Bards and Sages Publishing is pleased to bring readers Walnut Street, our seventh short story collection by KJ Hannah Greenberg. Greenberg’s flair for the peculiar and eclectic shines through in this collection of over fifty flash and short fiction works featuring anthropomorphic starship pilots, angsty authors, strange neighbors, and more.
Walnut Street is available in both print and digital format. For the most current list of retailers carrying the ebook, visit our dedicated Books2Read page.
To celebrate the release of her latest book, we’re giving readers a chance to catch up on her previous collections with us. You can now get Volumes One through Five of the KJ Hannah Greenberg Short Story Collection at 50% off the list in an exclusive bundle only at Drivethrufiction. You can download the books in your choice of PDF, epub, or mobi format directly from your Drivethrufiction account.
Enjoy this short sample from Walnut Street, an oddly relateable tale of an author trying to navigate the bewildering world of social media and failing… miserably.
Fubar on Nosy-Look
Dear Nosy-Look Administrators:
I messed up and am sincerely sorry. I was told to join social media to improve my author brand even though I don’t own a smartphone or ever IM. More exactingly, I agreed to join Nosy-Look because of my moral compass—I thought I was letting my publishers down by not being present on more content sharing platforms.
My imaginary friends disagreed with my choice; they thought that I was already amply linked to them. Also, some of my make-believe buddies told me that I was an idiot for making such a Nosy-Look mess.
On balance, their insensitivity is not your problem, but mine. It’s tough, some days, to manage a mental menagerie.
Regardless, I received my comeuppance. I no longer have a Nosy-Look account. Can you tell that I’m crying? My pretend Komodo dragon is laughing.
It was hard for me to get out of my comfort zone to make a Nosy-Look page. What’s the use if, after two entire days of posting pictures, and of inviting familiars, I have nothing to show for my investment? You cut my access.
Since I’ve been shut out, I’m no longer on my way to becoming a social media queen. This situation feels really, really, harsh.
I tried to make a pretty account, where I talked about: life, the writing process, my pretend pals, and my books. All of the images that I posted were “G-rated.” However, apparently, I misunderstood about “familiars” and “fans.” Truly, social networking bewilders me.
When I started writing professionally, in 1965, at a print newspaper, my editor pulled my literal paper tablet from my hand and asked me, instead, to use a typewriter. In the late 1980s, my partner insisted I use a WYSIWYG computer rather than my trustworthy typewriter. Both times, I freaked out.
My fictitious Komodo is still laughing in the background. Can you hear him? Try to imagine what he sounds like. He’s extremely callous.
Anyway, I thought that on Nosy-Look “familiars” were invented companions or maybe avatars. I added “familiars” from all over the world to build up my readership. I guess that was stupid.
I had figured it was smart since I already had a prickle of make-believe hedgehogs and a singular, conjured Komodo dragon. I’m great with creativity and had hoped your site would be one more place to which I could apply my wonky mind.
It seems that I was wrong. I now know that I ought to have been more careful when sending out invitations. I didn’t mean any harm.
Inversely, after joining Nosy-Look, I received uncomfortable connections. Someone got in touch with me about porn. Someone else contacted me about a questionable business venture. Was I supposed to report them? Why was my account shut down, while their accounts are still operable? Even though I’m not tech savvy, I’m pretty sure it’s not rule-abiding to send out pictures of naked people or to try to lure Nosy-Look members into pyramid schemes.
I have nothing more to say. My Komodo wants to add his thoughts, but I’m not letting him anywhere near my keyboard. My imaginary hedgehogs are asleep.
I wanted to create a Nosy-Look presence. I was ignorant. I know how to write fiction, not how to rhumba on landing pages. I’m great with my inner child, but crummy with grown-up high tech. The two, apparently, don’t translate.
In fact, I was surprised to see other mild-mannered, female authors of my acquaintance, on Nosy-Look! I found them when they “adored” me or commented on the images I posted. Don’t tell my hedgehogs, but my Komodo dragon was the most popular of my referenced critters.
I also learned that some of my writing students have accounts! They directly contacted me through Nosy-Look and told me that it was about time that I joined this century. They said nothing about either my hedgehogs or my Komodo dragon, though, and, I think that they remain uninformed about those critters despite this ill-wrought social media experiment of mine, which is concerned, in the least, with my fabricated, gelatinous wildebeests.
Additionally, the publisher, who told me to create a Nosy-Look page, has a “private,” “authors only” site full of people like me. Can you imagine? I imagine lots of things, especially alien quadrupeds, but never envisioned such a social media experience.
However, now I have no access to my publisher’s “authors only” page, to my writing students, or to those other authors. My made-up hedgehogs told me that they are VERY disappointed that I can no longer interact with other writers. More to the point, they told me that they are disgruntled that you locked my account (their lives are predetermined by recorded myths.)
Is there any way I can amend this situation and start over? My internal zoo would be grateful.
At least, that porn lady and those guys with the scary business offers won’t be further bothering me. To a certain extent, I can also claim that I made an effort to use social media.
Samantha Zu, Champion of Incredible, Pretend Critters
PS: I encourage you to google me. I’m a real person. My author photos, as well as “photos” of my fabricated pets, are all over the web. What’s more, all of that art is computer-generated. If you look for me on the Internet, you’ll find links to my books, which, FYI, are for sale.
In short, it was never my intent to use Nosy-Look to phish or to engage in any other kind of evil goings-on. A scan of my driver’s license, complete with my actual headshot, per your instructions, is attached.