Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Good News: Story in Shenandoah, Essay in PMS

How exciting that two publications coincide for a flurry of excitement in my little life!

My short-short story “Acquiescence” appears in a special flash fiction section of the new issue of Shenandoah, and NO ONE is excused from reading it because

A.  It’s only 594 words and will take about two minutes to read

Here’s the opening: 

The body flew on a different plane, arriving in Detroit two days ago, at 7:37AM.  She tracked its arrival online.  Not a soldier or a famous politician, just her husband, age thirty, suddenly dead.
(Only 560 more words to go! Read on….and leave a comment if you’re so inspired.)

My essay “Joy to the World” appears in the journal P-M-S, PoemMemoirStory.  There’s no online link, but here’s where you can find out more about the journal, which is available at many Barnes & Noble branches.  Here’s ordering information.

The piece was inspired by a memorable interlude at—of all places—my regular grocery store.  Here’s the opening:

It’s mid-December, a morning of doing errands, a day like any other day, except that everything is going remarkably well:  I find a great parking spot.  The post office isn’t crowded when I arrive to mail my packages, though the man behind the counter tells me there’s been a line all morning, “until right about now.”  Find another great parking spot.  Stumble across the perfect Christmas gift for my hard-to-buy-for friend at a locally-owned boutique.  And so on.

Last stop, the grocery store, where my luck continues, and the guy working produce locates in the back the last bag of parsnips in the building.  Parsnips are a key ingredient in the velvety-lush root vegetable soup I want to make for dinner tonight.  “Bet you’ve never seen anyone get so excited about parsnips,” I joke to him, and he laughs pleasantly.
So things are moving along, and I’ve committed to a check-out aisle, unloading my cart onto the conveyer belt, doing my usual tidy job of it:  heavy stuff up front; frozen foods, meat, and milk grouped together; produce in one section, poisonous cleaners in another; fragile things at the end.  I’m daydreaming about the array of Christmas cookies on the covers of the food magazines, so I don’t notice the person in line ahead of me until she snaps, “I told you I can’t lift more than five pounds!  Those bags are too heavy!”


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.