New book “Falling in Love While Meditating: Very Short Stories” is available

My new collection of very short stories, Falling in Love While Meditating, is now published and available at your favorite online book store. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple | Scribd

 

To go along with the new collection, I’ve added two new chapters – “Characterization” and “Setting” – to The Art of the Very Short Story: A Guide for Readers and Writers. This book shows how to apply the storytelling craft to Twitter-sized fiction. It’s written in a light style and can be enjoyed by casual readers and serious writers.

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Apple | Scribd

 

If you’re curious about these books and think you’d like to review them, comment on this post, or message me on Twitter or Goodreads, and I’ll send you a copy.

Happy reading.

Charlie

 

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A Very Short Story (Juggler)

“I can’t,” she said. “I’m a juggler.”

He held her hands. “Yes you can. Just let go of the trapeze and turn to me.”

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A Very Short Story (Profound)

He could be a poet anywhere. But he could be a profound poet only in Manhattan, starting as soon as his parents went back to Omaha.

 

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A Very Short Story (Bethany)

Toby’s heart shattered when Jason rode up on an even taller unicycle and waved to Bethany.

Excerpted from Before the Ripcord Broke: Stories
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A Very Short Story (August)

I slapped a mosquito dead on the gravestone. Just like Daddy to go in August.

Excerpted from Before the Ripcord Broke: Stories
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A Very Short Story (Boss)

I’ve seen it a thousand times. Whoever wants it his way more than the other guys want it their way, that’s who’s the boss.

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The Evolution of a Very Short Story (Bindi)

All kinds of stories need editing and rewriting, even very short stories. Sometimes a very short story will come to me in its final form, but it often happens that I will go back to a story, and back to it again, making small changes to make it better. One of the things that’s most gratifying about a very short story is how even little changes can make a big difference.

Every now and then I discover something in the editing process that truly surprises me. I have an example here that I’d like to share with you now.

Here’s how the story looked when I first wrote it.

I lay on my back in the middle of my lawn in the middle of America, and imagined the North Star was my bindi, so small and so huge was I.

Recall that a bindi is the dot that many Indian women wear on their forehead between their eyes. So, the story shows an Indian woman lying on her lawn at night and perceiving the relationship between herself and the rest of the universe.

Then later on I read the story again and revised it.

i lay on my back in the middle of my lawn in the middle of america, and imagined the north star was my bindi, so small and so huge was i.

I changed all the letters to lower case. In particular, I changed the capital I to small i. I did it for a couple of reasons. First, changing to a small i resonated with the small in the story. Second and more important, the dot on the i resonated with the bindi and also the North Star. Now the text wasn’t just about the words – it was also about the visual appearance of the text.

The next change was the one that really gave me an ah-ha moment.

i lay on my back in the middle of my lawn in the middle of america and imagined the north star was my bindi so small and so huge was i

See the difference? No commas, and no period at the end. The story can be read in a single breath without pauses, and now there is nothing but the letters themselves to suggest that it’s text at all. Take a step back and the story is a stream of symbols stretched across the page. The letters aren’t letters anymore. They’re…stars.

Wow.

It’s moments like these, when I accidentally find something new, that I feel happiest to be a writer.

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A Very Short Story (Done)

Tiffany smiled and patted Brenda’s hand. “Joe doesn’t know it yet, but I’m almost done with him. Then he’s all yours.”

 

Excerpted from Rough & Beautiful: Very Short Romance Stories

 

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A Very Short Story (Peace)

He held his peace and followed his mother and her traveling suitcase of magic tricks out of the building.

Excerpted from Falling in Love While Meditating

 

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Book Announcements, Cover Reveal

Hello, everyone,

I’m happy to announce that I’m getting ready to publish a new collection of very short stories, called Falling in Love While Meditating.

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I wrote more than 1,200 stories in over a hundred writing sessions, and I’ve finished the painful and pleasurable work of choosing the best stories for the book. I’m excited to say that now it’s ready to go. The book will be published on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

If you’d like to review the book, add a comment to this post, or message me on Twitter or Goodreads, and I will send you a copy.

Thanks to Dane Low of www.ebooklaunch.com for creating the cover.

 

 

I am also happy to announce that I am updating The Art of the Very Short Story, my how-to book on writing very short stories.

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The update includes two new chapters: “Characterization” and “Setting.” I will upload the revised book over the existing one, so anyone who already has a copy and wants to read the new chapters can get them by re-downloading the book.

If you would like to review it, send me a message.

I’ll publish the updates to The Art of the Very Short Story at the same time I publish Falling in Love While Meditating.

Happy reading.

Charlie

 

 

 

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