Is it just self-indulgent ego-stroking? Am I writing it as practice for future years when I will have (I hope) a more realistic reason to post this, or am I just doing it because all the cool kids are? Whatever the reason, it did occur to me, after strolling through the Twitterhood the other day, that I had some publications in 2017, and they might be eligible for nomination for awards, and I could legitimately do an Eligibility List.
(Given my long career at the county, which started as an Eligibility Worker in the MediCal program, that phrase makes me snicker.)
I had three fiction pieces published this year. You all know about them because I yammered on about the endlessly. In case you’ve forgotten, though:
In late summer, the mixed-genre anthology Strange California came out. My story “Magpie’s Curse” is in it. I worked hard to write a story that had classical roots (The Goblin Market), and subverted them, but carried the stamp and flavor of a particular time and place in northern California. I think I succeeded. (You can also get the book at Powell’s, and they mention my story in the write-up.)
Flash Fiction Online published my short piece “Strays”, inspired by a writing prompt Marta Randall gave us, about the things we throw away, and the things that find us. It meant writing about something I thought I never would… fashion. And I tried for funny. I think I succeeded.
In April, 2017, Podcastle published “Never Truly Yours.” This is a story in the form of a “Dear John” letter. I wanted to evoke an historical time and a magical place, and I wanted to explore the evolution of a character. I am the proudest of this story, but I can’t take the credit completely, because even though I captured the voice of my narrator thoroughly, and had some great descriptions, there was always a piece missing in this story and I didn’t know what it was until the Short Story group at Mendocino Coast Writers Conference workshopped it. Their questions, particularly Lori Ostlund’s*, helped me see what was missing. Suddenly, the story snapped into focus. I couldn’t have done it without them.
So, there are my meager offerings for the gazillion contests and Best of lists of 2017. I’m trying to think of it as novelle cuisine… You know, “A single shaving of truffle, garnished with a carrot spiral and one fresh pea; $125.”
*[Treat yourself and read Lori’s gentle, acerbic and beautiful novel After the parade.]