highland stories runner up for fast forward press award

My manuscript Highland Stories has taken runner-up in the Fast Forward Press Flash Novel Contest. I submit to quite a few contests and publications and it is nice to receive some editorial comment. This failed writing blog has come a long way in a year. Here is what they sent everyone:

Dear flash novel contest entrants,

Thank you all very much for your patience. After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the winner of our first flash novel contest! The winning entry is Nobody Like You by Jeff Landon; in second place is Highland Stories by John Paul Jaramillo. Congratulations!

Here is what judge Nancy Stohlman had to say: “It was a really hard decision … I was down to these final two for quite some time, and finally decided that despite the rich cultural texture of Highland Stories, Nobody Like You not only had its own deftly handled poetry and poignancy but also, more than any of the other flash novels submitted, had the highest quality of engaged storytelling, that combination of tension and a story spine that brought you swiftly and expertly from the beginning to the end.

“The writing in all the stories was superb, however, much higher quality than I thought we would get for such a new, raw genre, and I would encourage all the writers to consider carving pieces of their flash novels into flash fictions for publication.”

Thank you again for your patience and support. It was truly a pleasure reading your work, and we hope you will consider submitting to Fast Forward again in the future.

Dawn for the Fast Forward editors

six armed cross at la garita

Today I am sitting and studying the Six Armed Cross on the church at La Garita in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. Hope to travel there soon and have better pictures. Hope to draft more ideas returning me to the Monte Stories project. But today I am obsessing over the cross and the uniqueness. I am struck at how it is not your usual religous emblem and also how you can view the cross no matter which side you view. According to Virginia McConnell Simmons and her book Land of the Six Armed Cross the cross at La Garita is “symbolic of a concept of place which is not indicated by the traditional points of the compass but which is all embracing.” Like the Ute or the Hopi concept of space I have been reading from Frank Waters’ book Of Time and Change. A place is neither two nor three dimensional but four. In the San Luis Valley finite concepts of time and space seem inadequate according to Simmons. And of course this reminds me of fictive space…a continuum of time and space…

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