About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Slash and Burn

I recently slashed and burned my story "The Adirondack Room" and turned it from a short story into a piece of flash fiction. After letting it sit for quite a while (maybe a year or so?), I read it while it was still a short story and didn't like it. But there were aspects of it I liked very much and wished to keep. So I kept the title as well as the Adirondack Room itself with its anachronistic Cold War atmosphere. I kept the nuclear bombs, the shrimp cocktail, and even the toupee. But I cut it all way, way down. It's a strange piece that seems more interested in description than plot, but I like it.

What I would recommend to anyone who's not happy with a longer work is to attempt to turn it into flash fiction. Because there are so often good things in unsatisfactory longer pieces that you don't want to give up on. Nuggets, pearls, passages... whatever you want to call them... don't ditch them just because you don't like the short story they appear in.

And if you don't like a piece of flash fiction? Well, you can always cut it down to Twitter fiction (a TwitFic) which is what I write on Twitter. TwitFics are tiny stories that fit within the parameters of a tweet. So we're talking maybe three, more likely two, and perhaps one sentence, but if the words work and you like them, give it a try!

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