Oh, what a rush of excitement, to have two new stories out at once! I believe I could definitely get used to this….
“I Am the Widow” is published online, for free, right here, in a fabulous journal called r.kv.r.y. The story is short, but it’s rather relentless (to use one of my favorite words for intense writing), so my feelings won’t be hurt (much) if you decide to skip it.
Just like at any movie or TV funeral, his casket gets put up front, set under specially focused lighting, parenthesized by yardstick-high sprays of white gladiolus. Plump velvet kneeler in front of him, velvet curtains behind. Top half of the box open, so we can see his face. If we want to see him dead, that is, if we want to look right at death. There are plenty ducking their heads, twisting necks around and staring up high into the ceiling or deep down through the carpeted floor. Not me. Right off, I grab hold of his hand, entwine my fingers around his, not because that feels so great but because it unnerves the people circling me. Hell yeah. I’m grabbing a dead man’s hand. I’m grabbing my dead husband’s hand. Maybe I won’t let go. Maybe I’m going crazy.
I’m certain I’m going crazy. I’m certain I am....
“r.kv.r.y. comes from the dictionary definition of the word recovery: an act, process, or instance of recovering; a return to normal conditions; something gained or restored in recovering; obtaining usable substances from unusable sources.”
My story with the enticing title of “Slut” just came out in a fantastic print journal, Cimarron Review. This story, too, might be a tiny little bit relentless, though in a sneakier way. Here’s the opening:
Nicole chose the restaurant: King Street Café in Old Town Alexandria, not too far from her house, easy parking. At the very least, she knew she’d get a good meal out of the night. She didn’t ask her friends for advice because she didn’t want them to know she was going on this blind date.
Ben said he’d seen the restaurant written up by The Washington Post and thought going there would be fun. He used the word “fun” a lot in their phone conversation, which made her nervous. “Sounds fun,” he’d say, or he’d conclude a story with, “Yeah, that was a fun time.” She couldn’t pinpoint what it was, maybe that “fun” wasn’t a very masculine word or that it wasn’t very mature. Either way, she wasn’t anticipating a “fun” dinner. But she had committed, and she was proud of herself for setting up the meeting for Thursday night at six o’clock—even a stealth date was a date....
Here’s the journal and how to order a copy (or subscribe), should you wish to do so.
Here’s more information about the journal:
“One of the oldest quarterlies in the nation, Cimarron Review publishes work by writers at all stages of their careers, including Pulitzer prize winners, writers appearing in the Best AmericanSeries and the Pushcart anthologies, and winners of national book contests. Since 1967,Cimarron has showcased poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with a wide-ranging aesthetic. Our editors seek the bold and the ruminative, the sensitive and the shocking, but above all they seek imagination and truth-telling, the finest stories, poems, and essays from working writers across the country and around the world.”
Submission guidelines can be found here.