Locked In, Locked Out

OldMiniYesterday, in Vending Machine Press, my flash fiction “Locked In, Locked Out.”


Minnie pushes her shopping cart down the aisles and thinks about getting a car. Not to drive it, for she has nowhere to go, but to sit in it on rainy Sunday afternoons.

>> continue reading >>

Happy New Year!

chanpagneThe years pass without hard edges. Only our dates draw them apart. Our life doesn’t really consist of years but of periods defined by a before and after.

So why celebrate New Year’s Eve? It seems unnecessary, totally artificial, unless the new year truly coincides with a dislocation, a death, a birth, or a life-defining decision whose effects last beyond a mere few days.

Then again, one should never pass up an excuse to drink champagne.

Fiction and Nonfiction 2016

  • Animal Puzzle” (short story) in: Denver Quarterly, July 2016 (print)
  • Walls” (flash fiction) in: Okey-Panky (Electric Literature), October 2016
  • The Last Gift” (essay) in: Tin House (online), January 2016
  • The Empty Space in Front of Your Hand” (essay) in: Green Mountains Review, July 2016.
  • Copycat” (flash fiction) in: SmokeLong Quarterly, March 2016
  • Surfacing” (short story) in: Folio, Volume 31, April 2016 (print)
  • “Papers” (micro fiction) in: The Offing, December 2016
  • “The Alps in Fall Time” (short story) in: Mikrokosmos Literary Journal, December 2016
  • Brunch” (flash fiction) in: Jellyfish Review, October 2016
  • The Path to the Future” (flash fiction) in: Pinball, November 2016
  • Playing the sports fan” (essay) in: Prairie Schooner (blog), August 2016
  • Woman of the Week” (flash fiction) in: matchbook, February 2016
  • The Writer and Her Time” (essay) in: Fiction Southeast, April 2016
  • Fistfuls” (flash fiction) in: Superstition Review, Issue 17, April 2016
  • Fraying” (essay) in: Atticus Review, January 2016
  • Locked In, Locked Out” (flash fiction) in: Vending Machine Press, January 2016
  • Earthquake” (micro fiction) in: Unbroken, March 2016
  • The Efficient Lover” (flash fiction) in: Knee-Jerk, March 2016
  • Message from the Forest” (flash fiction) in: Litro, September 2016
  • The Commune” (micro fiction) in: Pure Slush, September 2016
  • Flash Addiction” (blog on writing flash) in: SmokeLong Quarterly, July 2016
  • Condensed to Flash: World Classics” (review) in: JMWW, June 2016

Fiction and Nonfiction 2015


masks—You must stop the Social Media Crap.


—It’s fake. Self-promotion. Making others witness your struggles, your success. Liking what they say. Typing pseudo-funny comments. Striking up conversations with complete strangers. At random. Getting them to like you. Need I go on?

—No, I see your point. But how’s that different from life?

—Excuse me?

—Well, in life, we’re trying to be liked as well. We talk to strangers on the bus. We feel good when someone compliments us. Bad when someone yells. We  listen to others, put our best foot forward, try to make our mark in the world. Occasionally, we talk about our weaknesses, our failures, our insecurities, to show that we’re human and perhaps gain some advice or consolation. We connect through our stories.

—You think life in general is fake.

—It is. We pose, constantly. So I suggest a redefinition of the word “fake.” If life is fake and yet life is the only reality we know, then fakeness must be real. Fakeness may define us as human beings.

—You’re not making any sense.

—What about: despite all the fakeness, true friendships exist. Even though we self-promote ourselves relentlessly, every day, trying to be loved and accepted, true love and acceptance may still come our way, despite our flaws, despite the fact that most people can see straight through our strategies of fakeness.

—I’m lost.

—All I’m saying is: I’m not quitting the Social Media Crap.

Paris Attacks

Paris_Peace-Were you in Paris at the time of the attacks?


-Were you hurt?


-Were any of your friends or family members hurt?


