Along the Hudson

Photo by Verina Waldner on Unsplash

One of my ancestors is named Lewis Dudley Deming. He was born in 1820 and spent most of his life on the Hudson River as a boat pilot and captain between Albany and New York City. Though I will never be a riverboat pilot, I can’t help but feel the same draw to the Hudson that Lewis presumably felt. For some reason, my life has led me here, and it’s where my family calls home: the Hudson River Valley.

I’ve spent the past decade of my life either on or around this river. As a result, it provides me with a constant source of inspiration. Some of my best story ideas have come from quiet mornings, exploring or hiking along its banks.

That’s what you’ll receive if you choose to follow my Substack newsletter — my stories from Along the Hudson.

I will be updating this space with stories from my collection of archived fiction and creative nonfiction from my Substack newsletter. To check out my Substack, which has new stories and writing prompts delivered twice a week, please click on this link. If you like the material, I hope you’ll consider signing up.

Thanks so much for reading this. I hope you’ll continue this writing journey with me!

– Justin

An Overdue Update & Story Acceptance

Hello…?

To whoever is reading this, it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a chance to post any updates. Thanks for sticking around and for being here! This past year has been one of my worst in terms of writing, but one of my best in terms of living. My son turns one in eleven days, and my daughter is right around three and a half years old. What a blessing it is to be a parent of two wonderful children.

Where do I even begin? Recently, I accepted a teaching position much closer to home. I was making a round-trip commute of three hours per day, so it eventually drained the life out of me. I only spend ten minutes to and from work now, so I’m in a much better situation all around. The new gig is awesome (and my students, too), so I’m thankful to have landed in such a great place.

Alright, let’s talk writing and publishing. After giving it my best shot, I decided to throw in the towel with my microfiction publication, Friday Fix Fiction. It was a bummer to many loyal writers and readers, but I knew in my heart the publication had run its course. The venture began on Medium back in 2019. Last year, I attempted a standalone publication but was quickly overwhelmed with the logistics, design, and development of a website – not to mention the waves of submissions that rolled in. If I had more time, it might have been possible for me to continue the journey, but I know I made the right decision to shut it down while I was ahead. I am grateful for the experience and for the connections it allowed me!

I’m happy to say that I have resumed publishing through my Substack newsletter, Micro 2 Go. I write two short works of fiction (microfiction) on a weekly basis and email them to anyone who signs up. I also send a weekly writing prompt. The stories are sent on Mondays and Fridays while the prompt is sent on Wednesdays. If you have a minute, please feel free to stop by the site and check out some of my stories and prompts – and if you enjoy what you see, consider signing up!

My first story submissions of 2021 went out very late – not until mid September. However, I’m happy to say that a micro-memoir of mine will be published in Five Minute Lit in January of 2022! The piece is titled “Phantoms” and it’s exactly 100 words. I won’t give out any other details about it other than it’s an experience from my teenage years.

Well…I think that’s it for now. Thank you, reader, whoever you are, for taking the time to read this post. I hope all is well with you and that you are safe and healthy!

All the best,

Justin

Friday Fix Fiction: The Next Chapter Begins

At long last, I’m excited to announce the launch of Friday Fix Fiction, a standalone, online literary journal devoted to fifty-word microfiction. If you enjoyed reading or writing for The Friday Fix over on Medium, I hope you’ll consider taking a look at the new publication.

The overall concept is the same, but the model is a bit different. Instead of posting weekly prompts, a monthly theme will be shared, and accepted stories will appear on the last Friday of every month. My goal is to publish twelve issues for 2021. Each issue will publish up to twenty stories.

Here are some of my other long and short-term goals for Friday Fix Fiction:

  • Publish high-quality fiction alongside captivating photography.
  • Select a “featured” story for each issue.
  • Accept photography submissions for the cover of each issue, as well as the featured story.
  • Become a paying market. My first objective will be to pay the featured writer.
  • Host one or two annual contests with payouts for first, second, and third place. (Guest judges, too.)
  • Have two annual “mega” issues in June and December that either includes contest submissions or original stories.
  • Build an inclusive community that is accepting of all members.
  • Accept and promote the work of both emerging and experienced writers.
  • Create annual print anthologies, showcasing some of the best submissions from the year.

I won’t ramble on. Head on over to fridayfixfiction.com to get a feel for the new layout, submission process, and to scope out the site. Feel free to leave some feedback or ideas below, if you’d like. And please spread the word!

I hope to see your stories roll in soon. More importantly, I hope you’re excited. I know I am.

Wishing you all the best,

-Justin

“Charlie” has been published by Emerge Literary Journal

Good news!

On December 6th, my short story “Charlie” was published by Emerge Literary Journal in their sixteenth issue. I am grateful to have been included with so many other excellent writers.

“Charlie” originated from a Writer’s Digest photo prompt. I never ended up submitting my story to the magazine (missed the deadline, oops), but I used the prompt as a starting point for what would ultimately become “Charlie”. The photo depicted a young boy in a field of sunflowers, a smile stretching wide across his face. I studied the picture for several minutes before a thought struck me: This is the last time anyone ever saw this child. Thus, Charlie was born into my imagination.

The story captures one of my greatest fears, and probably that of every parent: losing a child. The manner in which how Charlie becomes lost leaves my stomach in knots, but I knew there wasn’t any way around it. Not for this story, at least.

I’m happy the editors at Emerge Literary Journal agreed.

See for yourself! Give “Charlie” a read here.

Take care, everyone. I hope your writing ventures are going well.

– Justin

Micro 2 Go

Microfiction readers:

  1. Are you constantly on the go?
  2. Do you enjoy snack-sized stories?

If you answered “Yes” to either question, it sounds like you might enjoy subscribing to Micro 2 Go. Here’s what you’ll receive if you decide to sign up:

  • Original microfiction delivered twice a week to your inbox.
  • Expect to see stories Monday/Friday mornings.
  • All posted content will remain free, forever.

Please feel free to check out my Substack page here.

I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,

Justin