25 Books by Friends (just in time for Jólabókaflóð)

icelandI’m not Icelandic, but if there is one reason why I wish I was it would be to celebrate Jólabókaflóð, the Icelandic Christmas Book Flood where books–yes, books!–are exchanged on Christmas Eve. Then everyone goes home and reads. Doesn’t that sound amazing? And did you know that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world?

Regardless of whether you are Icelandic or not, giving books–especially signed books–during the holidays is a super thoughtful gift. It says “I care about your intellectual and creative health” so much more than that bottle of wine–and lasts longer too! Plus you’re supporting artists and that’s always a good thing.

So what books will you give and receive this Winter’s Eve (and beyond)? I have some suggestions! For several years I have done an end of the year “Top 10 Books By Friends List”, and since I was a slacker last year you get double the pleasure, double the fun!

25 Books by Friends 2018

(in no particular order: most published in 2017/2018)

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The Realty Traveler by Jonathan Montgomery
Read my interview with Jonathan here:
“Jonathan “Bluebird” Montgomery has just released his new book, The Reality Traveler, a pop culture allegorical/philosophical tale with Jonny “Bluebird” as its picaresque narrator and Reality Traveling tour guide! Think Don Quixote meets the Alchemist meets the Guardians of the Galaxy.” Read more

Water and Power by Steven Dunn
Read my interview with Steven here
“Steven Dunn has just released his new book, Water and Power! This book is a literary mosaic, collaging the two contradictory faces of the military: the official face of the recruiting posters and the real faces of the people, including Steven’s.” Read more

Meet My Haze by Meg Tuite
Interview coming!

Kiss, Kiss by Paul Beckman
Read Kathy Fish’s review on the Flash Fiction Retreats website here

New Micro: Exceptionally Short Stories edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro
My stories “Death Row Hugger” and “I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call” appear in this amazing anthology
Read a review from the Los Angeles Review of Books here

Alligators at Night by Meg Pokrass
Interview coming!

Gather the Night: Poems by Katherine DiBella Seluja
Read my interview with Katherine here
“Katherine DiBella Seluja has just released her new book, Gather the Night, which is largely an investigation into the complex emotions around mental illness and addiction, particularly as it affects the narrator’s brother, Lou. While much literature has been devoted to the stories of people suffering with these and other illnesses, there are fewer stories that speak to the experience of the bystander, those caught in the orbit of the illnesses and getting the midnight ER phone calls. Read more

Funhouse by Robert Vaughan
Interview coming!

Other Household Toxins by Christopher Allen
Interview coming!

Flash Fiction Festival Two edited by Bath Flash Fiction Award
My story “Loch Ness” appears in this great compilation of writers who gathered in the UK in 2018.

On the Bitch by Matt Potter
Interview coming!

One of These Days by Trent Hudley
From my book blurb:
“Trent Hudley is unafraid to look at the underbelly of despair, taking us on an existential unraveling through the landscapes of loneliness, deftly weaving the crisis of humanity between the real and the surreal like a strange premonition. “This is a story without hope” says one of his characters, but One of These Days is a book striving for redemption.”

Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep by David S. Atkinson
From my book blurb:
“David S. Atkinson’s imagination is a beast unleashed! The stories in Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep are bizarre and hilarious, taking us into a highly peculiar landscape with scenarios that leave me wondering: Where does he come up with this stuff? Narrated with his signature intellectual deadpan (think “straight man”) and featuring labyrinthian titles that unroll all the way to near slapstick, Atkinson leads us from one outlandish situation to the next without flinching, apologizing, or justifying.”

Ripening: 2018 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology edited by Santino Prinzi and Allison Powell
My story “The Pilgrimage” appears in this tasty anthology!

Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics by Selah Saterstrom
Selah is awesome!

Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from One Hundred Word Story edited by Grant Faulkner, Lynn Mundell and Beret Olsen
My story “Naked” appears in this great collection of tiny stories!

I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither are You by Len Kuntz
Interview coming!

Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Lyn Walrath
“Bold yet delicate, sharp, intricate, and woven with fragile strength, there are many things to like in Glimmerglass Girl. The first a reader might notice is the interplay of words and images, something many writers attempt but not always with such success. Glimmerglass Girl uses classic and vintage fairy tale images to give the book an aura of innocence and nostalgia…”
Read more here

Rattle of Want by Gay Degani
Read Kathy Fish’s interview with Gay Degani here

The Plankton Collector: A Novella by Cath Barton
Read Kathy Fish’s blurb about Cath’s book here

Bad Motel: 100 Word Stories by Robert Scotellaro
From my book blurb:
“Like perfectly crafted dioramas, Robert Scotellaro’s micro stores are tiny keyholes, tableau glimpses into fully formed worlds, entire lives implied with the barest swipe of words said, and more importantly, not said.”

