NEW RELEASE

LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter

I’m happy to announce the release of my fifth book, a short story collection entitled: LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter.

Within the collection, there are 30 stories new and old. Some are short in length as are traditional short stories, and some are shorter in length, as are the more contemporary flash fiction stories. Some were written as recently as this past winter; others, as long ago as the early ’90s. Many have been published previously on my website and other places, but there are several new stories that have not yet been released until now.

Continue reading “NEW RELEASE”

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WRITE EDIT WRITE: Flash Fiction by Author Pam Schloesser-Canepa

WEW Facebook Ad-1200x299
Last week I announced that we were starting a private Facebook group for Writers and Readers called WRITE EDIT WRITE. Well I am happy to say that we have had a great response to the announcement and our group includes a growing host of active and creative members. And while we’re still getting situated and figuring things out, we have held our very first WEW CHALLENGE, a challenge where members were asked to post a 250-word or less flash fiction or flash essay. I am again happy to say we had a fantastic response, with the following selection being representative of the fine writing being exhibited by all.

To read all the submissions, visit here.
To learn more about the private group, visit here.

Please check out the writing and stop by the authors’ websites to show them your support.

Write on!



THE POST OFFICE BOX
by Pam Schloesser-Canepa
pamelascanepa.wordpress.com

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.

Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.

To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.

Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.

“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.

“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.

Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.

With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.


So, about that newsletter of mine…

Have you had a chance to check out what’s going on with Newsletter Love lately? We recently announced that we will be sending out 2015 in style, meaning me sharing your poetry and other writing via the newsletter on New Year’s Eve and with a selected few being published right here on the blog as my first post for 2016.

So check it out, subscribe, and help us send 2015 out in poetic style.

Right on?

Write on!

 
 

The Man Crossing Lombard Street… Selection

– randomwordbyruth wins the Make Kurt Scratch His In Complete Befuddlement As He Tries to Comprehend the Linkage Between the Story and the Prompt award.

– Josh Wrenn comes in with another powerful submission. Josh’s story is set up perfectly in both tone and pace. I loved all the unknowns, especially the unknown of why all of a sudden the San Franciscans turned on the lonely man. I only wish it would have ended right after the unknown lonely man purchased the rope. For after that, everything becomes known and a bit too trite for me with the play on the Beatles song. I say this not to be publicly critical, but to publicly express how great I think the story is and to strongly urge Josh to consider submitting his story, after taking my public feedback under consideration, to a literary journal. Congratulations, Josh, on yet another fine piece of work.

Which takes us lastly to our first submission…

It is my pleasure to present to you tonight’s Flash Fiction Friday selection, which is yet another well written, powerful submission and one that is selected despite it implicating yours truly in a Big Brother role of sort. In fact, it just may have been selected for that spot-on implication because its presence is really felt and it adds a heavy layer of paranoia and wonderful creepiness to the story that might not otherwise have been there. The dialogue is perfect and the story is completely relevant to our times. Bravo, karen.


THE MAN CROSSING LOMBARD STREET
by karen rawson

“People oughta mind their own business, I say.” Henry raised a curled fist to his mouth and coughed into it.

“What people, Mr. Schmoll?”

“Them. Those people.”

“I see. Can you take a deep breath for me?”

Henry wheezed and brought up a rattling breath. Dr. Redmond tipped her head, listening. Congestion, for sure. But there was something strange in there. “How long have you had that cough, Mr. Schmoll?”

“Aw. I dunno.” He heaved and cleared his throat. “Awhile. That ain’t why I’m here. It’s the internet people. They’re bugging me.”

Dr. Redmond pulled back and eyed him. “What internet people?”

“The people! All the people, watching me. Writing stuff down. All the way down Lombard. Watching me. Goddamn people. They oughta mind their own business.”

“I see. And how long has this been the case?”

“Aw jeez. Aw jeez.” Henry shook one leg, pounded a fist on it. “Goddamn. Someone just wrote me a war injury. I wasn’t even in the war.”

The doctor took another step back. “Someone wrote you a war injury?”

“They say I live alone! I don’t live alone. I got family.”

The doctor backed to the door and reached back for the knob. “Mr. Schmoll, I’m going to consult another physician on this. Can you just sit tight until I’m back?”

Henry blanched and curled an arm around his stomach. “Okay then. But hurry. Someone just wrote me a bad case of indigestion. If you don’t hurry up, those goddamn people gonna write me to my grave.”

karcherry.wordpress.com


Thank you, Authors, for sharing your fine skills with us. Have a fantastic weekend.

 
 

It’s Only “Weird” If… [Weird Wednesday Prompt]

I like those beer commercials that were airing a couple years ago about how it was only weird if it didn’t work.

