Fiction Bragging–Last Complaint

I wouldn’t call it a resolution, but I am attempting to do a better job of that self-promotion part of writing. I hate self-promotion. I want people to magically find all my published work, become instant dedicated fans, and beg me to create more stories for them. Funny enough, that doesn’t happen on its own! Or at least not at this stage in my career. But this stage in my career is actually pretty awesome, because I’ve been published several times now, and that’s a huge building block in terms of ego and confidence to keep going.

Here’s my plan: I’m going to point you all to my published pieces one by one in case you missed them the first time they were published. I’ll report links to my interviews on other blogs as well, maybe revel in that time—ok, two times now—that Durham magazine interviewed me on the Triangle dining scene or those times—ok, two times now—that the Independent Weekly mentioned my name. Eventually, I’ll even ¬†tell you all about how I’m writing the occasional post for WRAL Out and About, the first of which will be coming out soon. Yes, I’ve known that for weeks, submitted my first review last week, and I still haven’t told the interwebs about it—I really am that bad at self-promotion, folks.

Consider this the first installment in my bragging series, to be posted at least every other Thursday. Our first installment is Last Complaint, a horror short story that won me third place in WOW! Women on Writing’s Flash Fiction contest back in 2009. In it, a grumpy old woman finds out that airing her grievances isn’t always the wisest plan. Here are the first few paragraphs:

She parks her station wagon under the “No Vacancy” sign. This is the first inn she’s passed since dinner at that horrible truck stop diner. Her bowl of clam chowder had been lukewarm and the waitress had the gall to try and make her pay for it. She doubts she’ll be treated any better at this place, but she can feel her eyelids drooping.

“Bellboy!” she yells into the dark lot. No one comes. She sighs, then pulls out her suitcase and wheels it towards the small front office that glows with a pale green fluorescence.

“Can I help you?” grunts the middle-aged man wearing a stained gray uniform at the desk. He flips the channel on an old television set that’s perched on the countertop behind him.

“I need a room,” she says. “How much?”

“We’re full up. No vacancy,” he gestures towards the sign outside then stares at her, his mouth hanging open.

“That’s ridiculous,” she insists. “I have a nephew who manages a Hyatt.” She waits for this to affect him but his expression does not change. She continues, unperturbed, “There are always extra rooms available, that’s what he told me.¬† Even at the Hyatt.”

To continue reading, head here, and scroll down the page about halfway. You’ll find my picture and the rest of Last Complaint there. This picture was not taken with the story in mind, but it captures the mood of the latter half of the story, stumbling through a dark hallway half asleep.

Enjoy! And let me know what you thought.


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