Posts by editors

Behind the Words: AJ Kirby

Posted by on May 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: AJ Kirby

A. J. Kirby is the award-winning published author of several novels – including most recently the crime-thriller The Lost Boys of Prometheus City – and over 100 short stories. He is also a sports writer, with four best-selling titles under his belt, and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. Here, we discuss his piece in Issue 3 of Spry, “The Siege.” Cathy Ulrich: “The Siege” is such a tense, understated piece. The hints of destruction outside the restaurant really up the intensity — both for the reader and the characters. What was your impetus for writing this piece? AJ Kirby: I’d wanted to write a story based on the chaos of the riots which...

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Behind the Words: Neil Carpathios

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Neil Carpathios

Neil Carpathios’ poem “Intro to Boredom 101” from Spry’s Issue #4 takes on a poet’s worst nightmare – boring people. He explores how folks become boring in the first place, and how it spreads like a plague. Neil’s poem does this in a neat way, blending humor with fantastic imagery that is anything but a lesson in boredom. Katie Eber: I love poems that start out with a good, witty setup, and I think “Intro to Boredom 101” does that really well. It stays grounded, though, in its delight of visual detail. How did you keep the funny of this poem from boiling over and taking over the whole thing? Neil Carpathios: Really, the “funny” is mainly...

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ABCs of Flash Writing: The Conclusion

Posted by on May 14, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ABCs of Flash Writing: The Conclusion

I marveled at the words. The sentences brevity and richness. “As she picked it (a wild pink rose) to add to her bundle she noticed a raised mound, a ring, around the rose’s root” as told in “The Flowers” by Alice Walker. Ms. Walker puts me in that moment so that I am Myop, the girl who wanders away from her family’s “hen house to pigpen to smokehouse” to pick flowers in neighboring fields. I am the girl who “made her own path, bouncing this way and that way, vaguely keeping an eye out for snakes.” Until Myop “steps smack into his eyes.” A skeleton. A man hung long before Myop had an inkling to wander so far from her home. The body long dead as...

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ABCs of Flash Writing: Z is for Zero Structure

Posted by on May 13, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ABCs of Flash Writing: Z is for Zero Structure

The first and only time I fired a gun was in my mosquito-ridden swamp of a backyard that is referred to by out-of-towners as the Meadowlands. A childhood friend of mine who, unlike me, had spent his childhood summers hunting everything from rabbits to deer, brought a few of us out to an abandoned nature preserve near our houses. He also brought along a Browning AB3 bolt-action rifle. I remember two things about that day – guns are loud, and, if anyone asks, I certainly didn’t put a hole in one of the water treatment plants across the river. From the earliest days of our writing lives, we are taught that stories must have three things: a beginning, a middle, and an...

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ABCs of Flash Writing: Y is for You

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ABCs of Flash Writing: Y is for You

Y is for You Long before you started writing, you read Mary McCarthy’s semi-autobiographical collection, The Company She Keeps. One story, “The Genial Host,” blew you away, stuck with you. It was written in the second person, with “you” standing in for the authorial “I.” How did she pull it off, you wondered. Years later a personal essay you were writing just wasn’t coming together. An old boyfriend, a night at the symphony, the death of the relationship. You wanted it short and punchy, to capture the mood of the moment. Discarding the predictable first person, you tried third person—yourself as “she,” but that didn’t work either. Then you hit on...

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