Author Profile: Murray Carlson

murray-carlsonHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

My major event came on a school visit to San Juan Capistrano to witness the yearly return of the white swallows. After an hour of several hundred sixth graders fidgeting around the courtyard, bored with anticipation, everyone was told to go outside. I sat quietly and still on a bench in the middle of the interior gardens and refused to leave. They let me stay. Minutes later silence returned to the courtyard. With teachers lining the walls watching me I felt trusted for the first time. Then I heard a great gust of wind and the sky went dark. Moments later every inch of the open space was filled with chittering birds. I was covered from head to toe. I sat motionless as the small pure white birds hopped on and off of me. They tickled. Once the children realized what was happening they rushed back inside the walls. The birds were startled and with a whoosh they were gone. A week later I told the story of my experience to several hundred parents and teachers at the PTA meeting. I remember talking more about what I felt than what I saw. The reaction was so overwhelming that a new young story teller was born. I haven’t stopped telling my story this way ever since. My written emotions connect with people. I feel a sense of intimacy when this happens. When someone connects with me this way it’s like all those birds coming back to me again and again.

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White Hat-Black Hat

By Jim Freeze

Being human, I am really good at ignoring warnings and believe I have just enough rascal in me to be the proverbial exception to the rule. What rule you ask? All of them, or at least most of them that concern law and order and life in general.

My name is Lucas Badger, 35 years old, single, but with a girlfriend and I think there’s a kid out there somewhere who I’m probably responsible for.

I am an independent contractor working in the new home building construction trade. Okay, I’m really just a carpenter who subcontracts out to builders on a daily basis. I guess you would call me self-employed, but I’m not very good at business, so it’s been at least six years since I paid any income taxes. Other than that I’m a pretty good fella, don’t lie too much or cheat or get greedy on my invoices for the general contractor. Every day when I get up I strive to get the day started with the right excuses in hand. Now I know that sounds underhanded, but I seem to be driven by my desires and bad habits, so I want to be ready if problems arise. Continue reading

Author Profile: Fran Fredricks

FranFredericks1957How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

Several people inspired me to be a writer. The three most important were teachers: Sister Carmelita in 3rd Grade, Mrs. Lannon in 6th, and Mr. Neminec in college. Sister Carmelita often gave the class story writing assignments. After one such assignment, I had to read my story in front of the class. I still remember the title, “Oops, Spilled Ink.” The class cheered and applauded my story, and Sister gave me an A+++ on my work. Mrs. Lannon made Fridays story day, where all students had to read a themed piece they had written. It was my favorite part of 6th grade. And in college, Mr. Neminec who taught a basic essay writing class, told me when reading and grading work, he always saved the best for last—my submissions. He had his students keep journals which I kept long after the class ended. I eventually earned a B.A. in English and went on for an M.S. in Journalism.

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Pizza and Trapped Souls

By Kat Howard

I used to tell all the kids at school that my house was haunted. During lunch, my classmates would excitedly munch at their French bread pizzas and sip at cartons of whole milk while I told stories of the trapped souls who inhabited my family’s property. There was the man, shell shocked from war, who slit his throat on the front steps of my house. There was the little boy who was crushed by a rock in my barnyard, which was once a local dance hall. I bragged about my great aunt, who held séances in the attic right next to my bedroom. Continue reading

Author Profile: Kerry White

KerryWhiteHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I have been writing off and on since I was 10. Now that I am retired there’s more time and incentive.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I have to give credit to my friends at the Fox Valley Writers Group for opening the door to flash fiction for me.

Describe your writing process.

My writing habits are not terribly disciplined. I mull over characters and plots before writing; sometimes weeks of that. Once I start it becomes an organic process of just letting it all flow to the page. I go with as many revisions as I feel necessary rather than a fixed amount.

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By Ritta M. Basu

“See that man over there? He looks like your grandfather when I first met him, except he’s missing a beret.”

“You mean the one fishing, in the Tommy Bahama shirt with the pot belly?”

“That’s the one. Teddy was still a Sufi minister and leading meetings for sex addicts when we met.” Continue reading

Author Profile: Ric Waters

Waters-021313-self-portraitHow and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I started writing in high school, mainly because of much of the reading assigned to me in English classes and that I felt I had something to say myself.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

The idea of flash fiction came from the Fox Valley Writers Group, where the coordinator, Kevin Moriarity, presented prompts to encourage participants to put together stories (or at least start them) in a short time frame (about seven minutes each). Sometimes, I could write a complete story in that time and some of those stories were of good enough quality to submit for publication on sites like

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