Liner Notes: The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…

Wm reveals the genesis of his story The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop… and its’ long, twisty road to publication.

Liner notes for The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…, published Feb. 2012 on Mormon Artist as part of the Mormon Lit Blitz contest.

This story was born out of frustration and anger. It was early June 2009. I was upset with myself because I hadn’t managed to pull anything together in time to enter the Irreantum fiction contest. In fact, I was depressed about my fiction writing in general. But after wallowing a bit I decided to buck up and see what else I could do and ran across Sunstone’s short short fiction contest. The deadline was fast approaching, but I figured if I could come up with an idea for a story, I could finish it in time. But what?

I was on the commuter bus one morning. My thoughts were on my frustrations. I had recently acquired Metric’s album Fantasies because it had been on sale on Amazon for $5. I put my headphones in and fired it up. I needed some music to get me out of my head. The first song “Help I’m Alive” came on. It has a strong drumbeat, which I love. I started drumming with my fingers. And then Emily Haines sang “Can you hear my heart beating like a hammer? / Beating like a hammer? / Help, I’m alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer.” I pulled out my mini yellow legal pad and wrote “Elder Russell’s greenie wouldn’t stop drumming.” I jotted down a few more notes. Continue reading “Liner Notes: The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…”

Mormon Lit Blitz post-game

Wm congratulates the winners of the Mormon Lit Blitz, thanks those who made it happen, ruminates a bit on the experience, and makes a plea for submissions to Everyday Mormon Writer.

A few post-game thoughts on the Mormon Lit Blitz

1. Congratulations to Merrijane and the rest of the top 5! In case you didn’t know, Merrijane has a blog where every Friday she posts a poem (sometimes one by her; sometimes one by someone else) plus a few thoughts. Check it out.

2. I’m not going to reveal my ballot, but I will say that I voted for two of the five works that placed. And while the finalists didn’t get a complete breakdown of voting, the organizers did let us know that all of us got a good number of votes. What’s cool is that each of the finalists were able to bring in their readership, which meant we all benefited, in terms of readers, from each other’s efforts.

3. Many thanks to James, Nicole and Scott for running the contest and to my sister Katherine and Ben for hosting it at Mormon Artist and to anybody who helped with the graphics, which were very cool (Anneke and ??). I thought it was all very well managed and promoted and am pleased that I decided to participate. Continue reading “Mormon Lit Blitz post-game”

Read my Mormon Lit Blitz story

My short short story “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…” is now live and begging to be read.

If all went according to plan, my short short story “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…” is now posted over on the Mormon Artist blog as part of the Mormon Lit Blitz contest. Discussion of contest entries can be found on the Mormon Lit Blitz Facebook page.

Edit to add: click here for a direct link to my story.

My piece is the second to go up. The posting of the finalists kicked of yesterday with the poem “In Bulk” by Marilyn Nielson. It’s a great poem that features the awesome phrase “the potato salad of my indignation”. A finalist a day will go up every day (except Sundays) through Feb. 29. I’m looking forward to reading all of them and encourage you to do the same — hey, each is 1,000 words or less.

Mine is actually 1,000 words right on the nose. It was 999, but I threw in an extra adjective to make it an even grand.

Also: I will be posting Liner Notes for “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop…” like I do with most of my published work, but I will be holding off until after the contest ends.

Flash fiction: The Monte Cristo Minnesotan

This is the short short story that I wrote for this year’s mn flash fiction contest. I wasn’t a finalist and don’t feel inclined to expand it so here it is:

The Monte Cristo Minnesotan

The first time he ordered a Monte Cristo she had thought the decision charmingly, mildly eccentric. That was their second date. Their first date had occurred while playing hooky from a conference for non-profits in St. Paul and had consisted of conversation and coffee, except he had ordered chai or Earl Grey or rooibos or something. She couldn’t really remember.

She had never seen someone eat a Monte Cristo before so when it came and powdered his fingers with sugar and coated his lips with grease and left traces of raspberry jam at the corners of his mouth, she still felt the charm, but beneath it detected an incipient childishness that both intrigued and repelled. Then, as their relationship progressed, came the Reubens, the egg creams, the ice cream sodas, several more Monte Cristos, and (leaving the alimentary behind) the Flaming Lips, cricket, the fiction of Pynchon, episodes of the Steve Allen Show (on VHS), a blue and white striped seersucker suit, vintage NES games, etc. Continue reading “Flash fiction: The Monte Cristo Minnesotan”