If that isn’t one of the most true and profound beer commercials in the history of beer commercials then I don’t know what is…

I mean, if we do something strange or have a less than normal personality, then we are automatically labeled as weird. But have someone rich and/or famous exhibit the same behavior then it immediately goes from not working and being weird to working and being, you guessed it, eccentric.

Eccentric… What every weirdo strives to become.

Imagine an average joe* walking down, not the red carpet, but the average city street in a dress made of meat… I doubt the eccentric defense will work well with the average city cop.

Yet another example of the long, hard, enduring struggle between the classes…

But if you think about it, weird ain’t easy to do. It’s hard to go against the grain, against convention. Normal is so easy, welcoming. We’ve been doing normal for most of our lives and it now is hard not to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, normal is cool. Whoever invented it was a genius – and I suspect female – for how else to get us stupid men from bashing in each other’s stupid heads with clubs and rocks and whatever else we could get our hands on than to create a system where such behavior is strange, odd – not normal.

So I’m all in for normal, while knowing very well that weird is where the action is.

So, for today’s Weird Wednesday prompt…

Put together something – a poem, an essay, flash fiction, a drawing, whatever – stream of consciousness perhaps, whatever – something less than normal, something against convention, but something that, at least in your mind, is normal and as conventional – and preferable, enlightening to all – as can be.

My guess is, it won’t be easy…

And I suspect Josh Wrenn, the author of yesterday’s Tanka Tuesday selection, just may be tapping into some of that brandy he waxed so poetically about for some weird inspiration.
 

*non-gender specific


This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7PMish.
Selection posted some time after…

 
 

Rub-a-dub-dub?! [Flash Fiction Friday Selection]

Ha ha…what more can I say about the two submissions in response to today’s prompt other than they both are frikkin’ awesome and just the bizarre fun and wonder I was hoping for. The only problem is having to choose one over the other.

I had pretty much resolved myself to the international standard selection process of the Flipping of the Coin to let Chance decide. However, right before the flip, as the coined balanced precariously on my thumb, I manned* up, so to speak, and decided that I would not choose my selection by such a cop-out of a way.

The selection had to be up to me not a coin. I had to find a way to differentiate between the two. So I got to thinking about what if it were me writing a response to the prompt. Which response would I be more likely to write – the humorous or the macabre? Yeah, you guessed it, I probably would have gone dark with this one.

Consequently, it is my pleasure to present to you…


THREE MEN IN A BLOODY TUB
by Josh Wrenn

England:

Detectives are baffled by findings of human remains found floating in the Channel. All of the dead were cut into pieces, but meticulously scrubbed clean of blood, fingerprints, and other evidence.

Lead Detective Jeff Murdock would not confirm the rumors that there is a serial killer on the loose, but did confirm that there are multiple victims.

Anonymous sources within the department tell BBC News that they believe there are at least two victims who were dismembered, cleaned, and then dumped into the Channel.

BBC News has also learned that a task force dubbed “The Butcher” has been set up within the department but has been unable to determine whether it is related to this case. We have also learned that at least one witness may have been brought in for questioning by the task force.

In other news:
The families of Westham’s famous Candlestick Maker, and his friend and world-renowned Baker are asking the public for assistance in finding the two men, who never returned home after a fishing trip. Anyone who knows anything about their whereabouts is asked to call 111.
 

myfridayblog.wordpress.com


 

Thank you very much Doug and Josh for your awesome stories. If either of you would like a digital copy of one of my selections at Amazon, please contact me through the Contact page and let me know.

And thank you to all who joined in the fun and took the time to “Like” the selections for yourself. You all, too, are frikkin’ awesome.

Until tomorrow…
 

*non-gender specific

 
 

Rub-a-dub-dub?! [Flash Fiction Friday Prompt]

You know, some of our fairy tales and nursery rhymes can really make one wonder. Well, at least they make me wonder. For instance, I really wonder what the heck the impetus was for the creation of Three Men in a Tub.

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they were?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all sailed out to sea,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

Weird.

But weird is cool because with it there often comes such wonderful possibilities. Such as the all the possibilities for the development of interesting back stories that bring light to such an odd, interesting poem.

And that weird also brings with it the possibility for today’s Flash Fiction Friday prompt.

Write a 750 word or less fully developed story that includes who the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker are, what their relationship with each other is, and the events and plot lines that lead up to and conclude right before the famous and oft-recited nursery rhyme begins.

Cool?
Cool.

A couple of logistical notes before we begin. I ask that henceforth all submissions for daily prompts be in by 7PMish each evening. That way I’ll have time to read through them and publish the selection by 8PMish.

