31 March 2008

Thicker Than Water is Editors' Choice!

Editor Don Webb notified me that Thicker Than Water has been selected as Editors' Choice for the Bewildering Stories First Quarterly Review of 2008 in the category Short Stories.

Don writes, "The Quarterly Reviews are 'the place to be' at Bewildering Stories. The Editors' Choices represent the recent best; they give newcomers a good place to start and veteran readers a way to catch up with anything they may have missed."

It is an honor to have this piece recognized. The Wildish boys live on in the novel-in-progress (working under the same title) that I am hoping to finish sometime this summer.

I see that Stevan Allred's The Painted Man was also selected in Serialized Works. Congratulations to Stevan!

08 March 2008

Editor's Choice Award for Black Bird

Nina Bayer, Editor of Lunch Hour Stories Magazine, wrote to inform me that my story Black Bird has been selected for the Editor's Choice Award in the 2007 VERY Short Story and Narrative Prose Poem Contest. I am pleased and honored to have this piece recognized.

Final judge in the contest was Helen Sears; semi-final judges were Helena Bayer, Catherine Carter, Nancy Cluts, Ginger B. Collins, and K. Gordon Neufeld.

The award makes Black Bird eligible for inclusion in the Lunch Hour Stories Anthology later this year.

You can subscribe to Lunch Hour Stories (1 year/16 issues) for only $26! Go to www.lunchhourstories.com. Also the Lunch Hour Stories 2008 Short Story Contest is going on now!! Deadline is June 30, 2008.

Sherri H. Hoffman

06 March 2008

Road Dogs is in Etchings

"Road Dogs" is included in the newly released issue of Etchings: The Art of Conversation. This is Lena and Vincent's road trip from Portland to Denver and all thoughts between.

You can read more about it (and purchase your very own copy) at http://www.ilurapress.com/index.php?pid=2

Sherri H. Hoffman

01 March 2008

The Sound of It All

It is no secret that music moves me to tears. So does dance. And the sound of the ocean.

My father bought our first piano out of the officers' mess when I was maybe 5 years old. It was a black lacquer baby grand patterned with the rings from years of wet mugs of beer set on its top. The gilded soundboard was stained and slightly warped from spilled drinks, irreparable but not un-beautiful to the child I was. My lessons were tedious when I would lay under the piano as if inside its very bones and listen to my father's reel-to-reel recordings of Mozart, Ravel, Dvorak, Smetana, Tchaikovsky. Even as a child I could weep at the rise in Rachmaninoff's Symphony #2, the 1812 Overture, or Horszowski's Beethoven. Pavarotti's nessun dorma still brings me to my knees. Mahler remains my muse.

But the first song I ever performed myself, outside of Sunday School learning and John Jacob Jingle-heimer Smith (sp?) was Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy. My parents recorded the performance, perhaps for some future opportunity for blackmail. My sister and I couldn't have been more than 8 and 9. We knew all the words to every verse and performed in an acapella disaster that climbed with every stanza to reach a piercing falsetto by the final line. The recording is stunning, and, hopefully, lost.

I was also a nun once. My friend Barbara Hanson and I were juniors in high school, walked down the auditorium aisle together with candles and the women's choir, Ave Maria in full black and white habits for the Sound of Music. Hang on to that visual through the rest of my personal history.