“Ill Not in the Mind” nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize

The editors of the website for the Pushcart Prize call their annual collection–published since 1976–a “labor of love and independent spirits.” Wonderful. Start that city and I’ll be applying for citizenship on day one.

I think the same phrase can be used to describe nearly all the presses that have nominated and/or made it into the collection over the years, and I have to tip my hat to all these publications, because without the labor of love and independent spirits their people embody, the work of fledglings like me might never make it to the page.

In recent months, the best personal example I have of this commitment is Pea River Journal, edited by Trish Harris. I’ve watch the work accepted for the 2014 “Burden of Home” issue (available for purchase now) shared, promoted, and nurtured in the days and weeks leading up to the official release date. This includes my story, “Ill Not in the Mind,” which was recently nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize by the editors of PRJ:

Any way you cut it, ye red-eyed kitchen-knife-wielding public, I’m in good company. Come at me and say different. Before you do, check out the other nominees from the 2014 issue of Pea River Journal:

  • “Back to the Old House” by Robert Fanning
  • “Why Wolves Take the Calves First” by Chris DiCicco
  • The Plum” by Richard J. Heby
  • Slow Wave” by Amanda Miska
  • Oh Ezra” by Eric M. R. Webb

Like I said. I’ll be holding all this work in my hands soon, can’t wait to read and share all the lovelies, and hope you will be doing the same. In the mean time, grab an issue of PRJ and perpetuate all the the good things you want to see in the world, because the merde would still cause a stink even if you didn’t wake up this morning.

Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal

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Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal now available in print

If you follow this blog, you might have read my story “Ill Not in the Mind,” published online as a preview to the Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal. Or maybe you’ve ignored all this completely. Fine. But if you’re looking for a literary journal to hold in your hands, one that will twist you and turn you and make you ache, order a copy of the Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal, now available in print.

Order a print copy of Pea River Journal

The theme of this issue is the burden of home. Get’s you thinking, doesn’t it? There are so many ways to approach this theme, and some of the most compelling are represented in this issue of PRJ–the gut-wrenching, challenging stuff that I live for.

I’m honored to be a part of this issue.

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Short fiction published in Pea River Journal

“Ill Not in the Mind,” a short story of mine that will appear in the Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal (in print soon), is available to read online:

Ill Not in the Mind

Special thanks to editor-in-chief Trish Harris and her team for seeing something in my work and helping me ready it for general consumption.

I hope this work breaks your heart like it broke mine.

PS I will send out another update when I have more information about where and how we can all pick up a print copy of the Fall 2014 issue of Pea River Journal.

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“Two Thousand Miles Running” nominated for 2014 Best of the Net Anthology

This is humbling news, considering all the good work that the folks at Cheap Pop have put out since their debut: “Two Thousand Miles Running” has been nominated for Best of the Net 2014 by Cheap Pop editors Robert James Russell and Elizabeth Schmuhl. Read more about the nomination by following the link below:

I encourage you to read the other nomination, “Jellyfish,” by Zara Lisbon. It rocks. And if, after reading my work, you feel so inclined to reach out to me, that would be pretty cool too, no matter what it is you have to say.

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Blog up at The Review Review (about no-no lists for writers)

I submit a lot of work to literary journals, and with all that submitting comes perspective.

I think.

I read, and read, and read–and then read some more–submission guidelines, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, all instructing writers on how to be courteous and effective before, during, and after the submission process. All of this advice is usually quite sound, of benefit to any writer thinking of submitting their work for publication.

Yet, throughout my experience submitting work to journals, I’ve also noticed some rather dubious submission practices on the editorial side of things, some of them little, some of them rather blatant. So I made a list of the eight I notice most, and submitted them to the inimitable The Review Review, which has published my list here:

Writers Have Rules Too: A List of No-Nos for Magazine Submissions

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Flash fiction published in The Conium Review

Maybe you know what it’s like to be away from someone–away, perhaps, indefinitely? You might then appreciate my latest publication in The Conium Review:

Far Afield

I’d like to thank James R. Gapinksi for bringing this piece to life on the website–I do think it looks great, especially beneath that wonderful Chicago skyline I hold so dear.

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Flash fiction published in Squawk Back 126

A big thanks to Squawk Back, and its editorial overlord, Zak Block, for publishing a flash fiction piece of mine in Squawk Back 126:

Sunspots on a Calendar Week

Notebook Writing, Crystallized

 

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Short fiction and interview published in Timber Journal

A short story of mine, “Some Filament Abroad,” has been published in Timber Journal, alongside a brief author interview:

Some Filament Abroad

I do hope you enjoy reading this piece. A special shout to Bird Marathe for working with me, and for curating the summer 2014 issue of Timber.

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There in the Countryside Many Miles Away

Anthony Martin:

I wrote this a long time ago–maybe some of my new friends will enjoy reading it.

Originally posted on Treehouse:

Anthony Martin

When I found the postcard from Remy beneath my bed I immediately wrote him at the return address. Mama immediately questioned my judgment.

“He doesn’t live in Paris,” she said as she reached for her coffee from behind her morning read. “He might still be out on the ranch, there in the hills.”

“Yes, near Bordeaux,” I replied. “That’s where he wrote the postcards from.” My mother lowered her book to the table and looked me in the eye.

“That was nearly ten years ago, Andre. Since before your father passed. He won’t recognize you even if you do manage to track him down.”

“Papa loved him,” I reasoned. “So do you, ma. Remy is blood.” But she wasn’t looking at me anymore. Her gaze was elsewhere, unfocused and lost outside the kitchen window. We were quiet for a while after that.

I left for France the next…

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Tillman Park

Anthony Martin:

I’m reblogging this, something I don’t usually do, because I think it needs wider exposure. Bravo, Nick–an excellent work of flash fiction.

Originally posted on Touchstones:

by Nicholas DiClementi

I was 9 years old when I first saw a dead body. It was late autumn, and the chilled wind blowing off the Appalachians scattered the leaves that had been covering the old man’s arms as I poked in the mud with a broken stick, digging for worms. I cannot remember how I felt then. The days that followed were freckled with police officers, news reports, interviews, and therapist visits.  The old man later identified as Richard Greene, a retired shopkeeper, had apparently died during his evening walk and the autumn breeze had covered him up. I mostly forgot about the experience not long after.

***

Living with your parents as an adult is not as bad as they make it out to be. Dad still cooks like a demon and mom’ll chat your ear off but she’s always good for some insight. The melancholy comes at…

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