Write a flash about a beautiful deception. As an example, here is my story “California Fruit” from Smokelong Quarterly.
Write a story in which you inject a number of animal facts! As an example, here is my story “Them”, from my first collection Damn Sure Right (Press 53, 2011)
Read Sex in Siberia, from the collection Alligators At Night. It’s been reprinted below. Then write your own story about a real or imaginary situation in which a character feels both hot and cold, but the effect is pleasant. Incorporate at least 5 words from Sex in Siberia if you would like to.
Sex in Siberia
My imaginary man lives in Siberia. We touch down on each other like helicopters. I smile, move my mouth around him—offer a warming hut, a place to explode. When he bursts, storm clouds open.
Southern California boasts mild, featureless people. The Weather Channel’s talking heads, all botoxed and baby-fatted in their cheeks, ramble on about radical snowstorms in New York State. I paint leaves, collect Styrofoam in buckets. Driving downtown for wrapping paper, I count the fake blonds wearing two dollar Santa Claus hats.
My parents divorced and nobody yells anymore, but that is no longer important. I want a Siberian life, a Siberian husband. One whose hair changes from brown to light.
My dog seems worried, and so he and I take long walks. Sweat trickles down my back. The dog pants miserably. I promise him that someday, we’ll skate alongside a large man who loves Labs.
In December, I slump into bed early, imagine what it will be like—Siberian sex. Better than any other kind—so cold outside, so warm under the covers. I ball up socks and rub them where the man would go. We’re there, and he is teaching me how to taste snow.