Posted tagged ‘Wolf Willow Journal’

the second life of “Men at Work and Play”

February 25, 2019

One of the early (2014) One-Match Fire stories that saw publication was “Men at Work and Play.” Back then the perfect title (for the whole collection) had not yet been bestowed upon me by a certain poet, and I was calling the slowly growing collection of them my Fathers and Sons stories.

“Men at Work and Play” appeared in Wolf Willow Journal in April of 2014. That may have been the only edition of that publication because less than a year later the publication itself had gone dark, and today the address is hijacked.

Now, though, the story is going to appear again. A newish publication called Defuncted is seeking fiction that had appeared in magazines and journals that are now gone. My experience with Wolf Willow Journal was exactly that.

A problem, though, was that the word count of the story, 3,500, exceeded the maximum preferred by Defuncted. Writers in that situation were welcomed to write to the editor to discuss the possibility of submitting, which I did. I was told to send the story in, which I also did. And over this past weekend I learned that the story will appear in Defuncted in an upcoming issue.

Once I know that it’s reappeared, I’ll provide a link.

Update: And here it is!

“Men at work and play” is now online

April 17, 2014

My story “Men at work and play” is now up at Wolf Willow Journal. Click on over there and have a read if you’re interested. As of this morning, it bears the title of “The Shawl in my Closet” but I’ve asked the editor to fix that.* The story begins “Curt knelt in the gravel before the dying fire . . .” If you see that, you’re in the right place. And if you care to, let me know what you think.

For one of my early published stories, the editor had used the wrong name in the byline. That never got fixed though I had asked. Oh well.

I read through “Men at work and play” now and spotted all of the things I would have fixed if I’d seen them before submitting. I can’t believe I use the verb “slump” in successive sentences. I have a dangling modifier that sticks out. (I’m not usually too bothered by these, but this one bugs.) And do I really need to say they’ll be a mess twice?

As I said in yesterday’s post, not a whole lot happens in this story . . . except for everything. What came before and what comes after in the cycle of stories gets concentrated and focused in this one. That I could even write this I take as a sign that I’m finally in control of the shifting, amorphous mass of tales that have been presenting themselves to me over the last two years.

So this marks the fourth Fathers and Sons story to see publication: “When We were Young and Life was Full in Us,” “The Lonely Road,” “Men at work and play,” and the forthcoming “The Most Natural Thing in the World.” I have a couple of others in circulation. I’m feeling pretty good about this whole cycle.

* Fixed!

“Men at work and play” accepted for publication

April 15, 2014

I am still really weary from running that half marathon three days ago. (And we won’t talk about last night’s run.) But I’m feeling buoyant right now because in this morning’s email was an acceptance for one of my Fathers and Sons stories.

“Men at work and play” will appear in the next issue of Wolf Willow Journal, which will apparently make its appearance online tomorrow.

This is an important story in the cycle, even though not very much happens at all in the events I give. Three generations, knocking about the cabin, doing chores, a little fishing, a campfire, quiet closeness. It’s almost more of a vignette (or as I’ve seen disdainfully described lately, an anecdote but not a story). It is a kind of lens, collecting and focusing the lives that have come before in the stories of the cycle and foreshadowing many things that will come in the later stories. I intend to write a companion story for this called “Men at rest” that will parallel and fulfill much that is in this one.

I had sent “Men at work and play” off to this magazine based on a call for submissions with the theme of sanctuary, and the nurturing quality of the family cabin in these stories is something I have been trying to depict throughout. It seemed a good fit, and it was.

Interestingly, I’m actually going to be paid for this story: $20. (I hope that’s US dollars since the publication is based in Saskatchewan.) This is the third piece of my fiction that has earned me an income, so my bank account has swollen by $40.15. Woohoo! And it is the fourth of my Fathers and Sons stories to be published. I feel as though I’m getting some traction.

I’ll be sure to put up a link to the story when it appears.