Published, TSL

A Short Course in…

Authors Publish Magazine is a wonderful resource for writers. I’m on their email list and dutifully read it each time it hits my in-box. There are loads of articles, agents looking for manuscripts and journals open for submission.

I dropped them a line recently, thanking them for all they do and asking if they knew about The Short List. Not only was Authors Publish intrigued, they asked me to write an article. The title is A Short Course in Finding the Right Publication and discusses the craft of writing microfiction and flash, plus finding journals that publish short prose.


A Slice on Secaucus Street

The hero in this story has the gift of total recall, what he calls Backvision. And he needs it in order to help a detective solve a murder. The only catch is that his Backvision is revealed in bits and pieces, or as he says, “It’s like a picture developing in a grindingly slow photo lab, where my memory needs to soak in different trays of chemicals before the portrait ghosts into existence.”

Oh, and there’s pizza.

The story has a gritty, noir feel and speculative elements, and fits nicely along side other great stories in this Crimeucopia anthology. You’re probably going to shop on Amazon today anyway, so go ahead and order a copy. It will be a fun read.


Obligatory Wordle Post

Here’s a fun way to practice the Wordle skills needed to make that all-important sixth and final guess. Use these five words to start:

24 different letters make up these words. One additional vowel has been inserted to ensure that these words exist on the Wordle list. The letters left out, J and Z, are least used in American English. According to Cornell University, J had a 0.10 usage frequency in a sample of 40,000 words. Z bottomed out at 0.07.

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No. 17

My latest flash fiction piece is out. In print, on paper no less. No. 17 is about a man’s search for something in an Iowa cornfield. Strangely enough, it was a UK publisher that picked it up. When I received my contributor’s copy of Hungry Ghost Magazine, I was blown away by the production value. Not only were the stories top notch, but the graphics were astounding. Do yourself a favor and buy Issue Two. So worth the money and the support you give a small publisher doing quality work.


Rita’s Finger

I once attended a wedding that had a ring warming ceremony as part of the service. This was new to me. The wedding bands were circulated among those attending and the guests were supposed to say a little prayer or extend good thoughts for the lucky couple. Ultimately, the rings made it up to the altar, warmed by all the happy wishes. In my version of the ceremony, this didn’t go smoothly. Published in December 2020 by 96th of October.

Rita’s Finger

by DL Shirey

The groom’s mother fawned over her 25-year-old son. Rita McKay was dressed in a pale pink skirt suit, looking like Jackie Kennedy without the pillbox hat. She set down her enormous, matching purse and stood in the spot reserved for the best man. Rita straightened and restraightened her boy’s boutonnière and licked her fingers to paste down his stray poke of cowlick. She even gave his rump a pat before taking a pew, slinging the rose-trimmed leather satchel to the seat beside her.

Rita McKay approved of Miriam, for the most part. The bride-to-be was a few years older than her son, neat, attractive and always attentive to Lawrence. Miriam was slim and tall and fit nicely into Rita’s old wedding dress. The only tailoring needed was to let out the bust.

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