This month, somehow, I managed a wonderful mix of publications: CNF in Fatal Flaw Literary, Fiction in The Citron Review and Column in trampset. On the new writing front, sadly, not looking good. I felt encouraged with a truckload of nearly-there decline notices (which are really heartbreaking at the point of receiving them). As they say, those pieces are destined for other venues. I also take heart from the fact that my wee novella-in-flash is set to release in May, and pre-publication work is on in full-swing at Stanchion Books. I’m overwhelmed by the advance praise. Above all, for a writer from small-town India, to be published by a New York-based book publisher, is nothing short of a dream.
Speaking of dreams, let’s see how the recklessness of dreams embolden us and make us restless. Audrey T. Carroll’s says, “Even for people who think that dreams are just the odd way in which our brain keeps things moving along through the night, the artifice of fiction still makes this crossroads of connection possible. Dreams provide an opportunity, too, for playfulness on the writer’s part; they need not be literal, and, in truth, likely shouldn’t be. Instead, dreams are a space where strangeness and surreality are expected, and as such they can use metaphor, symbolism, and poetic language to heighten a particular aesthetic inclination.” (CRAFT Literary). In this month’s blogpost, we will see example flash stories on the theme of dreams, real and metaphorical!
Let’s examine this story ( S A Green; Reflex Fiction). Notice how it braids grief and loss ‘in a half-remembered dream’ while buidling storyline and tension.
“And at nights, he dreams of a house with dolls and no glass. And in his dream, there is a wedding sometimes, family and friends showering rose petals on the bride and groom…” The duality and conflict of a personality is etched through this dream reference in the flash “The Dream He Forgot” (Marzia Rahman, The Antonym) thus bringing the many ways dreams can be used in literary writing.
Read this one (Kimm Brockett, Heavy Feather Review) in which a man tries sleeping on different beds in order to return to a particular dream. The story ends on a note of hope and like all good dreams, we readers participate in wishing the fulfilment of his dream.
“When The Train Comes” is a beautiful dreamy story. Etched on a perfect rural/retro setting, this story brings different images, shuffles them, and leaves the reader enchanted.
Jude Higgins, in a conversation with Flash Frontier New Zealand, offers a very interesting way to transform dreams into amazing writing. Jude instructs writers to “… write down words associated to an image that struck them from their dream. ” Jude believes “very tiny snippets of dreams can carry so much meaning if we focus on them”. I find this experiment highy interesting. One very effective approach, thus, would be to search for further associations with the objects in the dream or the sequence of events as recalled. Finally, we may write including as many of these variations of meanings/dream objects as possible.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 1: An epistolary story (that is, in the jacket of a letter) from a daughter to her father, whom she has’t met in many years, about a dream in which she saw him
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2: A flash piece about a place that you’ve never been, but often appears in your dreams
DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3: Exaggerate daily objects and actions in a remembered dream sequence, throw in dialogues & language of Shakespearean era while aiming for a hilarious piece where nothing is truthfully told
Here I list magazines submission windows writers may not know about. These are FREE TO SUBMIT & either are open or are opening on May 1
Cease, Cows (May 1 – 15 flash fiction), Bending Genres, Barrelhouse (opens May 15 for 2 weeks or until sub limit), JMWW (May 1-15 fiction), Stanchion zine Away From Home Anthology (May 1), The Citron Review (all genres)
For more info: CROW COLLECTIVE WORKSHOPS
REGISTRATION CLOSES WHEN SPOTS FILL UP!
This workshop runs over 2 days, 2 hrs each day: Sat, May 20, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST & Sat, May 27, 2023: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST
Click here to read what previous participants of this workshop had to say!
PRO-TIP OF THE MONTH
This month I want to draw your attention to lesser-known, independently-run magazines and one-off themed submission calls. From what I’ve experienced, they are really warm and friendly. Look for the masthead and submission guidelines (ambiguity is a strict no-no), read through the pages, discover something you can associate with and submit. More often than not, your work will be handled with care. Bonus takeaway: there’ll be less competition. Where will you find them? Use Submission Grinder and follow Twitter handles that regularly post them like this one. Check out Writejobs . It is a helpful site too.
MAY is Guest Blogpost month. Inviting your 150-300 word write-ups about any aspect of writing life you’d like to share. Think writing insiration, sub process, current reading, anxieties, litmag subjectivity, rejections, anything that grabs you at the moment. You can even share a review or an interview with your writer friend. Read last year’s posts by Melissa Llanes Brownlee, Sage Tyrtle and Jenny Wang for inspiration. Send them here, and I’ll select one or more to feature on the blog, right here next month! Expect swift decisions one way or the other!
About this blog
Last day of the month, I post craft essays ruminating on writing life and craft, highlighting stories on a particular chosen theme, prompts for Beginners/Intermediate/Experienced writers, Pro-level tips and selected free submission opportunities.
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