I'm excited to share that my story "Tarot of the Animal Lords" will appear in the Shards anthology edited by C.J. Brightley. This is a story that I worked very hard on and always hoped would get picked up for publication. It's got a unique structure based on tarot cards. I hope you pick up your copy!
Pre-order a copy on Amazon!
My story "After the First Comes the Last" is up at Daily Science Fiction today.
Read it here.
This piece was written in a flash fiction class by the queen of flash, Kathy Fish. I really would suggest anyone wanting to generate some new flash to take one of her online classes, which sell out very fast. (ba-dum-cha.) When I wrote this piece, I was playing with the prompt of "firsts and lasts". Somehow, that got to be the question of "What if a witch only had a limited amount of spells in her lifetime? How would she use them?" It's a personal story for me. Someone in the DSF Facebook page has already called it a #MeToo story, but I think if we think in terms of that it limits how we view the world. This isn't just a today story.
When I wrote it, I was thinking of Haruka Weiser, a freshman at UT who was raped, strangled, and killed, her body left in Waller Creek. I went to UT back in 2003-2007. The campus holds a very special place to me. It was one of the few places I felt safe and comfortable. I felt like the trees were my friends and that the other students were people I could talk to and relate to. I'd never had that experience in a school before. Waller Creek, for those of you that don't know, is a beautiful creek that runs below campus (Most of the paths are built above it.) For my Victorian lit class, we went down to Waller and looked at the footprints of dinosaurs that are preserved there, and wrote while sitting on the rocks. It's like a hidden world. So I was devastated to learn of a student's death and assault in that sacred place. I was even more devastated to learn that the person arrested was a homeless man with mental illness. There are no easy solutions to these problems. When I went to UT, the homeless population was everywhere. I never would have thought to be afraid, but I never walked the campus at night because I lived off-campus. Every so often when parent's weekend came, the police would round up the homeless population and get them off the streets for a while, for show. But they never seemed to care about finding a solution that worked in a human, caring way.
For me, we can make big choices and try to change things on a larger scale, but it all starts small. With tiny choices. Tiny actions that reverberate. We are humans living in this place together. How we help each other can mean more sometimes than the stalled work of congress. I really believe that by helping one person you can make a big difference.
Anywho, I've gotten off topic, but I hope you read my story and enjoy it.
Artist Lidia Tomashevskya approached me last month about doing another art collaboration and I could not resist her offer! So I've added a new story to my website for your reading and listening pleasure:
Confessions of a Tree Nymph
This story first appeared in 365 Tomorrows in June 2015. I hope you enjoy listening! Please let me know if you liked the audio version and remember that all my audio stories are available on Soundcloud, which has a lovely listening app for your car ride! I've been debating expanding to a podcast, but in the meantime it's fun making audio for you.
If you like what I'm doing and want to support more of my content, leave me a tip at Curious Fictions!
I have an article up at Cotton Xenomorph today which lists the six elements of flash fiction for me.
Writing advice is tricky. I struggled approaching this article because some part of me was adverse to the idea of the word "Manifesto." It seems so apart from what I understand flash fiction to be. So let me just say that this is just how I read and write flash fiction and not some grand set of rigid rules.
We are all humans and we write in our own ways. I know this especially from working as a freelancer. I work with authors and I have to come into their space of writing gently because everyone is different. Some writers wake early in the morning to write before taking their three kids to school. Some stay up late chatting with friends online while revising. We fit writing into our lives, but we rarely sit down and think: What am I really doing here? How does this fulfill me and how can I nurture that feeling? For me, this list is how I nurture my writing of flash fiction and how I understand the genre. But it's just my own experience and understanding.
The most important rule on this list to me is #1: Empathy. I think this also applies to our own work. I see so many emerging writers, marginalized writers, women writers, who are afraid to put their work out into the world. I wish I could say to all of you, your voice matters. Because putting your own vulnerabilities on the page creates empathy. We are humans who need to live in a shared world of experience.
I have a little short story in this anthology from Flame Tree Publishing! My story "Stardust" is about a sexbot with a heart of fire who finds her way out of a complicated relationship with a cop . . . all set in the future and with a 20s nostalgia feel.
Pre-order your copy from Amazon or from Flame Tree! Books ship in September/November.
So, lately I haven't been able to read as much because I've been so busy promoting my new chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl. But I was able to sneak in this little interview with local Houston author Patricia Flaherty Pagan on three books I love.
These are authors that I return to again and again because their work speaks to me. I highly suggest you start reading them if you like short fiction and experimental work!
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
I've got a new subscriber-only post at Curious Fictions about Tolkien, managing your career as a writer, and basically launching my new and exciting stuff for 2018! Read it here.
I'm now posting subscriber-only content and reprints of my pro-market stories at Curious Fictions.
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Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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Holly Walrath's books on Goodreads
ratings: 19 (avg rating 4.21)
Our Space: Shorts & Poetry from the Houston Community
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)
In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association
ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.31)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.67)