Behind the Fish

Freeze Frame Fiction just published my story, “Uncle Fish.” It’s part of their third volume of flash fiction (under 1,000 words) and there are a lot of good stories to be read.

Uncle Fish is the kind of story that’s best read, rather than described. But I can offer a little backstory. In fact, I would like to dedicate this one to my dad. After all, it’s his fault that I once got a Christmas present from Uncle Fish. My mother accused him of drinking while he wrapped the presents. Fifteen years or so after getting that gift – it was a “pulp fishin'” t-shirt for those curious – I began to wonder about this supposed Uncle and what he’d be like. This story was the result.

Also, my dad really did that with his socks.

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The Quotable Abigail, Part 65

On dealing with the late-evening Halloween slowdown by shouting out the front door: “Every trick-or-treater! Come to [our address]! We have lots of candy for you!”

On insect husbandry: “Every time I cut my hair, I could collect the little pieces and make a lice nest.”

On Dad walking in for the end of what sounded like a long, detailed explanation: “…that’s a life cycle or it goes to the store.”

On “Du Hast” by Rammstein: “This is a good dance song.”

On Kraft singles: “American crash cheese.”

On the sort of thing Dad gets yelled at for these days: “You made me bit my lip because you whispered while I was chewing!”

On things to say while gesturing at your outfit: “I’m sorry but… too fancy to run.”

On why she likes being sad: “Because when I’m done crying I can lick my tears.”

On why the Grinch should have taken the children, rather than the toys: “That would have been a more evil plan.”

On yuletide worries: “I don’t think we’re on the good list, though.”

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The Quotable Gabe, Part 15

On tidiness: “My mess is ruined!”

On things you learn walking behind the dog: “I don’t have that kind of butt like Maggie.”

On pre-Legoland planning: “Can we go somewhere like Legoland after Legoland?”

On the big questions one thinks about after listening to music in the car: “How can we can we dance while our beds are burning?”

On what happened in his bad dream: “I’m not gonna go tell you because it’s bad!”

On being sad that there are no dishes to wash in the sink: “I have dishes in my heart to wash.”

On Madeleine and Beatrice: ” You guys are not good girls.”

On things you can listen to in a silent car: “Did you hear that sound? That’s a sky dancing sound.”

On good reasons: “I can’t hold your hand, Abigail, because I have one sonic screwdriver in my hand.”

On the Great Flower Petal-Pulling, Big Sister Meltdown of 2014: “When my flower gets all ruined, I don’t act like that.”

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My story “Tricky” has been published by Stupefying Stories. Not only am I thrilled to have another story out in the wild, I am ecstatic that I have been published by a publication with a name as awesome as “Stupefying Stories.”

You can go here and read it right now. It’s a fantasy story, with a more humorous bent than some of my more recent publications. Although, I’m not sure “recent” is the right word to use. It has been almost a year since “Die for You” appeared in the in-boxes of Daily Science Fiction subscribers.

Over the past twelve months, I have crafted and submitted a number of new stories, but most of my writing effort has been focused on a novel. That manuscript is currently being dissected by a number of friends and colleagues, but while you wait for a finished version, I will direct your attention back to “Tricky.”

I wrote the first draft of this story back in 2011 and it’s gone through wholesale changes since then. Give it a read, and let me know what you think.

In case I haven’t linked to it enough, or you’re just too lazy to scroll back up the page, here again is a link to “Tricky.”

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The Quotable Abigail, Part 64

On having the overarching idea of the Lord of the Rings explained to her: “Bag-gins! Bag-gins! Bag-gins!”

On apparent compliments: “Daddy, you’re big and fat already.”

On being told that she’d spelled “Solvang” incorrectly: “That’s okay. I’ll just write it my language.”

On giving Gabe a valuable shorthand: “Freeways don’t have patios and if you see a patio that’s a sign you’re not on the freeway.”

On Mythbusters: “Me and Gabe always try it at home.”

On her Mom’s hat: “You look like an old lady marching down the road.”

On why she needs absolute silence: “I’m singing something in my mind.”

On lines I hope she never tries on a cop: “We won’t steal everything.”

On the aftermath of urging her little brother to greater speed on his tricycle: “Maybe fast isn’t really a good idea.”

On initially quite startling dinnertime announcements: “FLOCK! … of birdies.”

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The Quotable Gabe, Part 14

On things to say to your sister: “Are you my conscience?”

On things to say to the road: “Are you my conscience, road?”

On things to shout after slamming your open palms into a random store front: “My conscience!”

On spilling a bowl of pretzels: “That was my fault. I’ll pick them all up.”

On five year plans: “I want to be an egg.”

On Daddy liking him just the way he is: “Mommy doesn’t. She likes me to be an egg.”

On spontaneous announcements, more than a month after the headwear in question was saved from a watery grave: “Klint just jumps in the water to rescue your hat.”

On standing in the middle of the kitchen with a butterfly net on his head: “Pull me, Abigail, pull me! Pull me to safety!”

On why he’s styling me with his Elmo comb: “So your hair can be nice and gray.”

On deli cheese: “Does baby swiss have babies in it?”

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The Quotable Abigail, Part 63

On singing along with the radio from the back seat: “I was walking with a ghost. I say, hey, ghosts don’t exist.”

On splashing in her bath: “That was embarrassingly fun!”

On still remembering having her blood drawn, years earlier: “Getting your blood out, that place is really, really not good.”

On what Gabe’s behavior means for when we get home: “Consequences or picnic?”

On dad’s role in what has been declared a kids-only zone: “You can be our chair if you want to stay.”

On dramatic announcements: “Gabriel and dad, did you know I’ve been writing all about you? Writing what you’ve done wrong!”

On morning greetings: “You look good enough to mix in with my cereal!”

On health risks: “I’m actually allergic to a drink of water in my nose.”

On performance notes for Gabe as he and his sister play family: “Sometimes daddies are really mean.”

On Batman, actually reasonable descriptions of: “He’s the bad guy hero of all bad guys!”

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