How to Make a Window Snake: Three Novellas in Flash by Charmaine Wilkerson, Joanna Campbell and Ingrid Jendrzejewski 
Three great writers for the price of one!

Musalaheen: A War Memoir by Jason Arment
Veteran Jason Arment’s debut book!

The Crazed Wind by Nod Ghosh
This collection began in my Flash Books class in February–Nod is awesome!

The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland by Julia Madsen
Julia is also a great multi-media artist!

Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief edited by Peter Blair and Ash Chantler
My story “Clown Car” from Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities was first published in this collection of humorous flashes
Profits go to Comic Relief, a major charity based in the UK, with a vision of a just world, free from poverty.

Nothing to Worry About by Vanessa Gebbie
This is a weird little book that speaks to my weird heart!

PS: Okay, I know that was more than 25. I can’t stop!
PSS: My goal is to interview all the authors listed here in my So You Wrote a Book Series in 2019, so stay tuned!

Regardless of what you celebrate, and whether you celebrate anything at all, I celebrate the many ways that we support one another on this crazy creative life journey.
Wishing you love, rest, and inspiration this winter season.
See you in 2019!
xoxo

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“The Pilgrimage” in Ripening: 2018 National Flash-Fiction Day Anthology

The Pilgrimage

by Nancy Stohlman

After the rapture, the people began a strange pilgrimage. They traveled from the broken cities, through streets littered with expired business cards, past billboards that had long ago stopped promising anything.

They walked over the Rocky Mountains and across the desert towards Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Very First Kentucky Fried Chicken, the one started by the actual Colonel Sanders when “fried” was still part of the name. It seemed pointless to care about things like cholesterol now; those who had been vegetarians and those who didn’t eat fried foods journeyed side by side.

The route to the Very First Kentucky Fried Chicken was marked by cairns and amulets. People who were interviewed along the way said they felt a certain calm on the months-long journey, that it was good to be away from the normal pressures of daily life and just be one with the scorching 100-degree temps of the high Utah desert, where understandably a certain number of pilgrims would not make it and their bodies would be left as they fell, adorned by the pilgrims to follow like roadside altars.

For those who made it, a large yet modest daily buffet awaited so pilgrims would not be forced to choose between original and extra crispy chicken, and there was both brown and white gravy and some even claimed to find a real lump in the mashed potatoes. And the fountain drinks ran freely and people shared their sporks under the grinning life-sized Colonel Sanders, decorated with beads and sunglasses and candles and smudge sticks and good luck fortunes left in thanks for a safe journey.

And then the people, desperate to avoid what came next, took their chicken bones and kept walking. They walked west for many days towards the setting sun until they reached the edge of a vast hole. But no matter how many bones they threw over the edge, they couldn’t fill the great, yawning silence that followed them back to the remains of their ruined lives.

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Get the anthology now! Click here

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Editors Santino Prinzi and Alison Powell

This seventh annual and established flash fiction writers. The authors have cooked up a smorgasbord of entertaining, moving and tantalising flashes for your reading delight. From fudge to oysters, apples to mangoes, gingerbread to (of course!) cake, there’s something in this anthology for everyone to sink their teeth into. Authors include: Alison Powell, A. E. Weisgerber, Abi Hynes, Alan Beard, Alicia Bakewell, Amanda O’Callaghan, Angela Readman, Anita Goveas, Anna Rymer, Anne Summerfield, Calum Kerr, Catherine Edmunds, Charlotte Wührer, Charmaine Wilkerson, Christopher Allen, Christopher M Drew, Claire Polders, Damhnait Monaghan, David Cook, Deborah Meltvedt, Diane Simmons, E. P. Chiew, Elaine Dillon, Emily Devane, Emma Harding, Erica Plouffe Lazure, Fiona J. Mackintosh, FJ Morris, Frankie McMillan, Gay Degani, Gemma Govier, H Anthony Hildebrand, Helen Rye, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Ioanna Mavrou, J. E. Kennedy, Jacqueline Saville, Jan Kaneen, Jennifer Harvey, Joanna Campbell, Jude Higgins, Judy Darley, Kevlin Henney, KM Elkes, Kymm Coveny, Laura Pearson, Leonora Desar, Lisa Ferranti, Meg Pokrass, Megan Giddings, Nadia Stone, Nan Wigington, Nancy Stohlman, Nuala O’Connor, Olga Wojtas, Philip Charter, Poppy O’Neill, Rachael Dunlop, Rebecca Field, Robert Scotellaro, Ros Woolner, Sal Page, Santino Prinzi, Sara Chansarkar, Sarah Evans, Sharon Telfer, Sophie van Llewyn, Stephanie Hutton, Sylvia Petter, Tara Laskowski, Tim Stevenson, and TM Upchurch.