Suspense Magazine

My story “Swinging” appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Suspense Magazine. Here’s the link to that issue:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1b8d54d10b72d257fc8b96db9/files/841b9c2b-274e-4089-9b7c-09e2781fb86d/Suspense_Magazine_March_April_2017.pdf

Enjoy.

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Suspense Magazine

My short story “Swinging” will appear in the March/April 2017 issue of Suspense Magazine. The issue is currently only available to subscribers of Suspense Magazine, but usually a month or two after its release, they make it available to the general public. It’s $24 for a lifetime subscription, which is a great deal, as they pump out issue after issue (since 2007, I think) and the magazine has all sorts of intriguing content for the suspense/mystery/crime fans of the world. I’m honored to be included.

Of course, if you’re going to be a fucking cheapskate about it, I’ll repost once it’s available to the public.

More later…

 

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Death & Acceptance & Blogs

I’ve taken some time off from the blog, obviously. The reasons why are hard to pinpoint. Laziness? Sloth? Vagrancy? Nah. Too busy? Not really, I can always carve out time. Well, why then? Other than the fact that I just don’t like to blog, I think it was because there were no updates about my writing.

Simple as that… And maybe not so simple.

After doing the short story collection (a wonderful and gratifying but epic failure in self publishing, commercially speaking—I highly recommend it!) and then trying to re-write a novel, and then re-tinkering with another novel, I realized I didn’t have anything to send out to the lit magazines. Being empty handed is rare. For the last ten years, I’ve almost always had something in the mail. A short story. An essay. Query letters. Threats. Dick pics. Anthrax. But, I had nothing. No forward motion. Dead fish.

I tried to change that over the summer. I started and finished a few stories, polished ’em up, and got ’em out into circulation. That felt good. I liked what I was writing. It made sense to me. The rejections came, of course. That’s ok. They always do. Then a handful of personal rejection letters came, which is always nice, and maybe let’s you know that you’re doing something right, to stay the path. But, no bites on these stories. Don’t get sad. That’s the biz. Just hunker down. Find the right magazine for these somewhat vulgar but heartfelt stories.

Come fall, my father passed away. Just before Halloween. My father was 75. That sucked. Hard. There was grief, sadness. And then on the day we buried him (we didn’t actually bury him, per se, we slapped him into a tomb instead, sealed him up), moments before I’m about to head up to the funeral home and say goodbye and deliver my eulogy (he was a great fucking father, these were my exact words because he was) I get an email from one of the editors at the Barely South Review.

“We’d like to publish your story…”

It was hard to be happy about this acceptance. It was hard to feel relief. It was hard feel anything. Even bowel movements held no pleasure.

I didn’t tell anyone about the acceptance except my wife. I didn’t tell my friends or inform my writing circles. I didn’t make an announcement on social media. I didn’t update the blog. I’m not normally a braggart anyway, but it’s always nice to make an announcement about publishing something you’ve worked hard on.

I just said ‘hard on’ and you didn’t even think twice, did you? I did.

Anyway, now that enough time has passed, and now that I’m enjoying my bowel movements once again, and now that I’m feeling less numb about losing a great fucking father, maybe, just maybe, with the right perspective, I now realize this acceptance from the Barely South Review on the day of my father’s funeral was the universe trying to tell me something. Maybe that sounds hinky to you? It sounds a bit hinky to me. I don’t actually know what that ‘something’ is, but that’s for me to figure out. Poignant moments such as this take a while for me to process.

Nonetheless, I’d like to announce that my story “Long Weekend” has been published in the Spring 2017 edition of the Barely South Review. Check it out when you get the chance. It’s a great literary magazine and I’m proud to have my story appear alongside such talented writers. Fittingly, my story is about a public school teacher. My father was a public school teacher for 33 years. This one is for my father.

Thanks for listening.

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From a Female’s Perspective

It’s hard to write from a female’s perspective, because I’m an odd version of a man, but I’ve done it before. This one was a challenge for many reasons, and probably the most difficult story I’ve ever written. But because this wasn’t part of the collection, here is my only story from a female’s perspective. It appeared in The Summerset Review.

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Windy City Reviews

The Downriver Horseshoe has been lucky enough to catch some good reviews/press since it’s been unleashed to the world. Another one here from Windy City Reviews. Many thanks to Heather Adair for taking the time to read the collection.

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Chicago Literati: The TV Issue

Forgot to post this here: Chicago Literati was kind enough to publish a story of mine in their TV issue. Fiction, essays, poetry, all in the name of that box we plop in front of after a hard day’s work of shoveling shit for the man. I guess it’s not really a”box” these days, though. Nevertheless…

The Hills, by Scott Miles.

I really love what the editors are doing over at Chicago Literati. It’s a vital source of all things literature in Chicago and beyond. They’ve stepped up and filled in the gaps between the writers and the community. Go on over. Check it out.

In the meantime, I’m re-working a novel and hope to have it whipped into shape to soon start submitting to agents/independent publishers.

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The Damage Did Me Good

Check it out. Imagine me casually scrolling through one of my favorite blogs/websites (fully clothed, you perv, as the computer chair can be a scary contraption for a man of my dangling age–too many hinges and unforgiving casters) Do Some Damage, and I stumble across this entry by Brian Lindenmuth (Spinetingler editor, Snubnose Press editor). Pretty cool. Hang around. Check out the site. Especially if you’re into crime fiction. Lots of great voices and down-to-earth insight found here.

Also, while I’m spouting off, thanks to all the book enthusiasts who came out to the Empty Bottle this past Sunday for the Pop Up Book fair sponsored by Curbside Splendor. Got to chat with a lot of great people, and am looking forward to doing it again in the Spring.

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