Personal, Publications, Short Stories, Writing

“Cold Bluff” To Be Published in Slippery Elm Literary Journal

Some stories take longer than others to find a home. In the case of my short story, “Cold Bluff,” it took almost two years of consistently sending it out for it to be picked up by Slippery Elm Literary Journal. I’m so stoked that this story is going to be featured in such a fantastic publication! A friend had their story published in Slippery Elm last year and it was such an amazing piece, I can’t to see what else had been picked up for the 2021 publication. I know it’s going to be an incredible issue!

About Cold Bluff

When a lone white horse shows up on his property, old Will Ritter finds himself caught up in a mystery that hits close to home and forces him to confront the strained relationship he has with his daughter.

I’ll share more details about when the story will be available and how you can get a copy once I know!

Anthology, Fiction, Personal, Short Stories, Writing

“The Pirate Prince of the Barbary Coast” Finds a Home in a New Anthology, Particular Passages

Hot on the heels of the news about Hold Your Fire anthology release, I have another short story coming out later this month! My story, “The Pirate Prince of the Barbary Coast” will be included in the Particular Passages anthology.

About the Particular Passages:

Down a forgotten hallway lie rooms no one has entered. Each room contains a world waiting to be explored. Some beautiful and full of wonder, other dark and full of terrors. You won’t know which until you step inside.

So take a deep breath, and open the door…

My historical fantasy is set at the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco and features a thief on a quest to steal a golden egg that is rumored to have belonged to Hawaii’s Queen Liliʻuokalani. But he’ll discover the egg is more valuable than he could have ever imagined…

I’m excited to share this story with you later this month when the anthology comes out! It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, though it certainly took a while to find a home for it. However, I could not be more grateful and stoked that this is where it ended up. Special thanks to James Sams for doing all the heavy lifting on this and putting it together!

Other authors with phenomenal stories in this anthology include:

Elmdea Adams, Jen Bair, David Boop, J.T. Evans, Todd Fahnestock, Arlen Feldman, Jessica Guernsey, Sam Knight, Chris Mandeville, Kim May, John D. Payne, Wayland Smith, Stephannie Tallent, and Marie Whittaker.

If you’d like to pre-order your copy of Particular Passages, click here.

Personal, Short Stories, Writing

Hold Your Fire Anthology News!

I blinked and somehow it’s Christmas. Christmas in the weirdest of all years, but Christmas just the same.

I also blinked and it’s been over a month since I updated my blog and I have a couple things to share! Well, more than a couple things, but we’ll see how many posts I get to over the next few weeks.

Starting first with the most important! Some time back I announced I will have two stories in an anthology coming out next year, Hold Your Fire. Recently, there were two pieces of good news for the anthology I am extremely belated in sharing with you all.

The first is that Hold Your Fire was reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which is super cool! You can check out their review here. As the review says, “Readers looking for short bursts of inspiration will be pleased.”

Hold Your Fire also received an advanced review from Kaye Lynn Booth at Writing to be Read. She mentioned one of my stories, “White Feather” in her post! You can read her review here.

Hold Your Fire will feature my stories “White Feather” and “Hyde Park.” The latter also appeared in Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem which came out this summer. Hold Your Fire is a charity anthology to benefit scholarships for Superstars Writing Seminars. The next seminar will be held in 2022.

Anthology, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Personal, Publications, Sci-Fi, Short Stories, Writing

Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem Out Today!

Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem is officially available today! This anthology features 23 new stories celebrating monsters and the movies. I’m honored to have my story, “Hyde Park” included in the stellar lineup. Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and published by WordFire Press, this is an awesome anthology you won’t want to miss. Available in paperback and ebook.

Click here to buy it now!

Lights! Camera! Monsters?

Sometimes you go to the movies. And sometimes, the movies—and their monsters—come to you. At any moment, without notice, monsters once relegated to the screen become a reality. Aliens and demons, dragons and ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and seemingly ordinary people who are just plain evil.

Join award-winning authors Jonathan Maberry, Fran Wilde, David Gerrold, Rick Wilber and others for 23 all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors. Each story takes you to the silver screen with monstrous results. 

Funny or grim, unsettling or cozy… You’ll laugh! You’ll sigh! You’ll scream!

Grab popcorn—and good running shoes—and enjoy the show.

Featuring stories from: Jonathan Maberry, Rick Wilber, Brendan Mallory, Ryan F. Healey, Hailey Piper, Julie Frost,  Karina Fabian, Charles Maclay, Jesse Sprague, Kevin Pettway, Luciano Marano, Linda Adams, Cindy Hung, David Boop, Phyllis Irene Radford, Andrew Hearn, B.D. Prince, David Gerrold, Ben Monroe, Shannon Fox, Steve Rasnic Tem, Fran Wilde, and Sam Knight

Anthology, Fiction, Publications, Short Stories, Writing

Writing Update: 2 Short Stories Find a Home and Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem Available for Pre-Order!

It’s a good day to share a little writing news!

Over the weekend I learned that two of my short stories, “White Feather” and “Hyde Park” will be published in the next Superstars Writing Seminars anthology, Hold Your Fire! “Hyde Park” will actually be a reprint as it will first appear in the Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem Anthology which is coming out later this summer! “White Feather” is a new contemporary fiction story about a woman grappling with the loss of her best friend.

