I love getting packages in the mail, don’t you? I love the mystery of not knowing what’s inside, and even if I know what’s inside, I still love the opening part. Maybe it reminds me of Christmas and that wonder, that thrill.
Whatever the case, a few weeks ago, I received a small package in the mail and when I opened it, I found my contributor’s copy of Hunger: The Best of Brilliant Flash Fiction 2014-2019.
My story Counting Backward is included, along with a bounty of polished work from over forty flash fiction authors.
And I especially loved Elvis, Too by Arya F. Jenkins (and don’t you love how she uses that comma in the title?). This piece sums up flash fiction at its finest, blending bittersweet humor with the sad trajectory of defeat and despair that often visits us as we grow older and realize that our failings define as as much, if not more, than our successes.
All in all, Hunger: The Best of Brilliant Flash Fiction was a nice read, a nice book to curl up with as the Alaska days grow shorter and shorter and the light dimmer and dimmer. Books are the best of things, aren’t they? The way they feel in your hands, and how they smell. I hope I never lose my sense of wonder of opening that first page. I hope books never become obsolete. I hope that the world always reads, though more and more I feel doubtful about this.
Still, for now there are books and anthologies, literary magazines and poems, so much to read and ponder, so many words out there. Sometimes I worry that I’ll never be able to read everything I want to read, and there are still so many books I want (I must!) reread. Where will I find the time? Yet I also realize that this is a privilege, that in many parts of the world, girls are never taught to read. And in many impoverished areas, boys aren’t, either.
So yes, reading is a luxury and I feel fortunate to live in a part of the world that values books and words, and I shall try and remember to give thanks each time I open a new book, each time I begin to read.