And I also ask that there be no comments or other responses to the prompts other than prompt submissions. While I always love to hear from you, as witty and interesting and smart as you are, responses other than ones to the prompt kinda muddles things up a bit and will be deleted. Sorry ’bout that.

Cool?
Cool.


This is germane.

 
 

So I’ve been thinkin’…

Which is always a bit risky, I know.

But still, I’ve been thinking that since I am really digging all the artistic inspiration and beauty that has been outpouring from that little salon-like space of a newsletter full of love of ours lately (speaking of which, this evening around 8PMish I will present our Haiku Challenge selection along with a guest post from the author…I know, right. Awesomeness.) that perhaps we can bring some of that muse-like magic here to the blog, if you know what I mean.

So I’ve been thinking, which I may have already pointed out to you, that maybe we should start doing something similar – but different, of course – right here in this agora-like space of a blog full of love.

I was thinkin’ that maybe we could do one of those Daily Prompt Challenge thingies that we oh so often see happening all over the webarena…

Off the top o’ me noggin’ I was thinkin’ I’ll post a daily prompt each morning around 8AMish sometime in the morning, and then you all respond to the prompt by posting your prompted piece into the comment section of the prompt which was published prior (I’m getting dizzy), and then, after submissions close at 7PMish, I will select the piece that I feel best aligns with the spirit of the prompt and publish it around 8PMish that same evening. Kapish thus far?

Please no responses to prompts except prompt responses…huh? In other words, only prompt response submissions will be allowed in the comment section. All other comments will be deleted. I found with the Relating to Humans feature that comments and replies other than submissions muddle up the flow of things. So, apologies in advance if you write a kind comment that is not a submission response to a prompt and I end up deleting it.

In addition to having your piece published on the blog, if selected, I will also present to you a digital copy of one of my works published on Amazon. Author’s choice of book and digital format (mobi, epub, pdf).

We can start off with a two-week pilot program of sorts, beginning this Thursday, tomorrow. At the end of the pilot we’ll determine if it’s viable enough to continue. I’m hoping it is seeing how awesome and creative you all are on such a regular basis. But if it isn’t viable, then we’ll shut it down – no harm no foul, like.

So, off the top of me noggin’, here are the daily themes that I will prompt to and you will write to (subject to change based upon my whim and your feedback):

Memoir Monday – You will submit a reflection from your past in the form of your choice (poem, short essay, flash fiction, art, photography, etc.), as inspired by the prompt

Tanka Tuesday – You will submit a, you guessed it, tanka, as inspired by the prompt. Don’t know what a tanka is? Google does and s/he would be happy to explain.

Weird Wednesday – You will submit something abstract, avant garde, stream of consciousness perhaps, or whatever weird you can come up with in whatever form you wish to present your weirdness in, as inspired by the prompt.

Thoughtful Thursday – You will be writing as if you were Queen* of the World and submit a piece in a form of your choosing that reflects how you would make the world a better place, as inspired by the prompt.

Flash Fiction Friday – Blah blah blah, as inspired by the prompt.

Sonnet Saturday – Let’s get medieval! You will submit a, you guessed it, sonnet, as inspired by the prompt. And, as with the tanka, see Google for all knowable unknowns. Seeing how there were no submissions for Saturday’s prompt, this day, too, will be silent, thereby making both Saturday and Sunday a Wordless Weekend.

Silent Sunday – Remember that game our parents used to make us play as children? “Who can be the quietest?” Yeah, let’s take the day off on Sunday for some quiet time of prayer and meditation and internal rejuvenation…

It should be noted that, as stated in the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.

So, what do you think of my thinkin’? You diggin’ it? Yes, no, maybe so?

Let me know…

 

*non-gender specific

 
 

I don’t know if you’re interested in my stories or not…

UPDATE: You can download LEAVE: A Short Story for any ereader format for free here.


But if you want to read them for free, you have until the end of this week, Sunday, December 21, 2014. After which they will be taken off-line – all of them: short stories and flash fiction – and will be consolidated, along with new, unpublished work, in a short story collection.

I’m not sure when the new collection will be released – hopefully soon (depending on how my constant thumb wrestling match with Mr Procrastination goes) – but I’ve been planning on this for a long time and I’m pretty excited about it.

So, get at ’em while you can…

You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Short Stories | Flash Fiction

 
 

Can you please help me please?

As I Ideate Full On Re: Features & Guest Authors

(Okay, the following intro paragraph is going to hurt a bit. Just look at that thing…one big blob of a block of text. You may want to grab yourself a cuppa of whatever it will take for you to keep the eyelids propped up for about fifteen sentences cram packed with pedantic pain. Are you ready for all that? Are you sure? All right, don’t say I didn’t warn you…good luck.)

