I know some writers will tell you that ALL the stories they write are their favorites, but I can tell you that's not true for me. I always like some stories better than others - sometimes because of the theme, sometimes because of the characters, and sometimes because everything comes together beautifully and completely and I sit back and say, "S**t, I wrote that?" So I am really, really pleased to say that one of my favorites was published today in Perpetual Motion Machine's newsletter. This is a story that I sat down to write and it felt like the story was writing itself with no help from me. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Read it here for free.
A couple of news items - I recently won the 3rd annual flash fiction contest at Bop Dead City. Afterwards, I was interviewed by the editor, Kevin Rodriguez. You can read the interview here.
Also, a flash fiction piece that I entered into Brilliant Flash Fiction's Equality Writing Contest was longlisted for the contest, although it ended up not placing. The winning and shortlisted entries can be read online here.
It's been busy this past week, and I feel that I'm still trying to catch up. We enjoyed the Irish Festival at Fairfield University over the Father's Day weekend. Unfortunately, it rained during most of the weekend. We stuck it out for a few hours and managed to soak in some fun activities in addition to getting soaked. They had an animal presentation where kids could handle everything from a gecko (pictured with my younger daughter and her grandmother) to rabbit to chinchilla. When it really poured, we all crammed together in the hospitality tents to listen to some fun Irish music - my father-in-law took a great picture of two security women staring out at the rain, which was pretty much what we were all doing, in between mad dashes to the dessert/beverage tents to stock up on hot tea to keep us going. They also had a nice section of bouncy castles and slides that my kids enjoyed before the rain shut them all down. Here are some pictures:
This is a bit belated, but I hope everyone had a fantastic Father's Day!
I've been writing poetry almost as long as I've been writing fiction - I probably started when my age was in the single digits. I really enjoy the brevity of the form, although not all poems are brief - what I mean is that so much can be said in so few words. It's like code or shorthand - part of the fun is in figuring out as many pieces of the puzzle as you can. In addition to this, poems are meant to be enjoyed out loud, and some of the poems I enjoy the most are ones that sing from the pages. The poems that make you want to get up and dance, like those of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, Robert Frost and Margaret Atwood. These poems are full of celebration and anger, emotional as a brutal slap in the face of life. They want you to WAKE UP.
Then there are the quiet ones, the ones that are said into the silence of thought and leave echoes. These are the ones which come back days, weeks, months, years later, creeping up on you at the most unexpected times and telling you something new about the world around you. Sometimes intellectual, sometimes obscure, these are the ghosts, the quiet whispers at the edges of your mind.
Just my own personal philosophy about poetry and why I enjoy it so much, both in reading and writing. I felt a bit introspective, since I have a new poem that just came out in The Gunpowder Review called "Sun-Death." The Gunpowder Review is a beautiful journal edited by Vonnie Winslow Crist, with the goal to, "publish the creative work of women writers, artists and photographers," based in Maryland. It is filled the unexpected gems from a number of very creative women - in fact, too many to list, so I hope you check it out!
One of the things I enjoy most about writing short stories is that there are no limits, really. Stories can be told in a straightforward style, backwards or even sideways, can be a dreamlike narrative or formed as bullet points of action. They can be allegories or feel-good fiction, and they can evoke the entire range of emotion, all within a few short pages. I constantly try to push myself to tell stories in new ways - "The Story of Essa" is one such example. It is an experimental piece that I wrote with a very concrete concept of the form I wanted it to take (which isn't always the case when I begin writing a new piece). It was published as of yesterday in FLAPPERHOUSE's Summer Issue #6, in good company with such writers as Dora Badger, CL Bledsoe, E.H. Brogan, Jane Flett, Dr. M Leona Godin, Jessie Janeshek, J. Wendell Miller, Melissa Moorer, Kirstine Ong Muslim, Leland Neville, Stephen S. Power, Zain Saeed, Kailey Tedesco, Ned Thimmayya and J.G. Walker.
I hope you enjoy reading it.
I love writing and reading microfiction and drabbles - just little bites of stories about 100-300 words. Enough to give the reader a glimpse into another world or another life. I also find the short short form really lends itself to snippets of humor, which I've been writing more recently. So I hope you enjoy my microfiction story that has come out today in The Fable Online called "Case Closed." Thanks for reading!
The summer issue of Mirror Dance is out, and it includes my poem "Eater of Dreams." Some fantastic reading in this issue, including poems by Zella Christensen, Deborah Walker, Sandi Leibowitz and Albert Schlaht - and fiction by Chandler Groover, Catherine Brooke, Alexander Léger-Small, Darcie Little Badger and Cordelia Harrison. The issue is free to read online, so I hope you'll check it out!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over two hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Alberta, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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