Writing Re-Enlightenment

The Case of the Albino Gorilla (a short story about second marriages and desperation and fighting to reclaim your life even if it means starting in the smallest of ways, like with condiments)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on March 13, 2017

“Sena is a one-woman production line. She scoops mayonnaise out of a jar with two fingers curved into a makeshift spoon, plops the mayonnaise onto a slice of white bread, and straightens her fingers into a knife to spread an even coating to all four corners. Complaints will be lodged if anyone bites into a glob. Same for a dry spot.”

Read the story at the wonderful Storychord (complete with cool art and soundtrack) here.

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Imprinted (potentially triggery flash fiction with some knives, thumbs, and a marriage, plus it represents 6 years of my life so worth a read on that basis alone)

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on November 22, 2016

My husband’s thumb lies nestled among the mushrooms on the countertop. Not twitching and jumping like the body of a live fish when you cut off the head. Just resting, as the head itself would do. A small amount of blood, a soupçon in cooking terminology, fans out from the point of detachment in an irregular pool.

READ the full story here:

http://flashfictionmagazine.com/blog/2016/11/22/imprinted/

Loser Cat (A Little Apocalyptic Short Story W/ Religious Extremism, a Shoutout to Margaret Atwood, a Secret Cameo (Shh!!!) by Hillary Clinton, Feminist Nuns–Some With Jokes, Some With Stilettos (The Knife Not the Heel), Laura Ingalls Wilder Love, Spinsters, and a Wee Bit of Educational Twerking

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on June 29, 2016

In the year of Our Lord 2033, I bide here in my cell.

Technically, I’m a nun, not a prisoner, but why quibble because I have a name instead of an inmate number? Mary Elizabeth’s not even my real name. A preacher gave it to me when I took my vows at the virginal age of forty-five.

——

Read the rest of this story in the lovely EXPOUND, an international online journal based out of Nigeria:

http://expoundmagazine.com/loser-cat-caralyn-davis/

Wallow (A Fictional Account of a Sin Eater, Which Sounds Kinda Kinky, but No, It’s More of a Study of Good and Evil, plus Some High Fashion)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 10, 2014

I’m a little gassy today. I ate an extra-large serving of sin last night, and it didn’t go down easy. I’m not talking about simple gluttony. I enjoy the occasional second dessert as much as anyone. I’m a bona fide sin eater. It’s the family business.

We’re relative newcomers to the field. Veritable upstarts, according to some. Sin eating came into its own during the trials of the dead in ancient Egypt. Not even a pharaoh could be buried until 42 religious bureaucrats quizzed the next of kin on the life and character of the departed. That sounds excessive, I know, but it matched the number of officials believed to be in the court of Osiris, the god of the afterlife. …

 

Hmm … This short story (second one I ever published, so like the first one, it might not be my greatest) was originally in print at Side B magazine, which appears to have completely disappeared from the Internet.

But you can listen to me read it here because it was the 2011 Side B/Drum Dual Publication Award Winner (and aren’t you just itching to hear me tell you a story):

http://drumlitmag.com/index.php?page=sounds&display=Issue_16._September_2011#entry385

 

Bunnies Bathing (aka My First-Ever Published Short Story, Called ‘Quiet’ at the Time, so Might not Be Good, but You City Folk Will Learn a Survival Skill to Prepare You for Any Coming Apocalypse, so Read on, Knowledge = Power)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 5, 2014

How to kill a rabbit:

Step One. Put the rabbit on a flat surface and hold it behind the head.
Step Two. Hit the rabbit on the top of the head with a hammer. One sharp blow right between the ears, and the rabbit will convulse and die. There is little blood.
Step Three. Slit the rabbit’s throat.
Step Four. Hold the rabbit upside down by the feet. There is some blood, though nothing on par with a butchered hog. Let the blood drain out onto the ground or into a bucket.
Step Five. Dress the rabbit:

 

To learn how to dress the rabbit — and read the rest of this short story, go here:

http://monkeybicycle.net/bunnies-bathing/

Salivate: A Short Fiction of Alcoholic Weaning (Actually While Details Are Fictional, That Part Is True but My Parents Are Still Alive, so You Know, It’s 100% Fiction for the Foreseeable Future)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 5, 2014

Sunday: Day 1/Week 1

I drink every day, have for years. At the age of twenty-nine, it’s my one committed activity. Wine is my thing, or gin and tonic if I go to a nightclub. I can’t just stop. I try to picture myself: one day with alcohol, the next without it forever. The image won’t coalesce. I can’t afford rehab, and Alcoholics Anonymous smacks of group activities, which are beyond me since the great Girl Scouts debacle of my youth. My options are: (1) revel Mardi Gras-style or (2) create a strategy using my own brand of steps to plod toward an alcohol-free existence.

