ISSN: 1946-1712

In This Issue: Jake Freivald

Short Changed

I enjoyed the sense of change that I got out of this month’s short stories: Camille Alexa’s slipstream piece “Girl-Shaped Jar,” Nikki Loftin’s fantasy “Change,” and Heather Kuehl’s mainstream story “What Heroes Do”. Heather’s story is a perfect read for Memorial Day.

Our Classic Flash is from Kate Chopin, “Doctor Chevalier’s Lie”, and Bruce Holland Rogers continues his series on writing with “Tea Party Rules.” Don’t worry, he’s not getting political; he discusses the story contract.

Enjoy! And remember, comments are like gold to authors. Read more: HTML 

Flash 5/2011, #1: Camille Alexa

The Girl-Shaped Jar

Sammi’s sister sent her a funny email. A funny, funny email, showing crazy Japanese inventions to make things into other crazy things, other crazy shapes they weren’t. All crazy and stuff stuff, like watermelons grown in tempered glass jars, square right off the vine.

She clicked a picture of square watermelons, followed link to link to link from the chainletter her sister forwarded from a forwarded forward to her until... Read more: HTML 

Technically Speaking #5: Bruce Holland Rogers

Tea Party Rules — The Story Contract

In the previous column I said that fiction is a special variety of lie because it is collaborative. The reader participates in making the lie into a simulated truth and responds to the simulation with thoughts and feelings as if that simulation were real. Reading a story is not so very different from cooperative play such as sitting down to a pretend tea party with a child. The child is the author.... Read more: HTML 

Flash 5/2011, #2: Nikki Loftin


Vari woke up and did the first thing she always did, the thing she hated most: she looked down.

A second later, she felt to make sure. Thank God. No extra bits today.

It was a good day to be a girl. Smooth legs, soft skin, long brown hair. Excellent. If she got lucky, she would stay a girl all day long, and the kids at her new high school wouldn’t notice anything strange about her. Read more: HTML 

Flash 5/2011, #3: Heather Kuehl

What Heroes Do

Christopher and Emily Kesley met the old-fashioned way. At least, that’s what Kesley told me. He told me a lot when we served together. About his childhood, his family, his wife.

Dear Mrs. Kesley,

I pause, examining what I had just written. The curve of the M. The sharpness of the K. It seems wrong; not right. After all he had told me about Emily, this just felt too formal. Read more: HTML 

Classic Flash #47: Kate Chopin

Doctor Chevalier’s Lie

The quick report of a pistol rang through the quiet autumn night. It was no unusual sound in the unsavory quarter where Dr. Chevalier had his office. Screams commonly went with it. This time there had been none.

Midnight had already rung in the old cathedral tower.

The doctor closed the book over which he had lingered so late,... Read more: HTML 

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