More than a decade ago, I started writing short stories and flash fiction competitively. I adore being able to immerse myself deeply into a genre, time period, location or character -- for just a little while. To deeply research, even for the most fantastic of fiction, and then to have the freedom to go learn about something new. It's my capricious nature that draws me to short fiction, and it's the ability to constantly pursue a new tale for that day's mood that keeps it fresh. Most of all, I appreciate the careful craftsmanship of the very short story -- the opportunity to choose just the right words and to use only the number of words needed.