The Empire’s New Clothes

Facebook invited me to the party two days before the event. I felt like an afterthought but what the heck, I said. I’ll go. To be honest, I was surprised he’d friended me. We’re not exactly on good terms. Continue reading

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The Dog Shakes

Nearly three years ago I wrote a flash fiction story about a dog with “issues” and sent it around to a few journals. It was rejected many times. Then in June this year I attended a small press trade show in an Ottawa community centre and found Common Deer Press.  Their submission guidelines for the Short Tail section of their website said this,

We tend to prefer work that might be literary if it weren’t so genre….

and I thought “Hmm. Maybe Nelson would like to live here.”

Without further ado, here it is – The Dog Shakes

edited by Emily Stewart. Thank you, Common Deer Press for giving Nelson a home.

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Cheers!

 

 

Crank

– For immediate release –

Crank, A New Literary Magazine Showcases Older Writers

Pensioners prose given preference

April 16, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario – A new literary journal for the 60+ writer launches here tomorrow. Crank will fill you with high fibre content from the sexti-septi and octogenarians you want to read. Look for age defying fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry to make you wish you were 60, 75 – even 89.

Susanne Fletcher, Crank’s well-seasoned editor, says “No one is too old for Crank but if I find out you’re a 20-something pretending to be 60 because you’re desperate to appear in this mag, I’ll send you a sack of used Depends.”

The inaugural issue features a cover design called “The Grand Damn Canyon”, by 93 year old Val Vielle, and takes you on a single wrinkle’s journey from big toe, through the arroyos of her knees to the crater around her right eye. It will stun you. Sit with ninety-nine year old Digger Jones at the edge of the abyss in his epic confessional poem examining his life as a gravedigger. “Died in Heaven” recalls Mercy Sakes five years in a tie-die commune in central British Columbia.

Crank promises post-menopausal, Viagra pumped prose with no periods. Period. Edgy in the way the young and optimistic don’t get. Real. Short. Limited time offer. Nonfungible.

Fletcher earned her snark working in underfunded non-profits for 40 years. Bitter but not beaten, she feels her experience in this sector notorious for unreasonable expectations and low pay has prepared her to lead Crank.

Got a story, poem, or art to send us? You must be 60 at the time of submission. We charge $50 Canadian ($5.00 US). All funds go to the Crank-in-Chief’s bank account. We promise to reply within two years.  We love horror. Send us your stories.

Contact: sfletcher@crank.ca

– 30 –

Praise the laud

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Apropos of nothing

Susanne Fletcher is a yellow-toothed, grey-haired old woman whose ancestors include a bald-headed bullshitter, an apple pie scented soothsayer, an itinerant ukulele teacher and a lips-sucked-in recriminator. She holds degrees buried in wrinkle canyons carved around her mouth and eyes. When not napping or showering to minimize old lady smell or reading grocery store fliers and clipping coupons, she reads literary journal contributor pages and writes mocking bios that exceed the 50 word limit.

Now its your turn. What would your 50 word (more or less) bio say?

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Suzy-Q doughnuts of  Ottawa –  Top left – The Roughrider; Top right – Carrot cake doughnut; bottom – chocolate truffle doughnut.

Advent pot

She stuffed Hershey’s Kisses into the numbered pockets of the soft, felt advent calendar. The kiss tradition began back when Hershey had a factory in a nearby town called Smiths Falls. She felt virtuous supporting a local business and keeping its workers employed by sweetening the December mornings of their children with a sugar kiss. (Chocolate breath still reminds her of Christmas. ) That small factory closed a few years ago and the death knell rang its last gong. Then an entrepreneur purchased it to grow medical marijuana. Continue reading

For the love of pineapple

“Leftovers in the dining room,” the email announces.

All 200 employees scurry down the stairs to the dining hall to scoop up remains of the catered lunch left behind by the visiting big wigs.

I pick through an enormous bowl of fruit salad and scoop lumps of pineapple, a couple of blackberries, a spoonful of blueberries, some raspberry mush into a container. I take every juicy chunk of pineapple and leave the tepid scalloped potatoes and cold ham with curling edges to those who seek comfort in stodge. I turn my back on the date squares and chocolate macaroons and return to my desk coddling a plastic container brimming with bright, wet fruit. Continue reading

“Oh, Bits!” by Josh Langston

Technically, this is a mystery novel and if it needs a category of mystery, I might slot it under the “cosy” column but it’s also a period-piece, set in Atlanta, GA during 2nd World War, a romance, and a fantasy all told with a shot of humour. If you keep a spreadsheet of books you’ve read this year with various columns to note your reading history, you might need a new column labeled “genre-bender” and perhaps that’s where Josh’s book belongs. Continue reading

Stop the epidemic!

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Curated leaves

It’s time to stop the curation epidemic. We, the Ministry of Overused Words (MOW), the Word Protection Collective (WPC) and the Respect for the Oxford English Dictionary (ROED) – now known as the Anti-Curation Coalition (ACC) – demand a cure for the word curated – a curative dose, for the overdose, the rendering comatose of a perfectly reasonable word. Continue reading