Here. There. Everywhere.

Judy Bridges | Shut Up & Write!. She and her troup, Amy Lou Jenkins, Sara Rattan, and Maura Fitzgerald all read and entertained the troops at one of the finest gems of all bookstores in Milwaukee: Woodland Pattern Book Center. If you have never been to this sacred spot, what are you waiting for? Then, last Saturday, I led the second “Flash in the Pan” workshop last for RedBird-RedOak Writing. We had 12 participants and the wrap-up from my exceptional boss, Kim Suhr is here: Flash a Blast! Thanks to everyone for their interest in this genre that continues to fascinate and intrigue me. Here are the links to some new pieces: Implications by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash for week #51: unintended consequences. Buried by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash for week #52: threesome. Also, thirtynine contains the third “quarter” collection from 52/250 and my piece, Elements of K, is included. This is an elegiac tribute to my mother, Kay. This project, 52/250, was one of the most ambitious and gratifying projects that I was involved with for the 2010-2011 writing year. I am eternally grateful to Michelle Elvy, Walter Bjorkman and John Wentworth Chapin, friends and extra-ordinary writers indeed. Two different writing experiences, both involve reflecting on my own writing. Gay Degani, Words in Place, asked me to ponder my flash piece in “On Writing “Recollection” and Flash Fiction. This was no easy task, to write more words about a micro-fiction than it contains itself! 229 Yet, I felt up for the challenge, and so, thanks to Gay at Flash Fiction Chronicles (and to Ana Carrete at New Wave Vomit for publishing “Recollection.”) Speaking of Flash Fiction Chronicles, I was thrilled to see that they are amassing a list of 100 Story Links in Honor of Short Story Month 2011. Then, I was ecstatic to see my short piece, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” added to the list (#66! Good omen!) Thanks to the editors and to dear pal, and writer fantastique, Meg Tuite. What would I do without you? My poem, “Fragments” is up at Fictionaut, originally at phantom kangaroo. Thanks Claudia for creating my favorite new (haunting) poetry site. Party Like an Animal, is up at HOUSEFIRE! Thanks Riley Michael Parker, cowboy killer. And just today, Susan Tepper engages me in her Monday Chat with Robert Vaughan – Fictionaut Blog. Such fun! So, see what I mean? Life is busy, busy, busy. I have work forthcoming in Connotation Press, Other Room Journal, Pure Slush, Eunoia Review, among several other journals. And finally the sun is out. Pouring into my office. Aaahhh. That makes me very happy.]]>

May Flowers

WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Choices in Gender   Listen for submission opportunities. My piece, “The Outlaw” is included in the May elimae! This is one of my favorite online magazines, so it’s fantastic to be included among such talent. I re-posted the piece at Fictionaut. (It appeared originally at 52/250 in January). “The Outlaw” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut Thanks editor Brandon Hobson! And speaking of 52/250, it’s hard to believe this incredibly  fun, generous, and gracious community will be writing it’s last segment this week, with the theme for the 52nd week: “Threesome.” For what’s to come with 52/250,  read What’s Next? | 52|250 A Year of Flash Thanks editors Michelle, John & Walter! And my latest When He Calls by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Cold Front by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Matron by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash I have a collection of three micro-fiction at Blue Lotus Review. Thanks editor Amy Willoughby Burle. “Liminal” is included in a great May line-up at Negative Suck. Thanks editor Jeffrey Callico .Wordprompt 5 – NEGATIVE SUCK “Loneliness” is up at Magnolia’s Press. Thanks editor Will Clingan “Loneliness,” Robert Vaughan « MP Happy One Year Anniversary to Russell at The Camel Saloon! Check out the great line-up of writers, including buddy Len Kuntz with his poem, “The Truth About Snow”: The Camel Saloon Thanks Russell, for all of your ongoing support. I have work forthcoming at 52/250, “Nowhere in Sight” at Pure Slush (check out this site for the Queer theme all May). About – Pure Slush Also a non-fiction article called “On Writing Recollection and Flash Fiction” is forthcoming at Flash Fiction Chronicles (thanks Gay Degani). Flash Fiction Chronicles I’ve work coming out at Frwiction, Used Furniture Review, Rufous City Review, Cavalcade of Stars, Thirty-Nine, The Scream, and more. During the month of April, Thunderclap Press supported poets and Poetry Month by publishing a poem per day on our blog. Check it out! A chapbook is forthcoming, as well as discounts on Thunderclap 5! Get it NOW! Please join us for our next Redbird-Redoak on the road! A Cafe Fixx Showcase in May 5th, more information here: RedBird-RedOak Writing Also, I will be teaching FLASH IN THE PAN on May 14th. Register today, before its too late! “Flash in the Pan” with Robert Vaughan « RedBird-RedOak Writing Happy trails my friends, until next installment!]]>


