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  • Writer's pictureSarah

New fiction in CRAFT

It's that season again: autumn, when our labors bear fruit and the harvest is assessed, reaped, celebrated. I don't get to dictate when my publications come out, of course, but it's really nice when they happen to be scheduled for the autumn months.

A very special flash fiction piece of mine appeared in CRAFT earlier this month. "How Loudly We Dead Howl" is a story I wrote last fall in the midst of that unprecedentedly catastrophic California wildfire season and the strong post-traumatic reverb from the previous year's (also unprecedented) fires. There came a point last November in which I and so many others in my small pocket of Northern California felt trapped in an awful loop of despair, pain, and fear that we didn't think we'd break out of. We were lucky. There were so many other communities across the state that weren't. This story emerged from that feeling of emotional devastation.

CRAFT is a really phenomenal literary publication, and what I've always admired most about them is the way they highlight the conversation between author, editor, and reader by publishing joint editor and author notes alongside every work of fiction they put out. I was really thrilled to have this story accepted by CRAFT, and then felt immediate apprehension once I realized that I'd have to write my author's note/micro CRAFT essay next. It turned out to be a really challenging exercise and I'm glad to have written it; it's helping me get clear on some new projects and generating a lot of new ideas.

This story benefited from wonderful reader and editorial feedback, for which I am very grateful. Big thanks go out to my Fast Flash writing family who read a sketchy first draft late last fall, and to Maureen Langloss, flash fiction editor at Split Lip Magazine, for her notes (they came embedded in my submission rejection -- and that's why she's such an exceptional editor! thanks for the TLC, Maureen!) last winter. This story got special attention and care from Katelyn Keating, EIC at CRAFT, and her flash fiction team over the summer; I was so impressed by their thoughtful readings and insightful suggestions. Many, many thanks!

Autumn is my busiest season, too -- I don't know if it's the drop in temperature, the days getting shorter, the lead up to the holidays, etc., but this is my classic season of hyper-productivity and overextension. I wrote in my author's note that this story continues to live and grow inside of me and that's true. It lay dormant for a lot of the summer, but I'm returning my focus to my novel-in-progress inspired by this story. Let's see how it blooms.

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