A Carton of Ciggies and Scotch

7 May

The flash piece that Atticus Review just published yesterday has an interesting lifespan. The piece was quickly taken by the editors at Atticus sometime in September of ’13. However, none of the three editors responsible for snagging the piece could tell me exactly when it would run.

Over the next several months I went back and forth with Jamie Iredell (my contact point, editor at Atticus, writer, and overall great guy) trying to sort out when this little thing would be published, yet still…no one at Atticus could tell me. Their issues are themed, therefore after accepting stories or poetry, the editors then work to create themes and fit those accepted pieces within those issues.

Fast forward to a few days ago. Frustrated, I wrote yet again to Jamie that if none of the editors at Atticus could commit to a publication date, I would like to withdraw the piece and shop it somewhere else. I expressed my frustration and told Jamie that, in effect, Atticus has reserved this work now for 9 months without any idea of when they’d run it. It was unfair to me to have taken this piece off the market and I wished to have it back. Jamie came back at me quickly with a date: sometime in June. We both agreed that the story should live at Atticus, so both of us were happy.

A few hours after our conversation, another editor at Atticus contacted me that the piece was somehow fast-tracked and it would run the next day.

And so it did. It found its sudden life, after nearly a year dormant.

I like this piece. It’s short and strong, imo. It hits you with a powerful first line and doesn’t stop rolling. Judging from the nice comments I’ve received, it also looks like a lot of readers understand its intent: examining the subject of illegal abortion in a controlled state in another country. It was a horrendous issue women had to deal with under communism, and many women suffered internal damage and even lost their lives due to unsanitary conditions, botched procedures, inept, hasty work…all because The Party decreed that no birth control was to be available.

Many thanks to all who have read this and commented on it. Once again, you can find the story “A Carton of Kent and a Bottle of Johnnie Walker Red” at Atticus Review here.


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