I’m starting today. Sunday is the nominal day of rest, so I’m going to stop drinking on Sundays. When I feel OK with that, I’ll add in Mondays, then Tuesdays, and so on and so forth until I’m clear seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. Doing Monday next will give me forward momentum. A white lie. I can’t face Friday and Saturday. Christ, I hyperventilate at the thought of a weekend without alcohol. The corked maw of sobriety is frightening enough. I’ll begin with the easiest days and work my way up. …

Read the rest of this short story here: http://www.thegreatsmokiesreview.org/2014/stories/salivate/

Saver’s Delight: A Fictional Account of Coupons and Mustard

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on October 4, 2014

Seventy-four bottles of yellow mustard; 58 bags of croutons; 40 cans of prepared pasta; 53 boxes of dried pasta, including 19 macaroni-and-cheese dinners; 49 bottles of hot sauce; 22 cans of chili with beans; 24 bottles of salad dressing; 26 cans each of corn and peas; 33 cans of tomato sauce; 31 cans of soup; 25 boxes of grits; 17 boxes of waffles; 13 pizzas; 20 family-size entrees; 36 bags of vegetables; and nine boxes of chicken nuggets.

On TV, savvy couponers make this kind of food haul in a single trip to the grocery store, paying in the neighborhood of $39.52, including tax, on a $793.18 bill. I spent eight long months stockpiling these items in my basement, where I carved out a food storeroom by commandeering space from my husband’s workshop and the children’s play area. According to my spreadsheet, the bill totaled $442.93 plus an additional $169.38 for long-term structural investments such as a chest freezer and a metal shelving system.

 

Read the rest of this short story here:

http://thedoctortjeckleburgreview.com/issue-no-17-savers-delight-by-caralyn-davis/

Belong: A Fictional Account of Puppies, Rabbits and Pies (in a sleazy but still elegant NSFW way)

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on August 19, 2014

Like everyone who trolled the Internet, Susannah occasionally enjoyed some porn. No live webcams, videos, or photographs. An educated single woman, she was a purist. She enjoyed the written word. Some unpleasant surprises marked her initial forays into the seamier side of electronic life, but Susannah had persisted in sussing out a few key sites that blended medium-level smut with enough plot and characterization to keep her from feeling too grimy post-denouement.

Susannah’s general introduction to pornography had occurred in high school via the local Goodwill store. She discovered a tome among the used books that she thought was “The Marquise of O— and Other Stories” by Heinrich von Kleist, which her English teacher recommended she read to assess the technical details. Susannah was in a hurry, not remembering the specific title or author, but firm in her mind about the “O,” so she plucked the book off the shelf. …

Read the rest of this short story here:

http://www.wordriot.org/archives/7026

My Short Story “Say When” Published

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 5, 2013

My short story, “Say When,” has been published at Deep South, an online magazine featuring all things Southern.

As a friend of mine said, when a telephone “brays” in the first line, there is a definite drawl to the piece. But before cell phones and ring tones, that’s what land lines did. The phones were like little donkeys calling out for food and a good petting.

The story may amuse (or horrify) — and it’s free.

Bird. A Southern one. Lura Lee Biddix loved to watch the birds.

Bird. A Southern one. Lura Lee Biddix loved to watch the birds.

 

A Sprinkling of Lit Journals That Take Electronic Submissions: G – H

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on February 20, 2012

We’ve reached the letters G and H in our quest to find some intriguing lit journals that accept submissions electronically. For some reason, many big-name literary magazines tied to these letters have not made the jump. For example, the Georgia Review, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, and The Hudson Review still accept only paper snail-mail submissions. But don’t lose heart. Instead, take a look at the following journals that do allow electronic submissions:

Gigantic – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Glimmer Train – in-house submission manager – variable fees – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions.

Note regarding the fees: While Glimmer Train runs contests throughout the year with reading fees of $15 to $20 per story, this journal also allows fee-free submissions of up to three stories per “standard” reading period in January, April, July, and October. Unlike many other journals, Glimmer Train also pays for stories that they accept during these standard periods. And just to give you a “glimmer” of hope that this journal pays attention to fee-free submissions, one story that I submitted fee-free garnered a “this is a good story” from one of the editors, even though they decided not to publish it.

Green Mountains Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Greensboro Review – Submishmash – $3 fee (waived for subscribers) – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Grist – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – July – October submissions

Guernica – e-mail submissions –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Gulf Coast – in-house submission manager – no fee –allows simultaneous submissions – September – March submissions

Harvard Review – Tell It Slant – $3 fee –allows simultaneous submissions – September – May submissions

Hayden’s Ferry Review – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Hobart– Submishmash –  no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Hunger Mountain – Submishmash – $3 fee –allows simultaneous submissions – year-round