Sunday, 21 November 2010

Strive Critiqued at

I mentioned a few weeks back that I'd been approached by a student, named Heather Vann, who wanted permission to reprint my story Strive to be Happy, (originally published a couple of years ago in Flash Fiction Online), on the site so she could critique it as part of her course.  At the time I'd given my permission with a couple of stipulations, hadn't had a reply back from Heather, and wasn't sure if she planned to go ahead.

Though I never did hear back from Heather, I was pleased to find out from the owner of that she'd gone ahead with the article (weirdly, it was scheduled for the day after I finally got round to querying.)  The story, followed by Heather's commentary, can be found here.  In her opening sentence, Heather describes Strive as "a piece that manages to encompass the vast emotional roller coaster of the human psyche", so I guess it's safe to say she liked it.

It's deeply weird, though undeniably kind of nice, to have written something that affects people enough that they tell others how much they enjoyed it, or - more bizarre still - write essays about it.  It's also rare as hen's teeth in my experience, and I don't entirely know what it is about this one story that gets such a response.  After all, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.  Strive was also discussed at length last year by author David Erlewine at Five Star Literary Stories, and in the same year was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Flash Fiction Online editor Jake Freivald.  I even had someone approach me about adapting it into a short film, though unfortunately that was back in the days before I got my website e-mail forwarding set up and by the time, months later, that I replied, it was too late.  Still, pretty neat, huh?

Anyway, whatever I got right that's struck a chord with a few people, I'm definately glad, and hopefully one of these days I'll pull it off again.  Thanks to Heather and Randall Brown at for putting Strive to be Happy in front of more readers.


  1. This is Heather :) I just saw this (from random googling-)! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Sorry I never got back to you? I wonder if there was an e-mail malfunction, I thought I had, haha. Oh well, but anyway, glad you enjoyed the write up!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Heather, good to hear from you. Do you know if anything ever came of that short interview we did? If aren't up for using it, would you mind if I ran it here on the blog instead?