Fall: recent traveling, writing, and reading

A quarterly update…

Travel

Fall is my favorite time of year to travel, but it’s also the busiest for me and my family. It’s hard to get away while we’re adjusting to the new school-year schedule. However, we did find time to head to St. Louis and central Illinois for a long weekend. We have visited St. Louis many, many times, but this trip featured an added bonus in the form of a Pearl Jam concert. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night in the Midwest.

Writing

I had the opportunity to write travel and lifestyle articles for a couple of local publications this fall. Although fiction-writing is something I really enjoy, it’s always nice to return to my travel-writing roots.

Speaking of fiction, I was lucky enough to have a few stories published recently, including “A Broad Spectrum,” which you can check out at The Las Vegan, and “Inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera,” which appeared in the September issue of Foliate Oak. I also wrote a couple of super-short microfiction pieces for Cuento Magazine and 7×20. After dealing with a bit of writer’s block in late September, I’m happily picking up the pace again this month.

Reading

I finally, finally read The Hunger Games. I might be the last soul on Earth to read the first book of the trilogy, but better late than never. In fact, I enjoyed it enough that I’ve started reading the second book, Catching Fire. And, of course, I’ve been reading lots of short fiction.

Happy Fall!

Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Las Vegas? You might be surprised. Be sure to check out my recent article in BLVDS Magazine. I had the opportunity to talk with talented people who have relocated to Las Vegas from around the world.

You can read the article here, or you can pick up the September/October 2014 issue the next time you’re out and about in Las Vegas.

Very Short Flash Fiction: What to Read and Where to Submit

All flash fiction is short. After all, they don’t call it flash/micro/nano/sudden for nothing.

And sometimes stories aren’t just short, they are teeny-tiny microscopic prokaryotes of creativity that aren’t necessarily appropriate for publications that focus on standard-length flash fiction of 1,000 words or less.

Lately, I’ve been writing and submitting a fair amount of extra-short flash fiction. Along the way, I’ve found some great websites, lit journals, and twitter feeds that publish the briefest possible prose and poems. Looking for a place to submit your work, or just want to do some quick reading? Check out these publications.

I’ve divided the list by story length. Please remember to always double-check submission guidelines before sending in your work. Also, it’s important to note that some of these markets publish longer fiction too.

150 Words or Less
Page & Spine

Exactly 100 Words
100-Word Story
A Story in 100 Words
RiverLit
SpeckLit
The Drabblecast

100 Words or Less
Citron Review
Mircofiction Monday

Exactly 50 Words
50-Word Stories

Exactly 25 Words
Nailpolish Stories (Titles must be a nail polish color)

25 Words or Less
Espresso Stories

One Sentence
Monkeybicycle

140 Characters or Less
CellPoems
Confettifall
Cuento Magazine
Escarp
Nanoism
Seven by Twenty
Trapeze
Twiction Addiction
unFold

Exactly 100 Characters
The Drabblecast

Poems that can be read aloud in three minutes or less
Voicemail Poems

If you’d like to see your flash fiction publication added to the list, please contact me at sarah.vernetti at gmail dot com. Please include a link to your submission guidelines.

In Case You Missed It: my story in Foliate Oak

To be honest, it isn’t often that my former role as an art historian intersects with my current life as a freelance writer, traveler, mom, and volunteer. However, sometimes all of those art historical tidbits that are floating around at the back of my brain come in handy.

In September, my flash fiction piece “Inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera” was published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. Although the story doesn’t reflect the painting’s mythological theme, the imagery was inspired by one of my favorite paintings. I love the idea of a strong emotional response resulting in a flower-filled vine spilling from one’s mouth. That part of the painting has always stood out to me. In fact, when I studied abroad in Italy and Germany, each student was required to choose one work of art to research. I chose Botticelli’s Primavera. Standing in front of the painting in the Uffizi Gallery to give my presentation became one of my fondest college memories.

