The Flash Fiction contest results are in. And this year, our beloved readers / literary virtuosos went decidedly anthropomorphic and animalistic. Sure, the prompts we provided included a rattlesnake and a deceased feline, but the bite you brought more than answered the call of the wild (including a couple of great ditties about civilized lions and cancer-stick-sharing birds and fish).
My snootiness was in full flower as I drove to the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. I was on my way to a panel discussion featuring three New Mexico-based romance writers: Celeste Bradley, Doranna Durgin and Alice Duncan. It didn’t help that I was stressing out about being late to something I’d already decided wouldn’t teach me anything. They’re not for serious people, I thought. They aren’t real books. I pulled into the parking lot and hurried into the building. Although full of preconceptions, I secretly harbored a small flame of hope that someone would redeem the genre for me.
We’ve got some really great zines in this city. If you don’t know about them, or don’t know where to get them, come to the zine reading tonight! If you’re too lazy to read, or don’t like to, that’s okay too–tonight people will read to you!
Those who want to read from their zines, or even from someone else’s they love, are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org and get a spot. Everyone else is just invited to come check out some new issues of various tiny mags.
These readers are confirmed so far: Erik Gamlem, Marya Jones, Mike Smith and Lisa Barrow
There will be snacks, and a big special announcement about the upcoming Albuquerque Zine Fest. People 12 years old and up, please!
Some new zines I already grabbed
Hitting the streets this week is the latest “Wig Wam Bam,” the zine of local music and nepotism put forth by sometimes Alibi contributor Captain America. This one will review about six months’ worth of shows. Pick it up at Cellar Door, Winning Coffee and Low Spirits. Also hot off the press is the new Nightly Noodle Monthly, a brochure for the inside of Eva Avenue’s brain. Snag it at Winning, and other places she might put it.
(Special thanks to my hand models who both have very good-looking faces that were not useful in these shots)
Entries started pouring in as soon as we announced this year’s Flash Fiction contest. It was like that closet you haphazardly throw things into, without order, squeezing the door closed with your body weight to cram in all the stuff without a proper home. Toppling stacks of paper and files, bits of yarn, nightmare flickers, battered toys, love letters, unused sports equipment, dream diaries, lost hopes, failed romances―it’s all in there.
How do you get published? What’s a query letter? How do you get an agent or a manager? Should you get an agent or a manager? All these questions and more will be answered for writers—both beginning and experienced—during the ninth annual Latino Writers’ Conference, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center May 19 through 21. Internationally successful authors, editors and agents will present workshops and lectures. Participants are guaranteed one-on-one meeting time with the professionals. “The mission of the conference is to encourage Latinos to publish their work,” says Carlos Vásquez, the history and literary arts director at NHCC, “and to bring to them other Latino writers that are now successful.”
I had an editor once who wore sweat pants to the newsroom.
I did not approve. While I’ve never been a GQ type of guy, preferring cheap khakis and work shirts to slacks and dress shirts, I always tried to dress well enough to go to court.
When my editor would come in clutching a bag of McDonalds and a lip-balancing a cigarette, decked out in blue or black sweat pants, I couldn’t help but scoff (and cringe at the knowledge that a soul-crushing, spirit-trashing staff meeting was soon to steal an hour of my day.) Sure, we are print people, but that’s no reason to dress like like one had awakened under a freeway overpass.
I’m not too big to admit that I was wrong. I wrote an article this morning dressed in a t-shirt and boxer shorts. It was heaven. I felt like I had found Jesus after a life in mortgage banking. I have seen the light and been reborn. Hallelujah. Can I get an amen?
I am trying to freelance full time and I think I have just found the first perk among the many terrifying unknowns: no pants. Pants are overrated and a large portion of my operating budget. They have to go.
Lord, I don’t ask you for much, and I’m calling in a favor. Bless me with enough freelance work to continue to revel in the unbearable lightness of chortes. Amen.
Usually, I’m that guy. The one in the corner, nose stuck in a giant book. My best blow-off at a bar is to ask guy what he’s reading and then tell him all about my “favorite” book, the Mahabharata. “It’s, like, eight times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined!” I announce to the poor sap. It works every time. And no, that’s not actually my favorite book. It just scares people and I have read a big chunk of it and there’s this whole part about the land of the snake people that’s really weird and not what some dude at a bar wants to talk to a girl about.
Here are two really awesome reasons to spend the weekend in Santa Fe. First, the Santa Fe Writers Workshop takes over the College of Santa Fe campus (1600 St. Michael’s Drive) for a few days. The workshop, which costs $490, gives budding writers of the fiction, poetry and nonfiction genres a chance to hone their skills with some of New Mexico’s best. Mark Behr, Michael McGarrity and Bill deBuys are just a few of the big names who want to help you get writing from Thursday, July 8, to Sunday, July 11. Find out how to register at csf.edu/summer_workshops/writers. Once the sessions are over, you can hit up the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the biggest market of its kind anywhere. Vendors from around the world gather at on Museum Hill’s Milner Plaza (on Camino Lejo) to offer up one-of-a-kind artistic wares. If you’re worried someone else will get the really good stuff, there’s an early bird market Saturday, July 10, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. that’ll cost you $50. Otherwise, head up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 10, for only $10 if you buy tickets in advance or $15 for those who wait and get ’em at the door; or Sunday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for only $5. Get tickets at folkartmarket.org.
It is time, boys and girls, to let it all hang out. Your literary genius, that is. Why? Because it’s Flash Fiction Contest time! Send me (email@example.com) your (maximum) 119 word story. If yours is chosen you’ll be published in the Alibi’s Flash Fiction issue.
I can’t promise this will launch your literary career or anything, but I can promise that it’s fun.
Teeny, tiny stories. 'Round here, we call 'em "flash fiction," but no matter what moniker you slap on them, they're the perfect vehicle for artsy folk with short attention spans. Duke City DimeStories would agree. The local version of nationwide DimeStories Theater begins this Thursday at 7 p.m. at The Source (1111 Carlisle SE). The open mic invites you to read your 3-minute tales; the best of them will be posted at DimeStories.org, where you can also go to learn more. For info about this event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested donation is $3.