Fiction 101: Cherry Popped

In 2003, San Diego CityBeat Magazine created their Fiction 101 contest, a flash fiction contest with the simple rules of forming an interesting, better than marginal snippet of creative writing under 102 words.  Staying true to the implication of the title itself, most of the entries were born in the minds of amateur writers. And some of it is good, not all of it.  But then again, the creative attempt can be like sex: even when its bad, you’re still kind of glad it is happening. Whenever someone tries to swim out of the thick soup of bland popular art, even if it is a failure, it is a nice thing to witness.

For me, fiction writing often turns out to be a process of trying not to imitate, that’s why for every Raymond Carver story I read, I’ll have an Orwell or Isherwood at the ready, just to keep my mind sufficiently cluttered.  Regarding writing, fiction scares the hell out of me, but I know that someday I will have to stop running away from it. And I must admit a certain satisfaction with the validation of professional media junkies and writers who actually write for a living.

Since 2003, the SD CityBeat fiction contest has grown into a popular annual celebration of short, short writing.  Now, the magazine has finally completed an anthology highlighting their best stories in the last 10 years, in which yours truly is included. It is available to everyone on Kindle and Barnes & Noble (Nook), and on iTunes and iPad soon, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, click here to check out the first winners of the contest, as well as my little story. And click here to see the latest issue of San Diego CityBeat.

Side note/promotion:  Congratulations to my friend Tommy, and his “transgressive, sexy web drama” Double Swing, I know he’s been working hard, and he deserves whatever success comes of the show.  It is nearing official release, currently in the editing stage. Check out a teaser below.  By the way, if you think you should stay away from this one, then you’re probably right.

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