If you have a few minutes, I hope you’ll read my story. Just hop over to Foliate Oak’s website: foliateoak.com/sarah-vernetti.html

Summer: recent traveling, writing, and reading

A quick quarterly update…

Travel

This summer started with a visit to two states that were new to me: Wyoming and South Dakota. I also spent a few days in Denver watching baseball and holding tarantulas. During a weekend at Disneyland, I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad too many times and stood in line for two hours to meet Anna and Elsa of Frozen fame.

Part of living in Las Vegas is serving as a tour guide for family and friends who come to visit. I got to show off some of my favorite Las Vegas sights this summer including the High Roller and the Bellagio Fountains.

Writing

My short story “Deficit” was published by Black Denim Lit in June, and my science fiction story “Addition and Extraction” was included in the August issue of Beyond Imagination Digital Literary Magazine. My flash fiction appeared in Microfiction Monday, Nailpolish Stories, and The Las Vegan, and I have forthcoming stories in RiverLit (online) and 365 Tomorrows. My summer writing also included travel/lifestyle stories, web/app content, and a couple of movie reviews.

Reading

This is where I have failed over the last three months! I started reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in June and have yet to finish it. I’m enjoying the combination of history and vampire lore, but it is just difficult to find the time to read these days. My goal is to finish the book in the next week or two. After all, I’m pretty sure I’ve used up all of my renewals at the library.

What have you been up to this summer?

Flash Fiction: The Instruction Manual

As you may have noticed, I have been posting more fiction than travel writing lately. I’ve been working on a few travel/lifestyle writing projects, which means my nonfiction writing has been going elsewhere (Hooray!) rather than here on my blog. However, I’m still plugging away at fiction writing in my free time.

This bit of flash fiction wasn’t ready to be submitted, but I liked it anyway. With no characters and no plot, it isn’t truly a complete story, and when I searched for “science fiction, experimental, flash” on searchable market databases, the list seemed fairly short. So, here it is: The Instruction Manual. Enjoy!

The Instruction Manual

Congratulations on your purchase. Please read the following instructions carefully before using your new device. WARNING: IMPROPER USE OF THIS DEVICE COULD CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE, ILLNESS OR DEATH.

Step 1: Carefully remove device from box. Insert two (2) AA batteries (not included).

Step 2: Apply protective gear: one (1) protective gown, one (1) pair of eye goggles, two (2) rubber gloves. NOTE: Before wearing protective gear, check all items for any punctures or cracks.

Step 3: Turn on the device using the red on/off switch.

Step 4: Place the device near the intended recipient(s). The target(s) with whom you intend to switch places must be within two (2) feet of the device. Expect the transition to be complete within thirty (30) minutes. CAUTION: RESULTS MAY VARY. RESULTS MAY BE PERMANENT. DO NOT USE IF YOU OR THE INTENDED RECIPIENT(S) SUFFER FROM FOOD ALLERGIES, ASTHMA, OR HEART DISEASE. DO NOT USE IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS PREGNANT. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE USE.

You are now ready to use your device and enjoy the freedom that comes with interhuman morphing, “the most popular pastime of 2081,” according to All Humanoid Magazine.

Flash Fiction: The Second Job

As soon as she walked in the door, she threw her purse on the couch and stripped off her housekeeping uniform. Without hesitation, she walked into the bathroom to take a shower.

“Sad that this is my favorite part of the day,” she thought, as the water rinsed away the dirt and cleaning chemicals and that starchy feeling left behind by her uniform.

She would have stayed in the shower all night, but she had to call her mother, and then she needed to complete the homework for her online class before going to bed and doing it all over again.

As soon as the flow of water stopped, she heard it: the sound of children’s laughter. Could it be coming from outside? That seemed unlikely. There were very few children in the apartment complex where she lived. Most of the other residents were like her, single with no children.

“I guess I left the TV on? Or the radio?” she pondered as she wrapped a tattered towel around herself.

She opened the bathroom door, curious to find the source of the noise. Then she saw them: three children happily chasing each other down the short hallway that led from one end of her apartment to the other.

“Hi, Mommy! What’s for dinner?”