Another “Best Of” List: Nailpolish Stories 2012

This is fun news! My short/flash story, “In My Back Pocket,” a 25-word story inspired by an unusual nail polish color name published back in April, was selected as one of the best of the year! Nailpolish Stories: A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal chose one story from each monthly issue and published it in a “Best Of” issue. According to the editor:

Pieces were chosen for their unique language, breadth of story in so few words, emotional impact, and the complex and original relationship of the title to its story.

So flattered that my story was picked! If you’re not familiar with the journal already, it might be a great way to get your creative juices flowing in the New Year. Do “Call My Cell-ery,” “Can’t You Sea?,” “Off With Her Red!,” or “A Peony for Your Thoughts?” spark any story ideas for you? If so, consider submitting!

(Image Courtesy of the State Library of Queensland, Australia; Flickr Commons)

I Didn’t Win the Megamillion, But I Did Win . . .

What a lovely package to find in the mailbox!

What an awesome package to find in the mailbox!

A free copy of The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, all the way from Florida! Lauren is a book-loving librarian (goodness forbid there’s any other kind!) who has started an awesome book-giveaway contest on her blog. She aspires to give used books a good home!

Like most libraries, we have a mini store that sells donated books. I’ve decided that periodically, whenever a book I love is dropped off, I’m going to purchase it and give it away on my blog. Because I love you all. And I love supporting libraries. And I love books.

And I was the lucky winner of her very first book giveaway! I’m super excited to start reading it–I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sarah Dessen before, but I’ve never actually sat down and read her myself. Thanks again for the book, Lauren; I can’t wait!

In other news, a few weeks ago I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, by the lovely Robin Coyle. Thank you Robin! I got this award a few months ago, too, but I don’t think there’s any restrictions on how many times your blog can be appreciated! It’s nice to know my blog is still going strong and deemed worthy of winning awards.

The rules of accepting the nomination are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated me. Check.
  2. Include a link to his/her blog. Check!
  3. Nominate fifteen blogs I enjoy and follow: Way back when I originally won the award, I only nominated 9 out of the 15 other bloggers I was required to, so this gives me the opportunity to finish up!
  4. Lastly, tell you seven things about myself.

If you really want to know seven things about me, you can read the list I posted last time. For good measure, here’s a fresh thing most of you probably don’t know: Though I’m a bit rusty nowadays, I know all the official AKA dog breeds and can identify pretty much any pure breed dog I encounter in a pet store or see in a movie. This is a holdout from my childhood days of reading and rereading dog breed books from the library.

As for the six new bloggers whom I nominate:

  1. Annie Cardi, a YA blogger and soon-to-be published YA author.
  2. Carol Deminski, a writer and super aggressive submitter of stories. If you’re not motivated to submit your stories, you should probably prod yourself into gear by checking out her blog.
  3. Mary Stone Dockery, an amazingly impressive poet.
  4. Tami Clayton, especially for her hilarious Letters from Benedict series. Her blog always makes me laugh.
  5. Lauren Writes, because her blog is awesome and quirky.
  6. White Space, especially because of Kristin’s amazing Where Writers Write series–I LOVE snooping and looking at other writers’ desks and creative spaces!

In even more good news–I just keep piling it on!–I got a short story accepted at Nailpolish Stories, a publication I mentioned last week, and it’s out in the April issue released yesterday. Go check it out! :]

Philadelphia Literary Journal Pride

As I’ve been combing through Duotrope, New Pages, and Poets & Writer’s in search of new markets to submit my writing to over the past few weeks I’ve slowly come to the realization that Philadelphia has a promising up-and-coming literary scene! Not that Philadelphia shouldn’t naturally be super literary and cultural–it is one of the most historic and largest cities on the East Coast–but Philadelphia, at least from my viewpoint, has been in a bit of a hibernation-mode in recent years. Honestly, people keep leaving the Philadelphia area in favor of New York and Boston and DC because the city has been going stale. Cool restaurants have been closing, there isn’t much of a shopping-draw, the only good stuff that does exist is rather expensive–concerts and the like–and it’s generally unsafe in most areas so nobody wants their cars to get vandalized or walk around the streets exploring after dark. So the fact that literary journals are budding out of this environment like a bed of tulip bulbs is rather exciting!

Though Philadelphia Stories and Apiary magazine are the only two that show clear favoritism towards Philadelphia/Pennsylvania writers and themes in their editorial mission statements, the fact that a whole bunch of exciting, new, innovative, and ultimately successful literary journals are springing up out of Philadelphia gives me hope that lots more good things are to come!

On the old side, Painted Bride Quarterly is one of the country’s longest running literary magazines, circa 1973, and is in-part staffed by Drexel University students. On the new side, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, a non-profit flash-prose journal associated with Rosemont College, only launched last year. Same with TINGE magazine, staffed by graduate students in Temple University’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and Nailpolish Stories, the brainchild of Philadelphia writer Nicole Monaghan.

Dear Philadelphia: I’m proud of you. Good show.

Do you have some local literary journals you’re extra fond of just because they call your town home?

(Image, No Copyright,

To the Glitter End . . . Get Your Nailpolish Stories Published!

I’ve heard a lot of people wonder aloud who the lucky guy is who gets to invent awesome crayon color names for a living (did you know there’s 120 core Crayola color names?). Seriously, can you imagine coming up with brilliant creative names like “macaroni and cheese” and “mango tango” and getting paid for it? The same goes for nail polish colors. “French Quarter for Your Thoughts,” “Ski Teal We Drop,” and “Barefoot in Barcelona”–what great names! And, as Nicole Monaghan, the founding editor of the flash fiction online journal, Nailpolish Stories, believes, what a great inspiration for a story!Fiction submissions must be 25 words, exactly, not including the title (and the title has to be a nail polish color). Ms. Monaghan is looking for stories that use powerful language, a minimum of adjectives, and that stuff a lot into a little space. Check out the full submission guidelines here.

Even if you don’t end up submitting to the journal, I’d encourage you to use this as a fun writing exercise. There are so many different nail polish colors–you could get lost in the amount of inspiration they offer!–and it doesn’t take long to write a 25 word story. I wrote ten one afternoon and loved the ideas they sparked up. Write a whole bunch and get your creative writing juices flowing! Maybe it’ll end up being the first sentence to your next novel!