Imagine my surprise, when I found out today that a story I’d written last fall, around Halloween in fact, was published today at Danse Macabre, selected for their story du jour! Then, after I alerted my friends that it was published, I logged onto yahoo to see this vacant mansion in this accompanying photograph. So, when you read this story, imagine these two boys and this house…Danse Macabre du Jour. Thanks to editor James Kindley! There have been more than just a couple writing collaborations that I have been working on. Two of them are in the finishing stages. First, my great pal, Meg Tuite runs a column called Exquisite Quartet at Used Furniture Review. Here is last month’s story: Exquisite Quartet « Used Furniture Review. David Cotrone is the editor at UFR and he does an excellent job with content there. He accepted one of my short stories, “In it to Win It” which is forthcoming. For the Quartet, Meg asks three writers to contribute to an ongoing story that she starts. I was originally asked to be the last one, 4th, and my heart sank. Endings are not my forte, at least not in my mind. Meg assured me, like a good captain; still, when it worked out that I was to be third, I was psyched. Our story is tentatively called “The One-Step Program” and will publish at UFR on Saturday. This was so much fun, and thanks for asking me, Meg. Then, I had a micro-flash, “Recollection” published at New Wave Vomit, thanks editor Ana Carrete. 229 Her site is super-cool, fly, fast and furious! When I re-posted the story to my Facebook page, Gay Degani who is another supportive writer and friend, commented: ‘that’s no micro! There’s so much more to this.’ She asked me if I would be interested to write about how I came up with this piece for a collaborative site called Flash Fiction Chronicles. Flash Fiction Chronicles Of course, I was nervous. I am a fiction writer, after all. I don’t write essays or memoir, let alone try to write about my own creative process. But here is my new mantra: anything that increases my heart rate thinking about it is probably something I want to write about. I did, and Gay was thrilled. She will publish it on May 9th at the website I listed above. The other collaborations: Nicole Monaghan (another writer friend) is creating a book that has to do with “authorial gender in flash fiction and all the implications of how a writer’s gender manifests itself, or doesn’t…” I was so jazzed when she asked me to submit because gender is one aspect of my writing which is fun to experiment with. I write equally from a male protagonist point-of-view as female. And so, I’ll see which pieces might be a good fit. Maybe some new material? And, last but not least, there is a new project brewing called Eleven. My dear friend Helen Vitoria, a fabulous poet and writer, provided a link. I wrote to Holly Edwards, the originator of the project. Lots of talented writers have signed on: Jesse Bradley, Robert Kloss, Mel Bosworth and many more. I’ll let you know if I made the cut. Here is more information: eleven: a free digital literary magazine by hollye — Kickstarter And, there are more stories that I have had published since I last blogged: “Loneliness” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut (originally at 52/250) “Watching Them” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut (originally at 52/250) Also, Thunderclap Press is hosting a poem a day for April being National Poetry month! So, here is my contribution, Dementia: Poem a Day/ April 9th, 2011 – Robert Vaughan « Thanks editor, Amanda Deo! Lots of other great poets have contributed also: Howie Good, Parker Tettleton, Eryk Wenziak and many more. And, Wilderness House Literary Review has published their twenty first issue (Volume 6, no 1) and I have two flash fiction pieces in this magazine: Betrayal and Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Thanks heartily, editor and good buddy, Susan Tepper! Thunderclap Press also published our Spring 2011 issue which has amazing writers, great fiction and poetry abounds! Here is the link to purchase, or e-book, or PDF free download. Thunderclap! Magazine Issue Five by thunderclappress in Poetry We’ll be taping our April Flash Fiction Friday segment for WUWM’s Lake Effect this week. Thanks for your submissions, and please, keep them coming. Here is the submission manager: WUWM: Flash Fiction Friday. I am a voracious reader, as many of you already know. And it is rare for me to read a book, especially memoir, that just stopped my heart. Made me cry more than once or twice. Left me devastated in only the best ways. The writing is superb! I am talking about The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. OMG, if you don’t run out and buy it immediately there is something wrong with you! How’s this for a hint: she’s in Chuck Palahniuk’s writing group. GO! The Chronology of Water: A Memoir (9780979018831): Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain: Books Yesterday it was 80 degrees out. Unheard of for this time of year. Any complaints? Not this boy! Windows were wide open, the house jumped 15 degrees. Birds are chirping, the first flowers are poking through in their fierce determination. What are you noticing around you? Any collaboration going on in your lives? How is it affecting you? Thanks for reading and I’ll be actively writing and posting in the meantime.]]>

