Many thanks to Fiction Editor Jonathan Cardew for publishing these three micro fictions, “Mametchi,” “Scattershot,” and “Waste Management” at Connotation Press! It’s a fantastic issue, and I find myself a featured fiction writer along with Benjamin Drevlow, Francine Witte, Suzanne Supplee, and Riham Adly. <3
Connotation Press does this thing where they run a writer interview along with the piece, so I won’t recreate the wheel with this essay. Some highlights of the interview include:
One of my favorite game developer stories is Genevieve Valentine’s “Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home,” which explores the ethical complications of players inhabiting game worlds. At a novel length, I was floored by William Gibson’s “The Peripheral.” Or what about that absolute freaking madman, Don DeLillo, with his trancelike “Zero K” sci-fi? His voice hovers at a distance over the story. These are stories I love. “Invisible Scripts” was originally a short story. I workshopped it twice, at Barrelhouse and an Advanced Creative Writing Workshop, yet couldn’t quite bend it so multiple timelines jived with readers, and readers are always right, so I broke it into individual stories of Chuck’s growth and formation as a character. Readers loved Chuck, were willing to suspend disbelief to see what he’s up to, but the original narrative was too circular. I participated in a beta “novella in flash” workshop with Meg Pokrass, which provided a deadline for breaking down the larger work into standalone parts. Plus, I live in a house filled with people playing COD and Fortnite. I was flipping through my Rolodex the other day and found a password stash for Club Penguin and Runescape. I worked at Bell Labs when Leisure Suit Larry circulated on a 5-1/4 floppy! Games are integral to our lives, but mostly as consumers. Chuck is a creator. He’s slightly on the spectrum, at times awkward, but his ability to wend his way through various languages can be monetized, making him very attractive to people who enjoy the good life. I have “Invisible Scripts” out in submissions now, and I hope it finds a home. I can see Chuck. I can see his world.
Jeezus, looking at the interview, I did a boatload of name drops because I love so many writers and so many amazing works. I’m not in this alone. I’m reading reading all the time and writing. Other mentions, in addition to Genevieve Valentine, William Gibson, Don DeLillo, and Meg Pokrass include: Brian Evenson, Claire Wahmanholm, David Markson, Casey Hannon, Tyehimba Jess, Paul Beckman, Gay Degani, Hillary Leftwich, Christopher Allen, Jean-Luc Godard. Fionn Whitehead, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel, Mark Pritchard, Jonathan Zawada, Angela Pelster, Kathy Fish, Nancy Stohlman, Richard Thomas. What else is there to say, except I thank them all for their good work in this world.
I hope you enjoy my three micros. As I say in the interview, they are part of a chapbook I have out in subs right now called “Invisible Scripts.” I want to thank Mr. Cardew for being first to publish them! Another one of the stories from this collection, “Gatsbyesque,” will be in the upcoming Bath Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 3, and I’m very grateful for this.
Thanks for stopping by my ole website, and I hope you travel over to Connotation Press to read the amazing July 2018 issue!
Note: Artwork accompanying this post is a photograph of “Treading Water 2” by Eric Zener. Zener’s masterful photorealist paintings involving water can be explored at the artist’s website. I was lucky to see a collection of Zener’s paintings at Gallery Henoch, 555 W 25th Street, New York, NY 10001, which by the way is a kick-ass place to find beautiful things, colorful intellect. <3