- Walk the avocado trees in search of owl feathers.
- Write into the dark corners of the heart where the truth hides.
- Turn your characters lives upside down and scour the debris for plot.
- Place the owl’s feather on your desk before each writing session.
- Look for inspiration in the unpublished manuscripts collecting dust in the garage.
- Carry the 1952 Irish penny in your pocket as a talisman.
- Invoke the spirits of the ancestors before any readings you give.
- Only submit when a piece has been read, edited, re-edited and read aloud.
- Construct small altars of fallen avocados for the dead to discover.
- Review only those books that matter to you.
- Write one creative affirmation for your wife every day.
- Seek counsel from the seal in the wintry waves.
- Find joy in the ordinary moments.
- Read War and Peace aloud each day.
- Listen to music you’ve never heard before.
- Channel the rejections into incendiary writing.
- Honor the words and wisdom of others.
Today is the official launch day for the Queen’s Ferry Press’s anthology, Best Small Fictions 2015. I’m so excited to be included in the fifty-five stories, chosen by editor, Robert Olen Butler. The story I wrote, “The Third Time My Father Tried to Kill Me,” was published originally by Mojave River Review. The anthology is stuffed to the gills with work from sensational fiction writers such as Stuart Dybek, Ron Carlson,and Bobbie Ann Mason, to name but a few. Two of my favorite stories are Naomi Telushkin’s “Object,” and Jeff Streeby’s “El Paso: July.” All of the writers would be grateful if you’d consider buying a copy on launch day to help propel the anthology to the higher reaches of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble rankings. You can purchase a copy a the following places:
I am so grateful to the editing team of Tara Masih, Kathy Fish, Robert Shapard, Claudia Smith, Michelle Elvy, Claire MacQueen, and Guest Editor, Robert Olen Butler, and if you buy a copy and bump into me I’ll happily sign it for you.