My turn in the editor’s chair. Thanks for the invitation.

This is a great chair, much like Captain Kirk’s on the Starship Enterprise. From here I get to study various life forms in the Fictionaut universe. Some of them  (their silver lamé uniforms notwithstanding) look a lot like me! Others are generated by a creative DNA quite different from my own.

For new readers of the Editor’s Eye feature: my task here is to shine a little light on some pieces posted during the last two weeks which received five or fewer favs and impressed me, in some way. My selection process involved both indulging in work I loved at first sight and trying (it’s hard!) to step away from the beloved familiar into the possibly stimulating unknown.

Some of my original choices gathered more favs as the days went on and had to be scratched off my list, which is a good thing, of course. My still-eligible picks:

Untitled part 2 by volleyball mugwump

A wonderfully manic portrait of a mother daughter relationship heightened by the mother’s impending death. This story is a fine example of how surface tension can support deep emotion without breaking apart. I had no idea of the range of flavored vodkas available until I read this piece! I enjoyed all its 3300-plus words.

Blood by Pines, by G.E. Simons

Like a sprint through quicksand, away from the jaws of one death, perhaps into the arms of another. This piece held strong sensory appeal for me. I could smell blood and dogs and taste snow. I felt a pall of loneliness surrounding this story.

Calypso by Iain James Robb

An excursion into luxuriant language and phrasing, well worth the trip even if (as in my first reading) only partly understood.  Try a second reading with the author’s comment in mind. Aha!

A Manual for Readers by David Backer

Learn how to approach several varieties of contemporary fiction in this handy manual, which ended up being so engaging that I wanted to take all these stories home for dinner.

Letter to a Lost Friend by P.R. Mercado

An unapologetic and unrelenting lament of the many ways in which life and sub-par companions have disappointed the narrator, somehow refreshing in its refusal to be satisfied and grateful for merely being above ground. I enjoyed the self-awareness evident in the lines, “generally, my life is yet to be lived, even.” and “No one else has a catalogue /of my failures and loneliness /that is so comprehensive”.

Exile by Jeffrey Flannery

A beautifully written story of isolation, with a touch of strange that kept it my head some hours after reading. This is the first of Mr. Flannery’s work I’ve read and I look forward to more.


Carol Reid lives on the west coast of Canada.  She is in the process of constructing an accordion book of micro and flash fiction and trying to keep the puppy from eating it.

Editor’s Eye is curated by Michelle Elvy (Fictionaut profile here). She writes and edits every day at, and readers can also find her editing Blue Five Notebook (with Sam Rasnake) and Flash Frontier.

  1. Sally Houtman

    Carol, you sly devil. Sneaking around behind us.


  2. Gary Hardaway

    Fine choices, Carol.

  3. Carol Reid

    Deep cover as “Carol Reed”, Sally. Nobody suspected a thing :)

    Thank you, Gary!

  4. Jürgen

    Oh god how embarrassing. Let’s just say, it’s a long story and it begins with my coffee maker breaking.

    Sorry Carol — I fixed it.

  5. David James

    Editor’s Eye is so helpful in that it often provides “Low Fave”, often new, ficitonaut members an audience. And, Carol you’ve done exactly that here. Good picks, good job.

  6. James Lloyd Davis

    Great selection, Carol.

  7. Carol Reid

    All is forgiven, Jurgen :)No good comes of a broken coffeemaker, for sure.

    David and James, good to hear you enjoyed the selection.

  8. Steven Gowin

    Great picks Carol. This took some devotion and energy. We appreciate it.

  9. Carol Reid

    It did take some energy, but very well worth it. Thanks, Steve!

  10. Sam Rasnake

    A set of excellent choices, Carol. Enjoying each one. Appreciate your work – and Michelle’s.

  11. Carol Reid

    Thanks, Sam! I really appreciate Michelle’s work, too.

  12. Michelle Elvy

    Excellent, Carol. So glad to have your keen eye on the prowl. You’ve found some real sleepers which I would not have seen otherwise. Thank you again!

  13. Darryl Price

    Good eye, Carol. It pays to listen to someone like you. Great job. Thanks.

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