A local community press, Tolosa Press, partners with a local writer's club, the SLO Nightwriters, to publish member fiction in their free papers. Recently they published one of my stories, "Cuba Libre."
Some of my flash fiction can be rather odd (told from a parrot's point of view, written in small vignettes, involving a talking cat). However, I felt that a lighter, more traditional story would be a good match for a community newspaper. Part of what I enjoyed writing in "Cuba Libre" was its setting--a bar where the bartender chooses the patrons' drinks based on their personalities and moods. That setting came from reading about a bar where the bartender would refuse to make certain drinks he didn't approve of. I thought about taking that idiosyncrasy one step farther.
I've never been published in a free newspaper before, but I really like the idea. I went to a cafe to get a couple of copies. While I was enjoying a cookie at the cafe, a man picked up a copy of the paper on his way out the door. It was fun to think he might read my story.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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