Two fences, three dogs, and one literary journal

It’s a holiday weekend, so I’ll keep this post light and breezy—like Spring. Speaking of breezy, it’s been more than breezy on this side of the valley lately. Unfortunately (for every reason except shade), we have two gargantuan sycamore trees in our back yard that love to drop sizeable limbs on our roof, so it’s been a boomrattleshake month.

Last month, we had a real guster that took down our ancient privacy fence. How weird to see our neighbors’ back yards. I grew up with back yards separated by waist-high wire fences. Neighbors had no outdoor privacy. They spoke to each other, which was good or bad depending on the neighbor. Anyway, we have a bright new six-foot high board fence now. Fort Lewis is secure once again.

The strong new fence comes at a good time because we are dog-sitting three dogs for the next week. Three. 3. The dogs are a family, so at least we don’t have to deal with canine territorial wars—though I suspect our cat is planning a bombing mission. When our Lizzie was still alive, we had two dogs in the house when we sat for our son’s dog, but three is a first. Let’s hope I survive this adventure.

If you were around here in January, you may remember that I announced Vine Leaves Literary Journal had published a vignette of mine—without the last line. The editors apologized, of course, and promised to reprint it in the next issue. Well, that issue is out now, and it’s a lovely mixture of vignettes, poetry, artwork, and photography, so check it out here:  Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue 2.

Happy Easter, however you celebrate it!

What I considered in the dark

For those of you who took the time to read my last post and the vignette it linked to, I’ve posted the last line now. I had meant to do that first thing this morning, but one of our sons invited us out for breakfast, so I had to get ready and leave the house before I was fully awake.

For those of you who took the time to read my last post and the vignette it linked to, I’ve posted the last line now. I had meant to do that first thing this morning, but one of our sons invited us out for breakfast, so I had to get ready and leave the house before I was fully awake.

Of course, knowing I had to wake up with the alarm this morning meant I barely slept last night. I don’t know why I can never trust the alarm. Anyway, during one of the times I lay there trying to fall back to sleep, I wished I hadn’t left you to guess the missing line because either it was obvious from reading the vignette or you would think of a much better line than I did. Either way my reveal would be ho-hum.

So then I considered posting a bogus last line. Something evil, such as:

I turn toward him and, with my free hand, plunge the knife into his heart.

Or something ambiguous, such as:

At last, I’m the man I was meant to be.

Obviously, in the end, I decided to play it straight. That vignette has been with me since May 2010. I wrote a post about the day it came to me. In her comment on Friday’s post, Michelle described the piece as “revealing”, and Cathryn agreed. After I wrote it, I realized it was a “conversation” one of my characters from The Brevity of Roses must have had with herself.

So, that’s that.

In other news, I am finally back to work on my next novel, which feels great. I still might publish a little something before the novel. I’m thinking about giving away a couple of autographed print copies of Brevity. And I might have something else in the works.

Ah, sorry, I guess I can’t help leaving you with a little mystery today. 😉

Let’s make this a game!

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that writing short fiction is a struggle for me. I keep trying though, and a few times, I’ve boldly submitted one of my stories to a literary journal. Oh, I was hopeful. This time for sure, I thought. Each and every time. No luck.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that writing short fiction is a struggle for me. I keep trying though, and a few times, I’ve boldly submitted one of my stories to a literary journal. Oh, I was hopeful. This time for sure, I thought. Each and every time. No luck.

I had other things on my mind though, like polishing and publishing the novel I’d written, so I set aside the quest for seeing one of my shorts published. I ignored the emails from Duotrope, tempting me with notifications of journals seeking submissions.

However, somewhere somehow I heard about Vine Leaves Literary Journal, edited by Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius. When I read about its concept of publishing vignettes, something clicked.

Here’s their definition of the term:

“Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.

Occasionally, I play around with writing vignettes. I had written one that I loved, but never tried submitting because it wasn’t exactly a story, not even a flash story. At one point, I rewrote it as a poem, which did not succeed. Anyway. I had this vignette just sitting there, so I thought, Why not submit it?

Guess what? Yep! They accepted it. Unfortunately, they accidentally omitted the last line! They’ve apologized and will print it again in it’s entirety in the next issue (April), but since I was excited to share it with you today, I’ll give you the link anyway, but we’ll play a little game.

Can you guess the last line?

Read and come back here to give me your best guess: A Meditation