March Madness

“Bed” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut “Triptych: Glass, Miasma, Pernicious” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut “My Father, Your Mother, Our Breakfast, The Ghost” at HOUSEFIRE: HOUSEFIRE | NEW FICTION from Robert Vaughan Housefire is a recent division of Metazen, and run by the zany editor Riley Michael Parker. Becoming involved with this writing collective prompted me to add yet another dimension to my ever-growing arsenal- TUMBLER: One Writer’s Life (I used the same name as my current writing blog) and the story up at my site is “The Passenger,” which was originally published at TrainWrite by Karen Eileen Sikola: TrainWrite I am also now on Twitter…add me @rgvaughan. I have no idea what I’m doing there. (If you thought you were confused, imagine what it’s like trying to keep organized in my mind!) Ha… I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the 52/250: A Year of Flash community. The editors Michelle Elvy, Walter Bjorkman, and John Wentworth Chapin are fantastic. We have a weekly theme, and the pieces are all 250 words or less. Here are my latest: Movie Night by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Password Profile Users: God, Love, Lust, Money and Private by Robert Vaughan 52|250 A Year of Flash (this piece will also be published by Fwriction, edited by Danny Goodman in June) The Capitalist by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash No More I Love You’s by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash The Avoidance by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Moving to Los Angeles by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash (this will also be published in April at Pure Slush, edited by Matt Potter) Dew Drop Inn by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash New Pets by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash At 52/250, we are currently at week 46, the theme is “Another World.” If you like the work, enjoy the new stories, posted every Friday. And it’s never too late to submit…I joined exactly halfway into this fantastic project. I will also have a piece, “Elements of K” in the upcoming 52/250 quarterly: Thirty Nine. My poem, “Tami Miami” is up at The Camel Saloon. Thanks Russell! The Camel Saloon: Tami Miami “Rude” is up at 50 to 1, thanks new editor Paul Mullin! 50 to 1: Rude by Robert Vaughan “Anything But Red,” is up at Orion headless, thanks editor Sara Comito! Anything but Red | Orion headless Also, I reviewed Howie Good’s poetry book, Heart with a Dirty Windshield and the recent issue of Prick of the Spindle published it here: Prick of the Spindle: Reviews: Vaughan: Heart with a Dirty Windshield by Howie Good. Thanks to Cynthia Reeser, editor. This was a fun stretch, and I hope to review some other 2011 collections for Thunderclap and JMWW, the magazines that I help edit (they both published this review previously). I have work forth-coming (accepted) in Blink-Ink, Used Furniture Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Tryst, Negative Suck, The Other Room Journal and Rufous City Review. I’ve been reading voraciously the past two months, and here are some note-worthy books: xTx Normally Special- A fantastic collection of published work from Tiny Hardcore Press (Roxane Gay)! Just simply amazing work. Alissa Nutting- Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls from Starcharone Books- wow! Get it immediately. Timothy Gager- Treating a Sick Animal- as bizarre and kooky as it is wonderful. Meg Pokrass- Damn Sure Right– no better flasher exists. Mike Young- Look! Look! Feathers– exotic, wierd and right up my alley. Judy Bridges- Shut Up & Write– the best book on writing bar none. Please join us this Sunday at Avol’s in Madison for the next installment of Judy and her traveling authors on the road! Judy Bridges | Shut Up & Write! | Redbird Studio | Writing Classes and Retreats | Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Be there or be square! I recently watched the entire “Classics of American Literature,” a series produced by The Great Courses, taught by Arnold Weinstein, professor at Brown University. It was really incredible, brought back so many memories from high school and college, books that I relished (Red Badge of Courage), or had difficulty muddling through (As I Lay Dying). Classics of American Literature Last, but most certainly not least, we are still producing the Flash Fiction Fridays on WUWM’s Lake Effect. Here are links to our January, February and March shows, a huge thanks to my co-host Stephanie Lecci: WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday Returns! (January, 2011) WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Families & Tension (February) WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Danger & Endings (March) If you are writing stories of 500 words or less, please feel free to use our submission manager: WUWM: Flash Fiction Friday. All of the rules are listed there. I’ve watched some episodes of the new NBC show, “Do You Know Who You Are?” It asks deep, probing questions as actors like Rosie O’Donnell or Steve Buscemi delve into their genetic ancestry. So… Do you know who you are? Do I? A writing prompt perhaps! Enjoy.]]>

