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Showing posts from May 20, 2012

What I'm Reading Right Now: Jim Shepard

I both love and hate Jim Shepard.  Love, because his stories are so ridiculously good.  Hate, because his stories are so ridiculously good.  Sometimes I wish I could program my brain to work like his just for one day.  I'm currently devouring his 2011 collection of short stories you think that's bad (he didn't capitalize it, so neither will I).  It's so much fun to read.  Every single story is transportive and I was trying to put my finger on all the reasons why that is the case.  The most obvious reason is the setting.  Each story is carefully placed in a land unfamiliar to me: the Netherlands in the near future, New Guinea, the Alps.  Each setting is vivid with weather and language and a sense of cultural flavor.  But I realized this morning that he actually accomplishes the whole setting thing through the use of the character's job.  What the character does for a living, whether it is climate control, military, or avalanche research, it's the specificities o…

My Three-Minute Fiction submission

They have finally announced the winner of NPR's Three-Minute Fiction contest and it is not me.  I really like this contest because it's such an interesting challenge to write a compelling story in 600 words or less, especially when you are required to begin it with a very particular sentence, as provided by the contest.  I highly recommend checking out the winning entry by Carrie MacKillop, it's really fantastic.  Another feature of this contest that I like is that it's free :) which makes it wonderfully accessible.  Of course they don't track how many folks entering the contest really think of themselves as writers, but I'd bet that quite a few people enter this contest that would never submit a short story to any other kind of opportunity for publication.

I took inspiration for my story from the San Francisco DMV, a place where every resident dreads having to go.  Here it is:

Pending Approval

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided t…