Life is hard, fiction is harder.

You will recall, undoubtedly (since I know that you few, you brave who frequent this obscure little corner of the internets hang on my every word), that I wrote about submitting stories the proposed Hint Fiction anthology way back in July.

Alas and alack, word came last evening that none of my stories were chosen.

Disappointing to be sure, but when I noticed that among several  familiar names who did make  the cut were  award-winning Irish crime novelist Ken Bruen, award-winning horror writer Peter Straub and National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates, I was able to bear up under it.

They received 2500 submissions overall  and accepted only 3% of them. That means there will be 125  stories in the book. That works out to 3125 words or less so this is either going to be a very slim volume or there’s a lot of filler material. Either way, I hope to see a copy when it is released, if only to say “hey, my story was better than that one” at least a couple of times.

For your entertainment, and because I said I would, here are the the three stories I submitted:


Heaven was nothing like I expected. No angels, no pearly gates. Just lots of people I’d never seen before, so I knew it wasn’t hell.


The woman was beautiful, the sex fantastic. “Why me?” I asked afterwards.  She smiled. “Tag, you’re it,” she said and ran out of the room.


The Last Man found the Last Woman, and joyously shouted “Adam and Eve!” She said nothing. That night, she crushed his skull with a rock.

And two more that I didn’t:


The day the Americans came to our village, people came from miles around to curse them all, misshapen and rotting in their sealed radiation cages.


A team from the Secret Council That Rules the World came for me in the dead of night. “We’ve got a problem.” They always did.

I kinda like trying to tell stories in a very limited amount of words, what is generally called Flash Fiction and usually involves stories somewhere between 100 and 500 words, and I plan to try my hand at some other such tales  which I  will post here unless (or after) I submit them to some print or online venue.

I also will try my hand at developing one or more of the above tales into a longer format. I mean, what is it that each one was  hinting at?

Along those lines, I am really, honestly, this–puts–me– on–the–record–and–I–can’t–back–out–now, going to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. Anybody see the potential for a 70,000 word story anywhere above?


4 Replies to “Life is hard, fiction is harder.”

  1. “After Life” has me intrigued. I imagine you could do a riff on this in a number of ways that would be interesting to read.

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