Back in February 2018, The Lascaux Review featured my short story Songs We Play When We Pretend We're Ourselves. A contemporary piece of flash fiction that follows a young couple navigating turbulent waters in Boston. There's airplanes, longing, and surprise pregnancies wrapped in a thousand-ish words.
Today, I'm excited to say that fresh.ink has officially published a reprint of this story that can be found and read by clicking here. While I'm always thrilled anytime a story gets published, and doubly thrilled when it gets chosen to be reprinted, I'm particularly excited about this piece reaching a new subset of readers because it was one of the first times I seriously attempted a more contemporary narrative. Prior to this, my focus had been solely on genre fiction, and I was of the mind that you had to be one or the other.
But, as all people do when they grow and expand their horizons, I realized I had it mistaken. It wasn't so much about the genre or type of writing the story fit under, it was just the story itself. And this one, I've always been more than happy with. If you've read it before, thank you. If you haven't had a chance and are looking for something to browse on your lunch break, hop over to https://fresh.ink/ and give it a read.
There are two key takeaways when evaluating entertainment, regardless of form: how enjoyable the experience is, and how long it stays with you afterward. These two umbrella questions are held up by a myriad of scaffolding (how believable is the plot? Is the pacing good? Are all instruments in harmony? Are the characters believable? Are they relatable across different cultures and orientations?) that would take days to list out in their entirety. Luckily, our brains answer these questions almost subconsciously while we're reading, watching, listening, and leaves us to focus on the collective answers to these questions as pieces to the larger puzzle.
For me, the first is the more difficult. After all, if something isn't enjoyable while you're experiencing it, it's probably not going to have a lasting effect and stay with you long afterward. Unless it's truly enraging. I suppose that would stay with you for awhile.
So, we press on, searching for the perfect tens. The pieces of entertainment media that span time, characters, cultures, and emotions. There isn't a shortage of them out there. Though it may seem that way when swimming through the golden age of media in which we live. Unlike the physical world, the digital one is not shrinking, and there's no shortage of new stuff within it. And the other night, in the throws of Prime Island, I found buried treasure and a perfect ten.