Monster Storm

“10,000 Dollar Pyramid” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut Within 24 hours, it had been read over 50 times, commented on more than any other piece I’ve ever posted there (I’ve posted ten prior) and shot up the list of Fictionaut’s “recommended” stories to #1! The top position of every story submitted. And a completely new experience for me. I am still reeling from the excitement. Perhaps this is why I was meant to stay home from D.C.? Thanks to everyone for the support, insightful comments, motivating feedback. I am forever grateful. Here are the links to some pieces of mine published in December, 2010 and January 2011. Please feel free to comment here or at the sites if you so desire: The Comet Train at Fix It Broken Robert Vaughan – Fix It Broken Two- Wheelin at Magnolia’s Press                                                                                    “Two-Wheeling,” Robert Vaughan | Magnolia’s Press Say Yes at IBAS-  Say Yes by Robert Vaughan « In Between Altered States Beckoning- Short, Fast & Deadly  Beckoning – Short, Fast, and Deadly Best of 2010 Anthology (print):  Short, Fast, and Deadly: Buy Print Editions Proposal at Steel Toe Review “Proposal” by Robert Vaughan | Steel Toe Review Bear Necessities at Indigo Rising Indigo Rising Magazine Clueless at 2010 December 11 | Last Exit From Liberty at Pure Slush Last Exit from Liberty – Pure Slush Blowing Bubbles at New Wave Vomit 162 One Night Out at Clutching at Straws One Night Out « Clutching at Straws And several stories at 52/250 (and check out the others if you have a few hours!) Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash I would be remiss if I failed to mention the fantastic support and feedback I receive from the Tuesday roundtable group at Redbird- Redoak. An amazing gift for any writer, to participate in an insightful, committed group. RedBird-RedOak Writing Also, we finally launched Flash Fiction Fridays at WUWM! Here is the link to listen to the January show where local authors Kim Suhr and Guy Yasko read their work: WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday Returns! If you are interested and want to submit a story for consideration, please use this form and thanks to Stephanie Lecci for her support of this adventure: WUWM: Flash Fiction Friday If you are able to join us, please come hear a reading at Cafe Fixx in St. Francis: fixx-reading-poster.Feb_.11.jpg 1546×2000 pixels I won’t be reading, but will attend to hear those who are! Happy writing and reading! If you travel soon, be safe. Stay warm. Hugs all around.]]>

