“Fish Stew” and other edibles

I haven’t posted much lately, which doesn’t make this blog all that interesting to most, I aim to change that in the new year. Like with with most of my writing I need to do more of it.

I’m sure I didn’t mention it here, particularly, but Christopher Grant, the mind behind A Twist of Noir (ATON), announced a challenge in early Fall and I accepted. ATON has been publishing some of the finest bits of fiction on the web, nearly 600 stories by the time Grant got a marvelous idea. For the next hundred and one stories, 600 – 700, contributors would have to match the word count to the post count. I opted to write two stories, so for story 641 I had to write a story exactly 641 words. And I did.

“Fish Stew” published today. I guess this technically is my first non-self-published story. I’ve posted quite a few stories these last few months thanks to prompting from Steve Weddle, Patti Abbott and my own workings with Flash Fiction Friday.

Hopefully it will be received well. My next story for the ATON 600-700 challenge is story called “Killing Hope.” I’ve got a few drafts down, but well over the 672 my story is required to be. When I’m done, I should be a killer.

Speaking of Steve Weddle, Steve has put the finishing touches on the Winter Edition of NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir. It promises to be great one with the first part of an ongoing serial by Ray Banks and stories by Anthony Neil Smith, Kieron Shea and quick up-and-comer Matthew McBride. I put my order in, and you can too. You can even save the cost of shipping by using promo code: HOLIDAY305.

I was laid up a bit the last couple days, so I spent it reading some shorts online. I especially got caught up in the work of Ian Ayris, a Londoner, who writes this bloody brilliant twisted tales. I been gobbling them up over at Pulp Metal Magazine. I don’t what I like better the completely British names of his protagonists or the twisted endings? My favorite has to be “Cold” about poor Jonathan Sideboard, his stony father and an old bike. Actually what I love the best is the language. Spot on as they say.

Will try to post more. If I don’t before Christmas hits, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The NEEDLE in the Box Contest

Last Spring I reviewed, commented on, a new seasonal crime noir magazine called NEEDLE edited by Steve Weddle. The debut was really a knock out of the park as far as I’m concerned. Every story really hit the mark and made me a fan.

Another thing NEEDLE, Steve and the community revolving around the magazine, did was to get me writing again. I’ve slacked off the last month or so, life gets the better of us sometimes, but seeing that there’s a new edition of NEEDLE out there has the old juices flowing. Need to write more, want to write more.

More than anything, I want the latest copy of NEEDLE. So I jump over to the order site Friday and precede to order a copy. Then I think, wait a minute I could share this, share it with everyone. OK, maybe not everyone. As generous as I can be, I can’t feed the world. I can give some lucky person a chance at winning a copy of NEEDLE. That’s the ticket.

So I ordered two. One for me, and one for who?

NEEDLE in the Box Contest

I’ve participated in a handful of writing challenges, ones that reward me with nothing more than the completion of a short story, a bit of flash fiction. This is the first time to host one, so let’s get on with it.

Not long ago Richard Kelly adapted Richard Matheson’s short story “Button, Button” into the movie The Box starring the Cameron “not as cute” Diaz and James “I’m a real boy” Marsden. Good story, not so good movie (not horrible mind you). The core of the movie is about making a choice and living with it. That’s not what this writing contest is about.

No, I’m simple. It’s about the box. About receiving a box and the consequences of what is inside. Now what’s inside is completely up to you. How the box is received is completely up to you. The only thing required to be in the story is that your protagonist or antagonist receive a box unsolicited. What you do to them after that, well I’ll leave that up to your devilishly criminal minds.

Now some guidelines:

Length: 2000 words
Deadline: September 10th
Theme: Receiving an unsolicited unmarked box
Genre: Crime, Noir
Prize: NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir Summer 2010

Post a link to your entry in the comments.

Good luck. I look forward to some good reading.

Links:

NEEDLE –  A Magazine of Noir
Order NEEDLE Summer 2010
Steve Weddle

The Bagman – Flash Fiction

Sorry for missing Monday. Unfortunate events over the last few days kept me away from the keyboard.

This week’s Flash Fiction Monday was spurned on by NEEDLE magazine’s flash fiction contest. Requirements were to include a needle, of any kind, in the story and keep it under 1k.

A random winner will be selected and win a cool NEEDLE t-shirt. And entries would be open for consideration for publication in the magazine itself.

Continue reading “The Bagman – Flash Fiction”

52Books: Needle: A Magazine Of Noir – Spring Edition 2010

I’ve got a backlog of reviews, I know. I’m current on top my weekly reading but that sure hasn’t translated over to reviews. Though I’ve got other books in the queue to review I thought I’d start back with a review of what I had read this last week, Needle: A Magazine of Noir edited by Steven Weddle.

Whoa there! I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m cheating because this is a magazine? In name, technically it is. But it reads and feels like an anthology. An anthology of the best short crime fiction I’ve read. Granted there aren’t a lot of venues dedicated to crime, especially the gritty kind. At least not ones that show case the stories alone. Most are set along side more magazine like elements such as reviews, articles and inteviews. Needle is unencumbered by such. No ads either.

See why I’m treating it like a book? You know the duck analogy, right? Well, there you go.

Continue reading “52Books: Needle: A Magazine Of Noir – Spring Edition 2010”