New Story – Kerosene

I had another story published a few weeks ago by the cool folks at Black Heart Magazine. I described the story, Kerosene, to a friend by saying, “This is the second story I’ve published about a girl setting herself on fire.”

You wouldn’t think it to look at me, but I’ve got a dark side.

Kerosene, like Christmas Wreath before it, was inspired by the account of Clara Guthrie, sister to Woody, who met a tragic and heartbreaking end. After reading about Clara’s death in Joe Klein’s Woody Guthrie: A Life, I kept returning to those moments when our normal life takes a sudden and tragic turn – and when our actions unintentionally helped bring them on.

In Which I Publish Another Story

There is nothing as cool as opening an email and learning that someone wants to publish your work.  Usually when I get an email back from an editor or agent, it goes something like this:

  • Fist of fear to the heart when I see the email in the inbox
  • Promise myself I’ll wait until I’m rational to open it, then open it anyway
  • Scan the email as quickly as possible, picking out the key words “thank you for submitting” and “but” and some version of “not a good fit” and “best of luck in the future”

So when I open one that has good news, I have to read it several times, pinch whatever skin I can find, and then find my husband so he can read it and confirm I am not hallucinating the fact that someone actually wants to publish my stuff.

(And that’s just a very tiny glimpse into my writerly neuroses.)

Anyway, I was thrilled beyond belief to learn that The Were-Traveler (one of my favorite literary journal names, hands down) wanted to publish my flash fiction piece, “Thanksgiving.” The piece has almost nothing to do with the American holiday, except that I drafted it last year a few weeks after our Thanksgiving. I was lost in a haze of turkey leftovers and started wondering what significance the word “thanksgiving” would have in a world without this pumpkin pie stuffed holiday.

Read the story and find out.