First Flurries

Rude | Eunoia Review “Quite a Life” at A Handful of Stones:a handful of stones: Quite a Life “Cadaver Chris” at Girls with Insurance: Cadaver Chris | GwI “Three Episodes” at BlazeVOX: “Time for Desert” at Thunderclap’s LOVE issue: (I also edited the remaining flash fiction for this issue!!!) “Winter” at The Camel Saloon: The Camel Saloon: Winter “Recruitment” at In Between Altered States: Recruitment by Robert Vaughan « In Between Altered States “”Moving Out” at InkPlots: “Rocky Raccoon” at Indigo Rising: Indigo Rising Magazine “Back Room Banter” at 52/250: Back Room Banter by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash “Three Questions for Any Doctor” at 52/250: Three Questions for Any Doctor by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash “The Visit” at 52/250: The Visit by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Also, 52/250 accepted my postcard art collaboration (with my best pal Andrea Falkenstein) for their “Postcard theme” which is published this week. Here is the link to the Two/Tree art project: Two/Tree by Andrea Falkenstein and Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash Thanks to the following editors for making my dreams happen: Ian, Fiona, Dawn, Geoffrey, Amanda, Ana, Russell, Aleathia, Tannen and Michael, Candace, Michelle, John and Walter!!! After a quick trip to Texas for the most immense wedding I will ever probably attend (in Corpus Christie) I returned to spend a day at The Calatrava Art Museum for the 2010 Young Authors Conference. I had eleven high schoolers in my group from various places around Milwaukee, and shared the responsibilities with Robin, a teacher with MPS. We discussed art, then wrote memoir style pieces and roundtabled them. Last night, I participated in a reading hosted by Next Chapter bookstore in Mequon: Next Chapter Bookshop | “Celebrating one year as your local, independent bookseller!” We were there for Judy Bridges book launch, Shut Up & Write! Other writers who read included Sheila Hanrahan, Sara Rattan and Laurel Landis. We had a great audience and if you have not purchased your copy of Judy’s book yet, they make great stocking stuffers! Check it out here: Judy Bridges | Shut Up & Write! | Redbird Studio | Writing Classes and Retreats | Milwaukee, Wisconsin Okay, time to get writing! How do you plan to spend your holidays?]]>

