The Lit Bulb Festival 2015

I’m pleased to be participating in the 2015 Lit Bulb International Literary Festival, about which you can read more here. My entry below, on the theme of “togetherness”. Comments are welcome.

Little Things

by Stephen V. Ramey

“Idiot,” she mutters under her breath. I pretend not to hear.

“Butter?” I pass the rectangular ceramic tray bearing that golden log. It’s actually an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter stick, but we like to pretend.

“Do I look like I want butter?” she says. Her eyebrows arch like millipedes recoiling. I set the not-butter down.

“Apologies, Dear.” A platter of pancakes graces the center of our breakfast table. Blueberry, I believe. Or chocolate chip. The Continue reading

Ego Strokes

I’ve been too busy keeping up with various duties, e.g. daily review of 2014, two anthologies, moderating Show Me Your Lits and posting at Write 1 Sub 1, among others, to do much personal blogging. It’s important from time to time to take stock of things and feel good about the work into which we pour our passions (take that, Grammar Police!). So, here’s a quick update from the last couple of months.

I was selected as one of FlashFiction.Net’s Favorite Authors. This may not seem like a huge deal, but even to be mentioned in the same breath as writers like Raymond Carver and Kim Chinquee, Steve Almond, and Bruce Holland-Rogers (OMG!) is pretty life Continue reading

Men Are Not Dragons at Fiction Vortex

I’m happy to report that my fantasy short story, “Men Are Not Dragons” has been published over at Fiction Vortex. The editors were great to work with, and I heartily recommend submitting good work to them.

As for the story, it has quite a history. I wrote the first draft of this story, then titled “The First Man” for James Gunn’s Intensive Workshop in Writing Science Fiction. This would have been around 2002. Kij Johnson liked the boldness of the opening scene, and the overall structure, but pointed out that I was missing a transitional scene in the relationship between boy and dragon. Continue reading

“A Clockwork Clef” at Chrome Baby

One of my favorite forms is flash fiction (under 1000 words, and often under 500) and my favorite genre is SF. Combine the two, and you get one of my best stories to date, “A Clockwork Clef”. It’s an obvious nod to the A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, but I think I brought something of my own to the mix as well. What do you think?

Thanks to editor Robin Wyatt Dunn at Chrome Baby for reprinting my baby in the Xmas Bairn.

The story originally appeared in the sadly defunct Eschatology, published by Bruce L. Priddy.

“The Sea as a Sickness” at Apocrypha and Abstractions

I was pleased when the fine folks at Apocrypha and Abstractions accepted my surrealist “The Sea as a Sickness” and even more pleased when it was singled out in Michael Alexander Chaney’s flash markets series.

Another lovely flash recently published here is “The Sea as a Sickness” by Stephen V. Ramey. This is the kind of writing you’ll want to linger over–phrases so finely turned they’ll make you smile (“The beach was the texture of beef tongue”) and a situation so existentially piquant, you’ll want to read it again just to make sure the life guard in the story is real, and whether or not that lifeguard is really you.

Spring Fashion Published at Pure Slush

Spring Prosthetic Leg“Spring Fashion,” one of my more controversial flash stories appears this week at Pure Slush. It’s about a teenaged girl and her little sister, fashion trends, sibling jealousy, and most importantly the lengths we will go to to “fit in”. The reaction has been intense. What do you think?

Carol touches her sister’s big toe. The flesh is cold and hard, not like skin at all. She pulls away. A thrill of terror runs down her spine. For the first time, she understands how dangerous her sister’s obsession has become.


susan tepper:
OMG I was utterly horrified at what this girl is doing. Continue reading

New Castle Book Signing

My New Castle reading/signing for Glass Animals went very well. We had about a dozen locals in the audience, most of them my good friends, and enough cupcakes and coffee to go around. I read several flash stories, and a couple of micros. They were very well received, and folks went out of their way to encourage me afterward. I felt very nervous throughout the reading, but Sue reports that I did kept my voice loud enough, and did not read too fast, so I guess that’s progress. She has the ham gene in our family. I have the quail gene. Anyway, a hearty thanks to the New Castle Public Library and Susan Morgan for hosting the event (and coming Continue reading

Virgin Christmas at Apocrypha and Abstractions

Woman in raptureI’m pleased that Apocrypha and Abstractions (one of my favorite places for offbeat prose) chose “Virgin Christmas” for their Valentine Day story. I’m rather fond of this “love” story told short.

On the daily goal front, I was able to pound out 1034 words today on a scene for chapter 2 in my serial, The Golden Heart of the World. It’s a little rough, but moves the plot, which is what I was going for.