Weird and Wonderful Flash: Hermeneutic Chaos Journal

20 Mar

It’s Market Monday and I’m advocating Chaos.

Last week Hermeneutic Chaos Journal published its March issue, and I’m lucky enough to be included. I discovered HCJ in one of the Best Small Fictions collections, and immediately fell in love with their voice. I have only twice read stories at a magazine and concluded that my work is an obvious match—the first time with the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, then with HCJ. In both cases I thought of a particular story immediately that might be right for the magazine, and in both cases the editor said yes to that submission within two days. Lightning should strike only once, really, so I now must accept that this particular brand of serendipity will never happen for me again, which makes my publication at HCJ especially sweet. Would you like to join me, there?

Do I like what they publish? Very much indeed. I’ve already highlighted a story from HCJ on a Fiction Friday, and I’ve got another HCJ flash I want to revel in some Fiction Friday coming in the next few months. In the meantime, here’s Sara Barač’s spare and evocative “Former Yugoslavia, Former You” from the current issue, and Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s sad, quiet “The Girl We Forgot” from Issue Sixteen.

Do they do justice to the published work? I love the art at the top of HCJ’s homepage, and each piece chosen to grace an issue page. So that—the arresting images and colors—grab me first. When I click on the link to a story, I get a soft, spacious white page with the story laid out simply, a minimalist presentation that lets the work speak for itself. As a bonus, any author who’s willing provides an audio file to accompany the story, so you can close your eyes and be read to, if you like. I’d never been asked to provide a reading of a published story before, and I enjoyed doing it. I don’t know why more online magazines don’t take advantage of what the Web allows.

Do their guidelines speak to me? They had me at this: “We admire all forms of experimental, hybrid and avant-garde literature, collaborative writings, visual and graphic outpourings – anything that literature is capable of.” That’s speaking MY language for sure, but the proof is in the reading. As it happens, I connect with, enjoy, and admire the work published here, and that’s the proof. I also appreciate being able to submit up to three pieces of prose at once (up to a total of 3K words).

So maybe invite a little literary chaos into your life and send a story or three their way? Let me know if you get published at HCJ so I can congratulate you!



6 Responses to “Weird and Wonderful Flash: Hermeneutic Chaos Journal”

  1. Sarah March 21, 2017 at 8:00 AM #

    “Where She Began” is such a fantastic piece and it was such a pleasure to hear you read it! I agree, more digital journals should feature authors reading their work.

    • Claire Guyton March 21, 2017 at 11:26 AM #

      Thank you, Sarah, you’re so sweet to say that. If you have anything weird and wonderful (it can be cnf) send it their way….

  2. suzannefarrellsmith March 21, 2017 at 4:04 PM #

    What a beautiful fit. HCJ looks for “mindscapes,” and you build them. I really love this whole deal: your piece, your audio presentation, and the world of HCJ.

    • Claire Guyton March 21, 2017 at 10:26 PM #

      I don’t now if I do, but it’s a great thought! Thanks, Suzanne.

  3. cynthia March 23, 2017 at 9:59 AM #

    You already know how much I LOVE this story and your reading of it. So I wanted to mention the highlighted, opening sentences to your blog posts. The one today is brilliant: “It’s Market Monday and I’m advocating Chaos.” And these: “It’s Market Monday! Grab your quirky, amped, oddball micros. You know, the ones that *POP*.” “Market Monday reminds me to focus, and then, when I resist, has the nerve to interfere with my angry stupor. Election Dejection, Take II.” You should tweet these every week. As far as HCJ, I also noticed how nice your story looked on that white page. Congratulations again on the publication.

    • Claire Guyton March 23, 2017 at 10:30 AM #

      Oh my goodness, you’re right! Already having worded the subtitle will make the Tweet easy (I hate formulating one of those things b/c I’m so uncomfortable with the medium). I’m the worst self-promotor on the planet. But I can get a tiny bit better…. Thank you so much for this, Cyn!

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