When I first became a student with the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing program, I quickly became enamored of flash fiction. It seemed to fit my terse, plain style, and I liked that there was no room in it for over explaining.
About my writing: I had never really written a short story until I took a creative writing course during my second round of college. Before then I had plunged right in and written two pretty bad novels. What made me think I could write a novel, I don’t know. I like to call those early efforts starter novels.
Once I discovered flash fiction I wrote maybe three stories. One of them turned into a novel which shrank to a novella. One of them was accused of being poetry(!) during a Spalding workshop. The third is a piece called “Drinking Ghosts.” I read it at our local university’s poetry reading a few years ago. (It’s not poetry. It’s not! It was just the shortest piece I had available.)
I have spent maybe three years sending “Drinking Ghosts” out to various publications. I have, alas, expanded it at the request of readers who thought I didn’t say enough. I have mentioned that darn fork three times, and yes, specified that it was plastic, lol. (I personally liked the ambiguity of the piece as it was, but maybe that’s just me.) One editor asked me just what that woman was doing alone in the office. Uh, has she never been asked to “hold down the fort”?
While in Italy with Spalding’s program I spent some early morning hours before a computer in a darkened room sending that blessed story out, sure at core there was something in it to be heard.
So when I was notified today that Yahoo accepted this story for publication, I was elated. It’s not a perfect flash fiction piece (re-reading it makes me wish I had tightened it back up), but it’s mine, and, thanks be, it has finally been published. Check one more thing off my writing goals list.
What’s that, you’d like to read it? Please do, here: http://voices.yahoo.com/drinking-ghosts-flash-fiction-12490386.html