Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cezanne’s Carrot Autumnal Equinox Issue

My story The Last Rhino in Mutare is now out at Cezanne’s Carrot.
What a nice collection of stories it is. I haven’t read all of them yet, though I will, but I agree with the editors that ‘On the Island’ by Nadia Bulkin is lovely. It is about an island, Reincarnation Island, where the animals are killed and brought back to life over and over. They retain bits of their former lives but are not always able to know from where those memories and yearnings come. It is written with simple language that creates vivid images. The kind of story I love most.
Here is an excerpt:
“The animals of Reincarnation Island ate shriveled red berries and dried chartreuse grass until the plane came overhead. The plane dusted the island with a white ash, and after fits of coughing and a burning in their throats, the animals died.
And then they raised their heads and took fresh breaths. They all had a strange desire to work out kinks in their necks but when they did, there were no aches. They’d scratch at insect bites that no longer existed. They’d lick cuts from prickly grass and lick only fresh healthy skin."

Another story is the flash fiction ‘Simple Rules for Coming Back From the Dead’ by Richard Lee. It cleverly depicts how one can come back to their loved one after death without frightening them. Again a heartbreakingly lovely bit of writing.

Here is an excerpt:

“There were other rules. Assuming the phone call went well, a date and time would be arranged for meeting. They’d meet at the cabin, of course. Not on an anniversary. On a Tuesday, say. Other than the call there’d be no omens, no portent. No mirror-writing, no his-or-her-favorite-song inexplicably playing. No finding his or her clothes lain across the bedspread in a perfect body-shape. No wind chimes or mousetraps sounding suddenly in the dark, death-empty house. The mousetraps were Hap’s contribution. Nothing, but nothing, scared him like a mousetrap in the dark. In much the same vein, personal conduct was to be closely controlled. Any appearing unexpectedly as one, oh, swung shut a door he’d just opened, any jump-cuts or close pans at all, in fact, even as a joke, were punishable with—well, not death, obviously. With some serious ire on the part of the living, then.”

I’m often over my head when it comes to finding literary magazines for submitting my writing. It’s a bit of hit and miss. I happened upon Cezanne’s Carrot at Duotrope, a fantastic resource for writers. What a great hit this was.


groovyoldlady said...

Gee...I hope at least some of the story subjects are living! I'll go check it out now.

Lauri said...

At least my characters are alive!

Anonymous said...

Your story has moved me so much. I thought over and over as I was reading it - 'If only it didn't have to be this way.' You captured so acutely the way so many people live with sadness in their lives. You are an artisan when it comes to the short story. I mean it. Your characters are sublime. Dare I say it - I put you in the same class as my two favourites: Alice Munro and Carol Shields. I won't forget this story for a long time to come.

Lauri said...

Selma- thanks for reading Last Rhino and for your wonderful comments. For short stories, just like for all of my writing I'm on a learning curve, but thanks for your supportive comments.

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