We’ve arrived at December~
What’s meaningful for you this month?

     That wonderful month that means extra joy and/or extra angst depending on how you feel about it and what’s meaningful for you.  For some people it’s packed with excitement and the joy of connecting with family and friends.  For others it can amplify feelings of loss or disconnection.  And THIS year, this COVID year, we are all likely feeling more losses and separation than usual.  Trying to celebrate and share time with people we care about while staying safe and stemming the tide of the virus.  It’s a big challenge.

So in this time of disconnection – what becomes meaningful for us?  Emily Esfahani Smith in The Power of Meaning considers 4 pillars of meaning for our lives.

1st Pillar- Belonging
This is what Smith lists as the first pillar of meaning – having a sense of belonging.  This could include belonging to your birth family or perhaps your “chosen” family.  It may be connected to a place you live or a circle of friends where you feel a sense of belonging. It could be a spiritual community or a group that holds a shared interest in music or arts or another interest you have in common.

Finding Your Tribe
People who enjoy the same activities that you do can create a wonderful sense of community and belonging.  One thing that has helped me immensely during this time of increased isolation is being connected with people in online writing groups.  We share a love of words, we can risk putting ourselves out there in the safe and confidential space of an small group of writers.  Sharing our thoughts and feelings or the thoughts, feelings and actions of our “characters” as stories come to life on the page deepens our connection.  Watching our lives or our characters’ lives scrolling out across the page and having those words find an appreciative audience is such a joy!

FREE ONLINE writing session Thursday!
You are welcome to join this writing community.  I’m hosting a FREE ONLINE writing session on Dec. 10 from 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST and inviting you to join us.  We’ll write to prompts I provide, share our fresh writing if we want to and get feedback on what’s strong and memorable.  It’s really fun and I find it makes me want to write more!  We all have a unique voice – come and share yours!
Click here to register for the free session.

I look forward to writing with you!
Send me a note at carol.tealart@gmail.com about what’s meaningful for you at this time.
I’d love to hear from you.

My Muse’s News!

I’m excited to tell you I’ve been accepted to the Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program at Lindenwood University starting in January.  I’ll be able to take all my courses online and look forward to a deep dive into fiction, nonfiction and poetry and sharing what I’m learning with you!


Send Out Your Work!

Do you enjoy writing short fiction? 
Upcoming Competions and places to submit:
Flash Fiction:
Try this FREE Flash Fiction story course:
Then submit to Flash Fiction magazine!

Flash Fiction Magazine
What do we accept?

  • We accept fiction stories between 300–1000 words.
  • Read Flash Fiction Magazine books to see what stories we have previously paid for.
  • No previously published work. Google does not like duplicate content. Please don’t publish your story anywhere else on the web, including your own website.
  • See more guidelines on the website

How often can I submit?

You are allowed to submit once a month.


53-Word Story Contest

It’s free, it’s fun, and the winner gets published in Prime Number Magazine and receives a free book from Press 53. Be sure to subscribe to our email updates for free. You’ll receive an email on the first day of each month with our winning story and the prompt for our next contest.

Open to writers around the world who write in English


Open for entries the first day of each month

Deadline for entries is the 15th day of each month
(due to the number of stories we are receiving each month, we need more time to read!)

Winner will be announced on the first day of each month along with our new prompt

Email your 53-word story to 53wordstory@gmail.com

SmokeLong Quarterly

SmokeLong publishes flash narratives up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry.

Include a print-ready, third-person bio with your cover letter. We prefer a simple cover letter.

Please include no identifying information on your story’s document. Guest Editors read blind and have no access to bios.

Please send ONE previously unpublished piece at a time and wait until you hear our decision before sending another.

Please allow us up to four weeks to inform you if we have accepted  your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please inform us immediately if your work has been accepted somewhere else for publication.

We pay $50/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.  

If you choose to make a donation to SmokeLong using the tip jar feature, thank you so much! Your contribution will help the journal remain a paying market. While it will not influence our decision regarding your submission, it will influence our love for you. We also offer readers the possibility of donating to SmokeLong on the website (at the end of every story).