Category Archives: Fiction

What’s the Score on Flash Fiction?

How many words constitute flash fiction? What’s the cutoff? The number seems to vary according to publication. Up to 1000 words according to Smokelong.com and Flashfictiononline.com submissions criteria. For Vestalreview.com the cutoff is 500 words. Flash fiction is significantly shorter than short stories, but how short can fiction go and still be recognized as a… Continue Reading

Madoff’s Turn at the Wheel

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized I was into the middle of the month and hadn’t posted for June. My memory had been swept away in a whirl of celebrations—graduations, birthdays, Mother’s Day. Well, then, better late than never, as “they” are so fond of saying. But what would I write about? Then I… Continue Reading

WRITING THAT NOVEL—WHERE TO BEGIN?

I’m lucky enough to have written and self-published a novel called Ninth-Month Midnight. (http://amzn.to/2q23pAP) But since then I’ve been going bonkers trying to get started on my next novel. I can’t begin to count the number of suggested approaches I’ve attempted to put into effect. The following are just a few of the resources I’ve… Continue Reading

Orwellian Resurgence: What’s It All About?

Given the current political scene, George Orwell’s work has re-emerged into prominence. His novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, was originally published in 1949, when the world faced the rising threat of Soviet totalitarianism. Today, almost seventy years later, the perceived threat is closer to home, and Orwell’s novel has skyrocketed onto Amazon’s bestseller list. In a 1974… Continue Reading

Happy Holidays

As I may have mentioned, my fiction covers a number of genres, including so-called women’s fiction, fantasy, and horror. This month I’d like to give you an early holiday present by sharing “Serena’s Hound,” a horror story inspired by a sublime Francis Thompson poem, called “The Hound of Heaven,” in which a benevolent beast serves… Continue Reading

Self-Publishing To-Do List

I had no idea what I was doing when I decided to self-publish my novella, Ninth-Month Midnight, about a woman who loses a child and almost loses herself before a charismatic psychic offers her hope. I came to the do-it-myself decision after wasting too much time waiting for traditional publishers to bite. It took trial… Continue Reading

How to Cure the Beach-Read Blahs

With the onset of autumn, I’m guessing many of you are sick of so-called beach-reads and ready for some substantial fiction, the kind that lingers in the heart and mind long after you turn the final page. To those of you beset by the literary blahs, I offer a potent remedy. The following contemporary novels… Continue Reading

Fiction from Me to You

This month I thought I’d share a sample of my own work, in this case a flash fiction that first appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn. I hope you enjoy it.   Legs   Only the legs mattered. The photographer had shot the bare legs in midstride, the milkshake thickness of thigh, the bony blossom of knee, the quick… Continue Reading

How Long Does a Story Have to Be?

I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing Brady Udall’s “The Wig,” a micro-fiction that won First Prize in Story Magazine’s Short Short Competition. This gem is proof positive that you can tell a great story with all fictive elements intact in little more than a page. I’ll follow the text with an analysis. Meanwhile, enjoy:  … Continue Reading