Howdy, peeps. I'm spending Tuesday night with the Mystery Writers of America in Bethesda. I'm in good company as our own Brian and Sandra are supposed to be there, too.
Recent postings on the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Listserv questioned if a "Renaissance of shorts in short fiction" were occurring. And it's perhaps easy to see what prompted that discussion. While the oldest of the digest journals, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, recently celebrated its seventieth anniversary, other journals -- both in print and online -- are sprouting up regularly, and booms in e-publishing have also resulted in a bonanza of short-story collections being no more than a few clicks away.
I'll attempt a short write-up at some point on Wednesday, June 6.
In the meantime, head over to the DSD Group site on GoodReads to vote for our Summer Big Read for our book group. Click here.
I took a picture.
So I think that went well. Brian, Sandra, and I talked about short fiction and answered some questions. I hope they were the sort of answers that were, you know, helpful.
I find a sort of balance at these things. The fact that I don't know what I'm about to say balances out with the fact that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
I'll tell you what's weird, though. This was in the basement of the Hyatt in Bethesda. They probably don't call it the basement. Maybe it's The Lowerzinne Level or something. Anyhoo, this is the place with Morton's Hoity-Toity and Steak on the first floor. Last week I sent out "On Submission" a story I'd written about that place. Was weird seeing it again. Like bumping into some jerk you know after you've just pretended to be him and called the county real estate assessment office complaining that your taxes are too low and that the problem with the country is all those damn [whatever is the race of the county assessor].
OK. Maybe not as convoluted as that. But weird.
So it seems short fiction is alive and well, finding homes online and in print. Which is good news, you know, as it's what we do.
But what is also clearly evident is that people care about this stuff, and they care about talking through this stuff. This writing stuff. This reading stuff.
Groups like Mystery Writers of America chapters and critique groups and workshops are fantastic for indirect reasons, as well as those direct ones. Sure you maybe get some advice on the story you're writing. But you get to be with like-minded people. You know, in person and stuff.
It's like belonging to a tribe, I guess. And it's damned helpful.
And here's a book some of those folks have just put together -- a fifth volume. Check it.
THIS JOB IS MURDER
The latest installment in the Chesapeake Crimes mystery series focuses on working stiffs—literally! Included in this collection are new tales by: Shari Randall, C. Ellett Logan, Karen Cantwell, E. B. Davis, Jill Breslau, David Autry, Harriette Sackler, Barb Goffman, Ellen Herbert, Smita Harish Jain, Leone Ciporin, Cathy Wiley, Donna Andrews, Art Taylor. Foreword by Elaine Viets.