Still reeling from the disappointing results of my ebook experiment, I entered a period of depression, followed by a period of heavy drinking, and culminating with alternating bouts of anger, self-loathing, and giggling. It was a rough time, I won’t lie, but it only lasted about an hour, and I’m over it now.
I’m not going to give up. In fact, as long as people refuse to read my work, I’m going to keep writing. That’s what it’s all about, I’ve decided. So I’m revisiting one of my first loves, Samantha Horowitz of Paramus, New Jersey, for the hell of it. And then I’m revisiting another of my first loves; flash fiction.
I can’t write poetry, but I can write brief stories. What I like the most about flash fiction is that it forces you to be creative in a limited space. It’s like painting a sunset with only two colors, and not the colors you want.
The storyteller John Daniel crafts massive little stories with only 99 words. I can’t do that. I need 150-250. But with 150 words, you can make a story out of nearly anything, like this:
HOW TO BUY VODKA IN A RECESSION
“I don’t have a lot of money,” I told the liquor store clerk. He knows me; we go way back. “But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to sacrifice on quality.”
“How much do you have?”
I held up a handful of coins. “$2.34”
He reached for a miniature bottle of Smirnoff. “This is the best I can do.”
“No.” I shook my head. “It’s really too small. What else do you have?”
“Nothing, nothing at all, except,…no.”
He sighed and pulled a liter bottle from under the counter. The label was Russian. “I don’t know if you’re ready. It’s made from turnips.”
“What’s it like?”
“It’s a low-born vodka, sullen with a harrowing finish. It’s the kind of tipple you’d want along on a cold November morning if you were stripping wallpaper in Minsk.”
I did the math. “I’ll take two.”
If you’d like to read more, consider investing 99¢ and picking up a copy of The Mummies of Blogspace9. It’s been called “original,” “evocative,” “mind-blowing,” “far-reaching in scope,” and “genre-bending,” all by me. This could well be the best 99¢ you spend all day.