Late this morning, I had a pleasant surprise. Writer Claire Polders wrote a list for the great literary journal SmokeLong Quarterly, examining her favorite "(Dead) Father" flash fictions.
She graciously included my 2016 story "Empire State Building," published in matchbook literary magazine. If you missed it the first time, you can read it here.
About my story, Claire wrote: "Should we hate or love our fathers for their lies, their exaggerations, their obsessions? In this touching story by James Yates, in which more is said than written, I was left pondering that interesting question."
Wow. Thank you, Claire! Plus, I'm just damn stunned to see my work sharing company with the likes of Mai Nardone, Lydia Davis, Steve Edwards, Aubrey Hirsch, Horia Gârbea, Sudha Balagopal, Emily Devane, Paul Maliszewski, and John Cheever.
Overall, this just reminds me to be more vocal about my appreciation for other writers. And don't ever think that a kind word or sharing a link to a favorite piece is an empty gesture; it can come at a crucial time for somebody. I've been in a very long, frustrating creative funk that I'm slowly coming out of, and having a writer kindly share my work was a much-needed boost.