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2017-My Award Eligible Stories and Behind the Scenes

2017-My Award Eligible Stories and Behind the Scenes

This year I published three professional stories: one literary story; one fantasy story; and one science fiction story.

1. “A Good Egg”Podcastle

Fantasy.

This was my first time entering a contest in the Escape Artists family of podcasts, and it all began with a Snapple cap that my daughter showed me. Snapple fact 1334: “Nowhere in the Humpty Dumpty nursing rhyme does it say that Humpty Dumpty is an egg.”

I pondered it and researched it and, eventually, tried to answer a question many others had before: if the real story of Humpty Dumpty is not completely written, then who was he?

2. “Analog Signals”Daily Science Fiction

Science Fiction.

I am fascinated by the rapid changes in society driven by rapid changes in technology. In this story, I explored the idea that if you could hear the outcome of your decisions by tuning into a radio station, would you change your current path? Or does hearing possible outcomes make new ones by itself?

I’m slow to adopt new technology, but I love to learn about and admire it all the same.

3. “Sugar”Crab Orchard Review

Literary fiction.

This story is a bitter sweet for me. Drawn from a now-abandoned first novel, “Sugar” represents the heart of that work, boiled down to its essence.

 

Link of the Week: Foyles Announces Murakami Contest Winner

If you ever want to know what it feels like to be a writer who loses a contest then reads the winning entry…well, I will tell you that it’s a lot of smiling that feels like swallowing bitterness. Anyway, this contest was a cool idea: write a story in the style of Haruki Murakami using a line from his new bookstop novel 1Q84.

Courtesy of the writer.

The winning entry, which comes from Kavita Jindal, is an excellent story with the kind of restrained yet entrancing voice that Murakami does so well. Losing sucks. But it’s not so bad when you get to read such a wonderful story as a result.

Writers of all levels would do well to see how the story handles telling and showing, using one to set up the other. It also has a subtle strangeness common to great micro fiction.

Well written is well done.

Selected Shorts

Great writing deserves great performance. I’ve been a fan of Symphony Space‘s program Selected Shorts, broadcast on WHYY, for years. Though I read widely, the authors invariably are 50 percent of the time totally new to me, as are the performers.

There’s nothing like hearing a short story resonate in the attentive listeners, who laugh or gasp at the perfect moments. They have provided a perfect background when I drive to work, go for a run, or try to sleep in a weird art hotel in Berlin.

The quality is consistently good to great, and iTunes offers several of the most recent as free downloads.

I only hope that one of my stories ends up on the show someday. A boy can only dream…

*Also, they offer the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Contest for entries 750 words or fewer. Be aware the entry fee is $25; winner receives $1000 and his/her story will appear on the program.