each frizzled follicle and tweed jacket spiraling around in a galaxy of random ideas. It equaled more than the man, less than the cosmos and formed the future.