Keith Lesmeister

Posts tagged “Life as a Shorty

Life as a Shorty Blog: “Liabilities” by Claire Polders published in Pithead Chapel

Posted on March 2, 2017

This week’s story, “Liabilities” by Claire Polder, clocks in at 500 words. A brief, but powerful and moving, glimpse into the lives of this mother and son relationship. In one or two lines, we see the entire tortured history of this relationship and what the future might hold for these two. Unsettling and subtle, read this story a few times and, if you’d like, feel free to leave a comment or two. Check out the story here.

Life as a Shorty: “The Interloper” by Darci Schummer, published in Necessary Fiction

Posted on January 25, 2017

Darci Schummer’s “The Interloper” is a timely, troubling piece about the ways in which evil and/or outside disturbances might manifest itself/themselves in our personal lives. Read the story here. And check out our interview below!   Keith Lesmeister: First of all, big congratulations on publishing three stories this month. That’s outstanding! It’s difficult enough to find a home for one story, let alone three. Do you have a magical formula for placing stories that you might share with us?? Darci Schummer: I wish I did! These latest publications came after a long dry spell, but I have found a couple things that help. As most writers know, it’s important to understand the type of writing—thematically and stylistically—that a particular journal is looking for. The majority of…

Life as a Shorty: “How the Mammoth’s Blood Flows” by Denton Loving, published in Prime Number Magazine

Posted on January 17, 2017

This week’s story by Denton Loving includes Mammoth hunters, the vast and dangerous arctic setting, and a protagonist who is trying to better understand himself against the memory of his deceased father. This is a story with complicated relational dynamics, an evocative setting, and evident, but not over done, research. Read the story here. And check out my interview with Denton below.   Keith Lesmeister: There’s so much going on in this story — very complicated relational dynamics — that I hardly know where to start. But with all that is going on, it’s written in a very calm meditative way, almost tranquil, which is in stark contrast to the abusive and constant threats of weather, polar bears, and other dangers in the Arctic,…

Life as a Shorty: Roxane Gay’s story, “In the Event of my Father’s Death” reprinted in Vice Magazine

Posted on December 14, 2016

Read Roxane Gay’s story here. And check out my brief review below.   I’ve read several of Roxane Gay’s stories now – some online, one in Hobart, and another in Midwestern Gothic. Her stories are lean and powerful, taking residence in rural areas marked by cheating husbands and wives, cigarettes, sex, booze, and trailer homes located on large swaths of undeveloped land. “In the Event of my Father’s Death” is no different. In this story, a girl gets dragged along on weekend “fishing trips” to visit her father’s mistress. While the father and the mistress are busy in the bedroom, the girl is either in the living room listening or out roaming the countryside. And while the title tips us off to a major…

Life as a Shorty: “Legs” by Libby Flores, published in Tin House Open Bar

Posted on November 30, 2016

Libby’s story “Legs” clocks in at just over 100 words and will take you a minute or two to read. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll read it over and over again, trying to figure out how she accomplished this in so few words. Read Libby’s story here. And check out our interview below.   Keith Lesmeister: There’s a kind of sensual ache in “Legs,” maybe even a touch of desperation, but it’s not romantic in the least. And you accomplish all of this — this mood — in just over 100 words. I’m not sure what I’m asking here. I guess I want to know: how the hell did you do that?? Libby Flores: First off, thank you for those kind words. Truth…

Life as a Shorty: “Lesser Missiles” by Kathryn Savage, published in American Short Fiction

Posted on November 23, 2016

Read (or listen to) Kathryn’s wonderful story here.   And, check out Kathryn’s interview with ASF Online Fiction Editor Erin McReynold’s in which they discuss asteroids, writing, and books.   On the surface of Kathryn Savage’s story, “Lesser Missiles,” the narrator discusses her relationships with men — current lover, best friend, childhood crush, and another relationship which I won’t disclose here. But this is not a surface level story. Savage has created here an intimate, believable, voice — one with all the trepidation and hesitancy of a person who has experienced the kind of loss central to this story. There are few writers with this kind of steady control of voice and narrative structure, working together to create that envious alchemy that all story writers…