Posts by Kevin M. Flanagan

Writer, Performer, Musician

Of First Drafts

I’ve been writing a novel since February- it’s a fantasy novel, relatively harmless. I’m about 80k words in, which is honestoy the best I’ve ever done at writing a full length piece.

It’s strange to not be struggling or pulling my hair out writig a novel. My previous two attempts lay neatly stacked in the masoleum of my walk-in closet, printed and incomplete, unborn. It is refreshing to be bringing something to term. It is hardly the great american novel, but I feel good about where it is- other than a scene or two that needs some rewriting, the rough draft is coming along swimmingly.

Its also focused my efforts- I write less flash and short work and stay nose to the grindstone on the novel. It means less posts, less submissions, but it feels more challenging and less thwarting.

Anyway, that’s where I am at. If anyone was interested in notes and thoughts from me as I write my first novel, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll likely be posting the first teasers in the coming months as I reach first draft.

Back into Submissions

The thing I’m the worst at as a writer is maintaining a productive write-now-submit schedule.  I write and write and never think to send out pieces that have received rejection notices.

I’m trying out a spreadsheet for tracking everything, including when and where I submitted it and if it received a rejection, etc. That way, I don’t accidentally re-submit a story to a lit mag (been there) or forget where I actually submitted to (been there).

Hopefully, it will help. It’s less fun than writing, but it’s probably the only way I can stay productive with getting my work out there.

What sort of techniques or tools do you use to keep your work circulating?


Einherjer, a short story I wrote for the Exposition Review, was published this week as a result of me placing second in their Flash 405 contests, “Magic and Myths.” Take a moment and check it out!

The editor called it “Powerful and poignant,” said that my use of the limited word count was “surprising yet seamless, transforming an epic, high-fantasy tale into a gentle, wistful lullaby.”

If you’re visiting my site from Exposition Review, thanks for reading!


Tiny Update

I just learned about 30 minutes ago that a very short story I recently wrote (a bit of mythic realism) won second place in a contest. It’ll be published on the website soon and I’m even getting some money. Who says you can’t make a living writing about Valkyries?

I’ll announce the contest and the website once they do. Thanks for reading.

A Mountain is Easy to Love

A mountain is easy
to love in the spring.
The wildflowers blossom,
the rivers rush and heave.
Cool evenings under blankets
begged by wide open skies,
the landscape of dusk
with wild yellow eyes.

A mountain is easy
to love in the spring.
Yet warm afternoons
soon spread summer wings.
But summer’s spawn of spring
and so still easy to remain
in repose on the mountain
with tents to slake the rains.

A mountain is easy
to love in the spring.
Till the songbirds cease singing
and autumn takes the leaves.
Tents and blankets both are lost
For a mountain sometimes steals.

A mountain is easy
to love in the spring.
But winter comes to roost
and snow settles in.
It grows moody and cold,
but the mountain is keen.
The mountain is honest-
and shares everything.

A mountain is easy
to love in the spring.
So if a mountain suits you
build a cabin neath her eaves.
But if the thought of winter scares,
stick to valleys, narrow streams
For there’s only so few places
for those with mountain dreams.


I know I put a great burden on you
To stay when the dark night took me
When laughters fire turned to ash
Swept by cold winds between my teeth

When the summer left my spirit
And cruel autumns did descend
You tended new moon embers
To light a future starlit spring

I know I put a great burden on you
To swim through treacherous seas
When the tanker of my anger
Might spill its oil over me

You captained the boat so often
midnight storms and starless skies
My love could be a sextant
Or blind my navigators eyes

I learned what toll this forge extracts
In being loved by you
It is the dark place within a bell
That causes it to ring so true.

Naturalis Familia Memoriae

Our Winter settles in,
rests on stone park benches
In warm cups of coffee
breathing steam into the night
Our Autumn has gone
the last fires left glowing
as the coals turn cold
on another sunset Samhain

Adolescent Summer’s shrug
lumbers past winter’s chill
remembering, and waiting
for the sun again to crest the hills
Little Spring is being sheered
of mushrooms, fallen trees
wrapped in turtlenecks of
moss and snow, asleep

How many more family portraits can we take?
Before little spring will always be summer,
and our Winter & Autumn, uncared for
will fade to outdoor memories.
When they no longer rear their heads,
and we will tell our children
“This is what your family was
but your family is now dead.”

Why no Updates?

Hey! Why aren’t there any updates from the last three years? you cry, having come to my website looking for brilliance.

In part, because most of my short fiction and whatnot is in the lengthy and heart-wrenching world of S U B M I S S I O N to various magazines and publications. Since the turn around is often 6+ months, time flies waiting for a rejection letter, which I have received several of. That explains the time gap.

Meanwhile, I’ll post some poetry or flash fiction at some point soon here, especially after I get my next rejection letter am feeling pissed about it. Afterall, that’s why I created this website.