Alongside the ebook release of Souvenirs and Other Stories, we’re offering ebook versions of The Conium Review: Vol. 3 and The Conium Review: Vol. 4 for just 99 cents! That’s right, get the two most recent issues for less than a buck each. This sale is valid Saturday, July 16th through Sunday, July 17th. Get the instant discount through Amazon.com.
When he arrived at the edge, it was nothing like anyone had predicted. The surface was ochre, sandstone-ish, worn to—as they say—“a dull sheen,” perhaps by eons of reluctant feet. Where the sheen leveled, a woman sat on one of two delicately scrolled iron chairs that flanked a small, round iron table. It was the type of furniture his mother had once called “ice cream” and repainted with Rustoleum in shades of Antique White.
The woman wore white as well. Chiffon, he’d have said, if he’d had any recollection of chiffon, which was before his time. She’d arrived before him, predictably. She was young and lovely, the grandmother he’d never met. She seemed to be waiting.
The sun behind him hung in the haze with the dull orange blur of a moth’s cocoon. Ahead of him, beyond the table (under which the woman’s shapely ankles crossed left over right), the sky appeared to be a soft gray hat—a felt hat, if he’d ever seen one—with a single white feather, reminiscent of a bird he could not recall the name of, a bird before his time. He took the seat opposite.
Have you brought the rain? she asked.
No, he said. I thought you were waiting for me.
For the rain, she said, her voice the sound of moisture.
I have brought no rain, he said. No rain is expected.
I have been waiting a long time, she said, without rain. I thought you would be rain.
I am not rain, he said. But I am tired from my journey, so I will rest and wait with you.
Thank you, she said, and turned to face the edge. His eyes followed, closed.
It is not what you expected, she said.
No, he would have said, it is not what I expected, but his voice made no sound, his mouth without wings.
Image Credit: © cat_arch_angel – stock.adobe.com
Niche Magazine‘s founder and managing editor, Katya Cummins, recently interviewed Matt Tompkins about his new book, Souvenirs and Other Stories.
Katya begins with a brief review of Matt’s collection, partially focusing on how Matt is able to imbue absurd situations with authentic and relatable emotional resonance. After this brief review and overview, the interview begins with a discussion of Matt’s love for writing, his take on storytelling mechanics and humor, advice for new authors, and more. Read the entire interview here.
For this Monkeybicycle feature, authors compare their recently released books to weird things. It’s a fun column and a unique way to get a taste of a new book directly from the author.
In one section, Matt says “If Souvenirs and Other Stories were a cat, it would be a huge, flame-orange, polydactyl housecat.” Elsewhere, he remarks “If Souvenirs and Other Stories were an urgent question, it would be, ‘Great, but how will you pay the bills?'” Read the entire post here.
We’re holding another themed call for submissions from July 1st to July 15th: “Fragmented.”
This special call for submissions is guest edited by Melissa Reddish. Melissa’s forthcoming Conium Press title, Girl & Flame: A Novella, is full of fragments. Reddish’s sentences are sharp; her chapters read like flashes of fire and smoke; and her characters often find themselves splintered, raw, and emotionally fragmented.
The “Fragmented” theme can be interpreted broadly. Yes, sentence fragments count, but don’t limit yourself to that. Your theme should deal with some form of fragmentation, but the exact context is up to you. Have fun with the concept. Take risks with your story and see how things turn out.
Submissions should be 2,000 words or fewer. Melissa will select one piece for publication as a limited-run micro-chapbook. This micro-chap will be shipped as a free pre-order bonus with Girl & Flame (release date is August 15th). This is a great opportunity to see your short work as a standalone piece, distributed to Conium Press readers. Full guidelines are already available here.