-Did you witness any of the violent events first hand?


-Where were you when you first heard about the attacks?

-At home. I was having dinner with my husband.

-How did you learn about the attacks?

-A friend sent me a text message to ask whether I was okay. That’s when we checked the news on our phones.

-How did you feel when you saw the news?

-Baffled. Horrified. Powerless.

-You did not feel scared?


-Why not?

-I don’t know. I was at home behind locked doors. I live in another part of town. I have an exaggerated sense of self-safety.

-What did you do once you heard about the attacks?

-I checked up on friends who lived in the area where the shootings took place. I browsed social media networks for information. I thought about all the times I had been in the Bataclan in the past. I replied to concerned messages from others about my safety. I listened to the helicopters above my head.

-Did you sleep?

-We have Xanax.

-How did you feel the next day?

-Angry. Depressed. Haunted.

-What did you do?

-I checked where I could donate my blood and learned that there were so many people in line to donate their blood that authorities discouraged people from coming.

-What did you do next?

-I read the first few chapters of Houellebecq’s Submission. And I worried.

-About what?

-The social and political consequences of the attacks. The human capacity for evil. The hopelessness of the state of the world. The dangerous force of delusional ideas. The human talent for cruelty, selfishness, jealousy, hatred, blame, revenge, bad reasoning, xenophobia. The possible reoccurrence of similar attacks all over the world. Ignorance. The future of eduction. The weapon industry. The hidden powers of our own governments. War. The chance that some conspiracy theories are true. The unattainability of the truth. The impotence of all of us to ever change any of it.

-Do you still think Europe should accept as many Syrian refugees as we can?


-Do you think that some of these refugees are terrorists in disguise who at some point in the future might become a threat to the safety of European citizens?

-Every human being can at some point in the future become a threat to another human being.

-What’s going to happen next?

-“At this point, it’s hard to say what is, or isn’t, possible. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a fool or a liar. I don’t think anyone has any idea what the next few weeks will bring.” (From Submission by Michel Houellebecq translated by Lorin Stein)

-Is there anything you’d like to add?

-Yes. My heart goes out to everyone who was a victim of the attacks or lost someone they loved.

Snails and Oysters

Hermeneutic Chaos published a flash story of mine that was later nominated for Best Small Fictions 2015.

Preview of “Snails and Oysters.”

She loves snails, their soft flavor of slowness. She loves drowning them in olive oil and swallowing them down with raw garlic, a shred of parsley. In between bites she indulges in sourdough bread toasted black. Flutes of chilled Chablis.

>> continue reading >>

The Hunter at the End of the Day

hobartSelf-confusion for Writers – Eight Steps

1. Write a story
2. Realize it’s erotica
3. Feel self-conscious, then submit it anyway
4. Get the story accepted by a really cool literary magazine
5. Have doubts and worry
6. See it published
7. Feel proud, then embarrassed
8. Tell yourself to get over it and promote the story anyway

Preview of “The Hunter at the End of the Day” published by Hobart.

I’m rambling through a dense forest, on the dark side of intimidating. None of the picnic-and-pine appeal the woods used to have in my youth. This territory is primitive and full of perils. Bats hunt in the early dusk.

>>  continue reading  >>

The World on Fire

Today in Crack the Spine a micro piece of mine was published.

Preview of “The World on Fire”

“No one died that day. At least not in my town. No one saw the light and was saved.”

>> continue reading >>

Back to Back

wordriotlogoThe always on the edge Word Riot published my short and intimate memoire “Back to Back” in their October issue.

Preview of “Back to Back”

Two girls, twelve, thirteen perhaps, are sitting back to back on the bedroom floor so as not to look each other in the eye. One has her knees drawn up, whereas the other keeps her legs stretched out in front of her. Their tailbones press hard against the cement underneath the carpet, a discomfort that suits the awkwardness of their exchange.

>> continue reading (or listen to an audio recording) >>