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Five Star Literary Stories

I just found a great site called Five Star Literary Stories, run by three-time Pushcart nominee T.J. Forrester. I don’t suppose it’s shocking, with a name like that and an editor with those credentials, that it focuses on literary fiction (as opposed to science fiction, thrillers, etc.).

It might be especially beneficial if you don’t always like literary fiction, or if you’re not sure what people see in some of those fancy-schmancy stories. The reviews I’ve seen so far have been intelligent without being pretentious, so you’ll read a very short story plus a good review — and nothing, in my experience, enriches a reading experience more than seeing what other intelligent readers see in a given story.

Naturally, when I saw what TJ was doing, I wanted to be a part of it, so I spoke to TJ and I’ll be nominating Stefanie Freele’s “James Brown is Alive and Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe“.

I’ll be adding this to my links page, too.

For Webmasters: "My IP Neighbors"

Okay, this has nothing to do with writing, but it has something to do with hosting an online ‘zine (or online anything else, for that matter).

A while back I had to write to AT&T to get them to allow my email to go through to att.com (or was it .net?) email addresses. I assume that part of the problem was my shared hosting services — if you don’t have a dedicated server, a dedicated IP address, who knows who else might be sending spam out using your IP address?

I just found myipneighbors.com, which shows me all of the sites (159 of them!) that share Flash Fiction Online’s IP address: 67.212.165.26. At least one is an adult site, and who knows who else is spamming whom from there? Use Firefox or Safari to view it or the scrolling is a total pain in the neck.

Use the New Social Networking Tools to Promote Flash Fiction Online

When I launched this issue, I added buttons for Digg, Stumble Upon, and Del.icio.us. Using these buttons will promote the stories we publish here, and you can add comments as well. This is good overall for Flash Fiction Online, and can also help you highlight the stories that you personally like the most.

I generated them on all of the earlier stories, too, so if there’s one you particularly like, you can go back to it and digg it or submit it to Stumble Upon as well.

Thanks!

What is Flash?

I really like this quote from an interview with Vanessa Gebbie over at Smokelong Quarterly:

Great flashes are diamond stuff. Perfect. They don’t leave the reader hanging, or assume another role. Strong, resonant stories packed into non-safety matchboxes.

I have a strong emotional pull to the form. It feels very natural. I’m sure they are deeply seated in our psyches, these little stories, told in snatched moments. And it’s such a joy to read a really good flash.

It’s not a function of word count. It’s more to do with the magic of ‘scope’. Read a good flash and a whole world envelops you. You CAN’T turn the page and read another.

But I also see flash writing—the process—as a way of freeing up creativity. Of ‘defeating the sentinels’. Of allowing the mind free rein to produce what connections, rhythms, voices, colours and textures it wants, with as little interference from the writer as possible… no planning, no ‘conscious thought’.

If you don’t read Smokelong Quarterly, they’re worth a look. It’s a very different ‘zine from Flash Fiction Online — much more literary, in particular — but if you like that sort of thing then you should definitely check them out.