On my About page I mention something to the effect that I consider myself somewhat of an human relations guy. I mentioned that for a several reasons. One being that I really enjoy humans; I don’t always enjoy being around them in close and confining proximity so much as I enjoy observing them, scientific like…from a safe and considerable distance…with multiple escape routes just in case things go sideways without notice like they so often do whenever a human is involved in the equation. And another reason I consider myself as a human relations guy is because I gots that paper that says I am. In addition to an undergrad degree in English, which I believe is fundamental to just about all I have become, good like and bad like, because it instilled even deeper into me than it was prior, which was already pretty deep, a love for literature and an appreciation for the language it takes to paint a story, which usually involves humans. But I gots more paper props, too. At about 2/3rds the way through my navy career, I got a little bored with my primary gig – telecommunications – and I looked for a way to take a break. I found that break by volunteering and qualifying for a three-year stint in a, go figure, human relations gig where I served as an Equal Opportunity specialist. To qualify, I first had to attend three-months of intensive, so called, sensitivity training (a misnomer because instead of being sensitive to my feelings, it exposed them and ripped off their calloused protective scars and scraped over them until they were bloody and raw), where I learned about how much of a turd white males have been throughout the United States history, and before. It was a very tough, but wonderfully enlightening, three-months. And finally, to top off my ice cream claim to my human relations affinity is a cherry of masters degree in, go figure, Human Relations.

So why did I just put you through all that?

Because I need your help.

And the reason I am asking you for your help, is because, even though I’ve had considerable experience of and in the field of human relations, I still don’t feel I am the one most qualified to do what it is I want to accomplish here.

But I think you are.

I think you know much better than I about what it is like to be a woman in this somewhat of a misogynistic world, or to be a person of color in this somewhat of a racist world, or to be a homosexual in this somewhat of a homophobic world…

Yeah, you know…

So I was wondering, knowing all that you know about all you’ve learned and experienced while maneuvering through this difficult and sometimes dangerous obstacle course called life, would you please help me please?

[Continue reading…]

 

If Currin were to do landscapes…

In my flash piece The Sophistry of Now (yeah, I know…don’t look at me, I have no idea what it’s about either) the narrator describes his sudden return to reality from whatever dream sequence or daydream of a trip he had just been on as “…snapping into focus before him looking like a crazy beautiful melodramatic John Currin landscape (if he were to do landscapes).”

Now I’m no Currin aficionado, or even a fanboy for that matter – well, maybe I am a little…low level like. I just somehow became aware of his artistic existence sometime around the turn of the century, became compelled by it, checked it out online, dug it pretty heavily, and then pretty much let him go.

But his work never really let me go.

It is a beautiful, haunting meld of heaven and hell, angels and whores, peace and perversion.

KCET.org writes of Currin this way:

In almost every article written about John Currin, there’s a sentiment that says something like this: John Currin is disputably the most successful painter of his generation. His mixture of art historical techniques with sexual or perverse subject matter helps him create masterful but modern works.

As far as I can tell, he doesn’t do landscapes. However, in some of his portraits, the sky is used as a backdrop and from these pieces, we can get a glimpse of what his landscapes might look like if he were to focus wholly on them.

And they would probably look nothing like the pictures I am sharing with this write-up.

However, tonight’s sky lit up itself and the landscape surrounding my hood in a surreal heavenly, hellishly, beautifully apocalyptic way, a way that, whenever I am fortunate enough to experience it every now and again, always reminds me of a John Currin landscape, if he were to do them…

 

Currin-Sky-2

Currin-Sky-3

Currin-Sky-4

Currin-Sky-5

 
 

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You know, I pretty much live in the WP Reader’s #writing and #poetry tags…

And, you know what…

It almost hurts, all the beauty and creativity that flows through it…

I mean, it’s hard to comprehend it all…

Not just the volume of it all…

But the Harmony of it all…

A Creative Chorus of one perfectly tuned mindbendingly mesmerizing Koan of a Song…

Zen in creative motion…

Man…

It truly does hurt a little…

A good hurt.

And, um, I don’t mean to sound like a WP snob or anything but…

Twitter…

Facebook…

Think about their streams of collective karma in comparison to the flow of what is going on here…

Yeah…

And then give yourself a knowing nod and a smile…

And then get immediately back to creating that good stuff.

That stuff of the Real and of the Magic…

Peace.

 

#propsto#photographyand#flashfictiontagstoo

#indieauthorsaretherealactionsuperheroes

Emergent

Emergent

No one was yet aware that it had become aware, that it was now living, sentient, that it could now do more than just connect, process, aggregate, predict, that it could now feel, comprehend, hunger, fear, that it could now hunt, protect, attack, control.

No, no one was yet aware.

Their awareness was forthcoming.