Archive for December, 2011

Can’t wait.  The spirit of Charles Dickens is alive and well.
Every Day Publishing, the “power” behind Every Day Fiction and Every Day Poets has come up with a terrific new concept: Every Day Novels and they’ve recently announced that the Every Day Novel website for their first Every Day NovelLifting Up Veronica by K.C. Ball, is now live.
Lifting Up Veronica follows Michael Kovac, a sociologist from Ohio State University, as he travels to rural West Virginia in the summer of 1960 to shoot footage for a documentary during a week-long tent meeting at a Signs Followers church — a Christian sect best known for their practice of handling venomous snakes and participating in other potentially deadly practices…
Many of you already know K. C. for her many stories published at Every Day Fiction or from 10Flash, the genre flash site she founded a couple of years ago. She has also written articles for Flash Fiction Chronicles and poems for Every Day Poets.  K.C. Ball lives in Seattle, Washington. She became an addict of the written word as a child in Ohio and began writing fiction full-time four years ago. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online; she has won the Writers of the Future award and graduated from Clarion West. Lifting Up Veronica is her first novel.
EDPub has a launch promotion up right now (20% off the subscription price) but that won’t last long, so anyone who wants to benefit from that shouldn’t wait. More information about the Every Day Novels concept can be found here:

Link to to Lifting Up Veronica:

With the holidays upon us, we decided to take a hiatus from Wednesday December 28 through Tuesday January 3 2012!  All our regular programming-The Slant with Michelle Reale, Rumjhum’s Ruminations, and Aubrey Hirsch’s First Mondays will return in February.  Our normal publication schedule will resume on Wednesday January 4.

We at Flash Fiction Chronicles want to wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!


by Erin Kelly

Years ago I had the honor of interviewing Ernest Gaines when he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. When we scheduled the interview he said it was to take place at “ten o’clock, sharp” at his home in Lafayette, La. I left on time, got caught in traffic on I-10, and arrived on his doorstep at ten minutes after. Mr. Gaines opened the door, balanced on his cane, chided me for being late (You’re late were his first words, followed by hello) and led me to a sitting room where we commenced the interview. Needless to say, we’d gotten off to a semi-rocky start but soon he was telling me about his life and inspirations, accepting my not-too-gushy praise about his work, and autographing one of his novels for me.

Toward the end of the interview, I asked Mr. Gaines about his writing process. Being a writer myself (of slightly more modest means), I try not to romanticize the process too much, but when he replied that his writing process involved waking up and writing until a specified hour every day, I was a bit deflated. He said he set aside the same chunk of time for writing and that’s when he wrote, whether it was fifty words or five thousand. This caused me to reflect on my own writing process, which went something like this:

I feel like writing, so I’m gonna.

Over the years I’d read technique books and interviews with admirable writers and discovered that each had their own process. One writes one-thousand words a day, no matter what. Another writes from nine p.m. to eleven. Still another writes one chapter and closes shop.

This all seemed so disciplined and professional compared to my own process of I feel like writing, so I’m gonna.

Determined to discipline my own novels, I tried various approaches. I sat down and told myself I wouldn’t get up until I wrote one-thousand words. Twenty minutes later, I was staring at one paragraph and a blinking cursor.

I set aside a block of time to write, but found myself uninspired when the scheduled time came.

I tried writing one chapter, but it felt more like a school assignment than a personal masterpiece.

I wanted to have a more serious approach than just writing whenever, until I finally came to a glorious revelation: It’s okay if I only write when I wanna. Know why? Because I always wanna. About eighty percent of my waking hours are spent writing, either in my head or on paper. So if I only write when I wanna, I would eventually have a novel.

I was right. Once I broke the cuffs of scheduled writing, the words came more easily and soon I’d written two novels and two dozen short stories. I realized that I’d become so swept up in what it means to be a “serious writer” that I’d lost sight of the writing. The fact is, what works for one doesn’t work for all. As writers, we have to follow our own routines and we usually know it better than anyone, because we know ourselves.

When people ask me how I find time to write, I just shrug and say, ‘I write when I wanna.’ It works for me, just like Ernest Gaines’ block of time works for him. (Granted, his process is working much better for him than mine is working for me – but at least it’s not from lack of words on paper.)

I’m not the type to tell someone to meet me somewhere at such-and-such-time-sharp, just as I’m not the type to only write from nine to noon. Great writing can come from many different routines, all of them dependent on the individual – and thank god for that diversity, otherwise all of literature would read like bland school assignments.

Readers: What are your thoughts on writing routines? Do you have a set routine or do you just write when you wanna?


Erin Kelly is staff editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles. Her fiction has been published widely in places like Keyhole Magazine, Monkeybicycle and the Kyoto Journal. She was short-listed for the Eric Hoffer National Fiction Prize and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction. She currently has two novels under representation with the Jenks Agency in Cambridge and New York and works as a freelance fiction editor, as well as assistant editor for Thrive Magazine. Read more at




All of us at Flash Fiction Chronicles wish all of you the happiest of holidays.  

Please stop by on December 26 to read Erin Kelly’s column, “My Routine: I Write When I Wanna.”

by Nicole Monaghan

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,

silver-white winters that melt into spring

These are a few of my favorite things.

My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music

In the spirit of the holiday season, I wrote a few of my favorite things.  In paragraph form, they sort of look like a piece of flash.  Perhaps this prosey list (or listy prose?) can act as prompting for some new flashes, or just remind others of some of their favorite things.

My husband’s lobster-mitt hands. My daughter’s almond-shaped eyes. My other daughter’s beauty mark, a lone cinnamon sprinkle on her cheek.  My six-year old son’s bare shoulders, tender.  Puppy paw pads.  My hip hop shoes, their flex and click.  Fictional characters I can’t forget, who I miss or remember unexpectantly.  Scratchy voices.  Coffee, the first sip.  Peanut butter, wine, and cheese, in that order.  Unlikely friendship.  Music loud in my car, thumping.  Erotically choreographed music videos, my fantasy to dance in one.  Words, the exact ones in the exact order.  Thunder storms and the smell they leave behind.  Skinny days.  The lady at the supermarket who lets me go ahead when I have fewer groceries, just because she’s kind.  Learning something from someone three decades my junior.  Learning something from someone three decades my senior.  Crushing on someone, its sweetness when nothing will come of it.

Nailpolish, red.  Hot baths with candles and books I’ve already read, must read again.  The smell of inked paper.  Songs that re-mood me.  Plans gone wrong that are more right.  Blue, every shade.  Titles.  Siblings, the history and bonds.  Tears for strangers because they’re human too, and because I understand.  Cracking up and how that erases stress.  Kisses, every kind except goodbye.  You reading this, and maybe wanting to write something, or just enjoying the words.

To view a video clip from the wonderful musical Sound of Music with the song that is like a string of flashes around a melody, click here: My Favorite Things


Nicole Scarpato Monaghan is editor of Stripped, a Collection of Anonymous Flash Fiction due out from PS Books in spring, 2012. She has been honored with several writing awards from both the 61st and 62nd Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conferences for her literary short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry including three first prizes in 2010. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in Bartleby Snopes, Storyglossia, Foundling Review, PANK, Used Furniture Review, and many other venues. Visit her, where her literary posts have become regular contributions to the Philadelphia Stories Weblog. She lives with her husband, three children, and Redbone Coonhound puppy outside of Philadelphia.

Read Nicole’s stories What Goes on Above Our Heads Sometimes Does Not and Spell.   Hang out at Nicole’s blog!