Happy Earth Day 2010

Adbusters, The Ecopsychology issue. Without giving too much away, this issue’s table of contents contains five sections: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Sound familiar? It would seem so. But what I love about this provocative and stimulating magazine is it causes me to look, feel and consider different perspectives on such things as the EARTH. Such things as humanity, politics, government, nature, beauty, money or death. Another thing I did was devote more time to my latest favorite reads: Lydia Davis’s Collected Stories, Kim Chinquee’s new release Pretty, Dan Chaon’s Among the Missing. I adore stories, love to read them, yearn to write them. And speaking of writing, I have been submitting. And submitting. I use an online resource called duotrope’s digest. It’s like having a personal assistant without the hassle of sharing one’s office. Duotrope serves as a research prompt, a file to save your online and print submissions, a way to find out which magazines are “Slothful, Swift, Challenging, or Approachable.” Of course, it is reliant on each writer to enter your own “data.” There is another category I like to watch called “Fledgling markets.” Like anything new in life, there is a learning curve to duotrope. It takes some time and patience to learn more about duotrope, but I feel as if I am on a ride, and I approach the writing market as I would any part of my “job” as a writer. At latest count (as of January 1, 2010), I have over 50 different pieces in circulation (being considered). Some  are called “simultaneous submissions,” meaning I’ve sent the same piece to more than one magazine (only certain magazines allow this). And I have had some success, as many of you know! Three of my shorter short stories have been published. If you would like to read them, I will post the links here: “Double Barrel” published at 50 to 1: “Gingko” published at Postcard Shorts: On April 25th, “Gone Before Dawn” published at Short, Fast, and Deadly: I am exceeding grateful to these editors for selecting my work for their online magazines. Last weekend I had the great fortune to be in the company of Karen McQuestion. She taught a workshop at Redbird- Redoak Studio called Self- Publishing. Admittedly not an expert, Karen’s insight and sharing her success through Amazon and the Kindle market was astounding. I have known Karen for several years, and at times, we’ve worked closely together on certain writing projects. She had excellent handouts, full of information about any question one might have about getting your work into the hands of others. As some of you know, I write frequently with a small group and we do “prompt” writing. We pick a line, create a word bank, pick something in the room, use a quote. Whatever the “prompt,” we write for ten minutes. Then, we take turns reading them aloud. Many of my previous blogs came from these prompt sessions. Since all of my writing buddies are attending a WOMEN’S ONLY retreat (discrimination? LOL) this weekend, one shared some prompt ideas with me. Thanks, Sheila! So, I will do the same: here are some prompts for you to consider writing this weekend: 1) “This year, we doubled our stock of grandchildren, from two to four.” (from Robert Knisely, ’62 from Harvard Magazine) 2) ‘Clarity, clarity, clarity.’ (from The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White) 3) ‘The history of paper is complex.’ (from Great Ancient China: Projects You Can Build Yourself) Lastly, on this great EARTH DAY, I want to leave you with a message from Thoreau: “Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives,” Thoreau began one of his essays, noting that since time was short, he would “Leave out all the flattery, and retain all the criticism,” as was his way. “What is it to be born free and not to live free?” he asked his fellow citizens. “Is it a freedom to be slaves, or a freedom to be free, of which we boast?” (from Adbusters, May/June) In that classic song Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” So, what am I holding on to? What’s keeping me from being free?]]>

Busy Holiday Weekend

Good Wives River first. We’ve met twice already- the first time was to hammer out details about how the group might work. In November, we shared the first 50 pages of our books. Mine is in its second draft. The feedback I received from Pam, Laurel and Carol was fantastic! These writers all catch numerous details that I would never even see. Whether it seems “negative” or “positive” doesn’t matter to me, and there is a balance of both. More importantly, there’s a great opportunity for me to make additions, deletions, and tighten the book even further. After Good Wives River, we chatted about Pilgrim’s Progress (Laurel), then Carol’s short story collection, then Pam’s Katya’s Song. Once we finished the work, Sheila joined us for some chat about the holidays, parents, college room-mates, and more. I blasted home to get ready to see Avatar, the new 3D movie by James Cameron, director of Titanic. We jammed up to Mequon to North Shore Cinemas to see this adventure sci-fi film. I try not to get too hyped prior to seeing a movie, but as it had been ten years since James Cameron’s last movie, my curiosity was just a little more than stilted. The movie delivered on some levels. Surely, the 3D element made me feel like I was on the alien planet, Pandora, and one of the Na’Vi (a little close to native, no?). I felt saturated by the sensory details, and for someone like me, a rather touchy feely guy, it was right up my alley. I was able to overlook the awkward, somewhat banal dialogue, and the typically themed American palate (Romeo and Juliet or good versus evil) in favor of the special effects which were phenomenal, and the action which, though violent, was supercharged, infused with new technology. I liked the way that the Na’vi moved their ears. Go see it and wear those 3D glasses yourself. Last night another classic was on TV: Wizard of Oz. It struck me while watching this movie for the umpteenth time, it stands up remarkably for turning 70 years old in 2009. Even its ending, sappy and mellow-dramatically delivered by Dorothy: “There’s Noplace like Home!” seems apropos at this holiday time. Today, I got one of my holiday gifts: a new 20 inch MAC desk top. I never left the house.]]>