Archive for category Flash Ficion

Finding Recent Titles that Otherwise I’d lose

Today I found a call for submissions for a podcast where previously published work is considered. I liked this idea and looked for what I had that met the  800 word limit. (It did say longer might be considered.) Because I wasn’t sure if the copy of the two pieces I identified as ones to send matched what had been published, I checked online. While doing this, I realized I apparently hadn’t seen the final publications. To my surprise, on Tattoos Across the Universe there were three positive comments. This just reminds me of the potential benefits from  online submissions. Someone may actually read them! And comment!!! People could read my stories in print publications, but I’m unlikely to ever know.

Unfortunately, the other piece, Trip to Oz in NonBinary Review, requires a special app. I downloaded it once but couldn’t get it to work. I’ll have to try again but don’t think I’m able to link it here. Maybe if it is accepted for the podcast….

2015-06-14 11.16.37

Konovalenko gem carving. Denver Museum of Nature and Science

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The Smokelong Journey

Yesterday my flash piece, Susquehanna Blessing, was published at Smokelong Weekly. This was especially gratifying as I was able to select my very talented friend, Aeravi Link, as the illustrator. I have two of her paintings hanging in my house, but was happy to provide more exposure for her often frightening, always colorful and imaginative work.

Over the years, other writers I’ve worked with have been published in this well-respected journal, including my critique group partner, Saytchyn Maddux-Creech. I also was a participant in an online writing workshop conducted by Mike Czyzniejewski. Fellow workshop participant, and editor of the now-retired Camera Obscura, M.E. Parker, also has been published in this journal. I am honored to join their ranks.

Please take a moment admire Aeravi’s artwork and read my piece. As the journal title implies, it shouldn’t take any longer than it does to smoke a cigarette.


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Muse in a Drabble

While looking through my files, I happened across copies of stories in journals I didn’t remember had been accepted! Not a bad problem to face. One of the finds was a drabble that appeared in The Boston Literary Magazine, Summer 2007. And just for the sake of interest, I include the comment the editor made in her acceptance email: We really loved The Muse Effect and want to include it in our summer issue, which we will be pulling together next week. It was masterful, with such a satisfying ending.

Certainly you might not call it “masterful” but I hope you find it amusing.

The Muse Effect
C.A. Cole

Avalon cover

      He’d never wanted to be anyone’s muse. That much was clear, but there was something about the elixir of his skin that made her want to strum her guitar and experiment with lyrics.

“Why don’t you want to be my muse?” she asked in the hollow of the night, Roxy Music in the  background. She swirled her third Ramos Gin Fizz.

“Why should I? Too much responsibility. I don’t want to be attached to anyone. Find someone else.”     He hung up.

Didn’t matter. His very existence ignited her soul, inspired rhythm, inspired rhyme.
No way could he shirk that fate.

From Boston Literary Magazine July 2007
What or who is your muse? Does it change with different stories? If you lose your muse, how do you recover?
And in case you want to listen, since music has a muse-like quality for many,  here is a youtube recording of Avalon:

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The Great Courses, Writing, and Me


I’d seen their ads in magazines and The New York Times for years before curiosity finally got the best of me and I ordered one of  The Great Courses.  I’d watched a number of them, such as  The Joy of Thinking and Understanding the Brain, before the Literature and English Language subheading caught my eye. Currently there are 59 different courses listed under this category on The Great Courses website. Thirty-six  of them on sale. I’m not sure if anyone every actually buys courses that aren’t on sale as they are quite costly and routinely are put on sale. A number of offerings, such as Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft,  and Writing Creative Nonfiction are directly related to the craft of writing. Many other titles are related to language, words, or reading, all useful adjuncts to the writing trade.

Other uses for the courses range from the obvious–history classes as research–to the more subtle. While watching Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond, I came up with an idea for a flash fiction series which has yet to see paper and ink. Many of the courses could be of assistance for times when characters have interests you know little or nothing about. Some of the courses are as short as 6 lessons, while others are as long as thirty-six. Most are a half hour in length. Some are 45 minutes. All are taught by professors from around the country who are considered to be the best teachers in their fields.  You can order the courses in a number of different formats for different prices, and many libraries carry a few of the series. Lately, most of them seem to come with free streaming. I prefer the DVDs as I like to listen to them while I’m exercising, and watching on the TV screen is more engrossing for me than on my laptop. I have, though, ordered Latin 101 to listen to on my computer and I’ve listened to others in the car. A few may only be available as audio CDs.

In future posts, I will discuss and review the various courses I’ve found that have been useful in my writing.

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We were speaking of dreams the other day and since I’d written about my “best” publication, I thought I’d copy out the actual poem. I’m also taking a two-week workshop and will have to devote time to that rather than my ramblings.It was written under an early pen name. (Kalliope, Volume 7, No. 2)

April Cole

In a dream I was taught by touching the walls of a cave

I would turn to stone,

not be noticed by the armies of the night.

Watching brown-shirted boys

wrap around blue-bloused girls,

blowing hot breath in their tangled hair,

I feel my fingers claw the clay.

I am sixteen.

Between arias

we eat Tandoori chicken

twine fingers to cislunar violins.

Intermezzo harp resonates

deep space darkness of the heart.

He licks saffron from my lips.

Natant, I become the liquid sky.

I am twenty one.

In the distance he is standing

silhouetted against brush blue hills.

I call and he runs towards the scarlet sun.

He is a rabbit hopping through reeds,

he is a bramble bush blowing down the fence row.

He tumbles and flies, tumbles and flies.

I am twenty four.

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First Internet Publication

Not my first publication but the first on the Internet. It’s kinda old.

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Learning From the Setter

Since I’m watching the Washington/CU volleyball game, it seems like a good time to work on getting this website set up. The following story was inspired by the sport of volleyball and a exasperating fan.

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