Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flash Points: It's All About Risk.... a Critique

I was actually up last night in the middle of the night, working on a short story while sitting in bed, wishing that for the love of God I could be asleep instead, and being reminded yet again how much writing has taken over my life. 

So this morning, when I checked my email, still pretty much stumbling around, tripping over dogs, and, though I'm terrified of needles, wishing someone could just give me an IV of coffee already, I was surprised and thrilled to discover that a flash fiction piece I wrote last week for Flash! Friday was up for critique on Flash Points.  

I knew I was taking a risk when I submitted the prose poem "Never Enough," but once an idea starts, its hard to stop it and there was no stopping this piece, let me tell you.... Rebekah Postupak nailed it in this critique and so eloquently explained (probably much better than I could have) what's going on in the work. Her analysis floored me (and flattered me) with observations such as:

"And here’s where Steph’s structure work really shines, because she uses structure itself, the poetic refrain, to create and continue the story’s tension."

"The reader is the conquered. Our capitulation is assumed. Now that’s arrogance painted in garish, un-ignorable colors."

"This story is unique. It’s risky. It’s beautiful, haunting. It’s terrible and tragic, angry, thirsty, and desperate. This story is the sort that devours your soul and doesn't let you be."

Yeah, you see why this critique made my day? Definitely.... 

And as always, check out the weekly flash fiction happening every Friday at Flash!Friday. Read, comment and then maybe try your own. It's all about taking a risk....


  1. LOVED your piece. ... and secretly want to know if you were channeling anyone specific or sparked by a particular piece of news ... or just channeling that part of all of us that yearns for more than what life has handed us. Very thought provoking! You continue to leave me in awe!

  2. I have this saying, when I talk about achieving my dreams- "I want al the marbles." It means that I want everything that I want, and that I'm willing to work as hard as I need to, to get there. The theme for the competition was "arrogance," so I thought it'd be the perfect idea to take my idea of wanting success (or my idea of success) and running with it. You, by the way, are well on your way to having all the marbles!!

  3. I hope we both are, Steph. You know, sometimes I feel all negative when I think this blog is actually my 10th time in 51 years working overtime to try to make a dream happen, whether it was writing a screenplay, trying to be a syndicated columnist or an actress. I have always been in the right place at the wrong time. And I'm so sick of thinking of all the dreams that haven't come true, because I have legitimately tried ... but in 1983 there were no fat people on Broadway ... in 1997, newspapers were dying, there were no blogs, and 100 newspapers turned down my column ... but this time, I refuse to give up. I will not take no for an answer. I've paid my dues and I'm tired of struggling, and I am not giving up. The Internet has changed the game. You can rally behind someone's book or project before it ever sees the light of day. I love your saying. It would be a great book title! Here's to getting all the marbles!!!


Thanks for your comments!