Hold Your Fire is an anthology of stories celebrating the creative spark and I am incredibly excited to have two stories in the new anthology. No publication date has been announced yet for Hold Your Fire, but all proceeds from the sale of the anthology will go to benefit the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship will allows aspiring writers to attend the annual Superstars Writing Seminars in Colorado Springs.

Hold Your Fire will also feature stories from Kevin J. Anderson, Mary Stormy Pletsch, Brian Corley, Kristen Bickerstaff, CJ Erick, Wayland Smith, Kat Kellermeyer, Alicia Cay, October Kaai Santerelli, Tanya Hales, Raphyel M. Jordan, Mike Jack Stoumbos, Jace Killan, Kitty Sarkozy, M Elizabeth Ticknor and Rebecca Treasure Schibler, and Mel Koons.

And…..if all that wasn’t exciting enough, I just got my author copy of Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem in the mail today AND I found out it’s available for pre-order now on Amazon!

Click here to order your copy!

Anthology, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Personal, Publications, Reviews, Short Stories, Writing

Cursed Collectibles: An Anthology is Available Now

It’s officially Spooktober and what better way to celebrate than with a new collection of spooky stories?!

Cursed Collectibles is officially available through Amazon! The Kindle version is available now, with print and audiobook versions to come in the next couple weeks.

Click here to purchase Cursed Collectibles: An Anthology for Kindle 

Cursed-Collectibles-Anthology-Shannon-Fox-The-Garden-Party2

Spend an afternoon antiquing and it’s not hard to figure out why picking has become one of America’s fondest pastimes. It’s treasure hunting while connecting with history. But what if those treasures hunt us back?

From old books, to vinyl records, antique mirrors, vintage figurines, or a Bob’s Big Boy piggy bank, curses have no limits.

Featuring stories from D.J. Butler, Joy Auburn, Martin L. Shoemaker, Jessica Guernsey, John D. Payne, Jen Bair, Karen Pellett, Steve Ruskin, Tanya Hales, Lauren Lang, Frank Morin, Mike Jack Stoumbous, Kelly Lynn Colby, Jace Killan, Jo Schneider, Gama Ray Martinez, Martin Greening, Chris Abela, A.J. Mayall, Heidi A. Wilde, Shannon Fox, Lauryn Christopher, and Mark Leslie.

Edited by Angela Eschler

Cover art by Novae Caelum

And audiobook narrated by Shaun Smith and Hillary Andrus Straga

All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to benefit the Don Hodge Scholarship fund. This scholarship helps aspiring authors attend Superstars Writing Seminars. Click here to learn more about the scholarship.

 

Fiction, Short Stories

The Shell Collector

The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr

The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr’s acclaimed debut collection take readers from the African coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties-metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts-and conjures nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of his characters contend with tremendous hardship; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the mysteries of the universe outside themselves.

When I read All the Light We Cannot See, the writing quickly captivated me, wound its way into my heart, and didn’t let me go. Though I have yet to reread it, it remains one of my favorite novels and one I recommend over and over. You can read my original review here.

I was at the bookstore when my eyes fell on this beautiful cover. Only after I picked it up did I realize it was a book by Anthony Doerr.

I’ve been reading very slowly lately, hardly finishing anything. Just a season of life I guess.

So a collection of short stories seemed like a good idea. Like I might actually be able to finish one of them.

And finish one of them I did. I finished all the stories in The Shell Collector. And they each were as exquisitely lovely as All the Light We Cannot See. Each one a masterpiece of words and images and feeling. Each one a tantalizing mix of raw human stories and the incalculable beauty of the natural world. Breathtaking.

Though each story is unique in its own way, my very favorite story was the last one, “Mkondo”. Just a beautiful, moving story and the perfect choice to close such a fantastic short story collection. Other stories that stood out to me were “The Shell Collector” and “The Hunter’s Wife”.

If you’re looking for a new collection of short stories to enjoy, this is it!

Personal, Short Stories, Writing

Writing Updates: Shadow of the Magician and More

That’s a pretty cool sight, right?

As a writer, having all those words you’ve written in book format is really just an indescribable feeling. I can’t even accurately tell you what that feels like except damn good.

In May I finished the most recent draft of Shadow of the Magician. I’m really excited about where it’s finally gotten to and feel this is about the absolute best I can do with it, so it’s time to stop picking at it and start moving it forward.

It’s been heavily workshopped over the last year and change by my writing group and now I’m moving to the beta reader stage. As most of the readers in my beta group are 40+, I decided they probably didn’t want to read almost a 100,000 word book in PDF format. Plus one of my writing friends turned me on to the fact that yes, you CAN print on demand small runs of books for not very much money. I ordered from Lulu’s and ended up getting the books for about $10 a piece. I think the quality of the books turned out great, considering I’m entirely an amateur in terms of formatting books and making a cover. That wasn’t really my goal though, to create a copy that would be for sale. I just wanted something that would make it so much easier for my beta readers to read and (hopefully) enjoy.

There are now ten of these review copies in the world. Maybe they’ll be worth something someday. At the very least, it’s worth something to me. To other writers, I highly recommend doing this to your work…I think going forward I’ll create at least a few copies of every book I finish. If your goal is to publish traditional and you don’t sell it, man the satisfaction of having that thing for yourself is so, so good. Like I could get addicted to it.

My goal with this book is to hopefully publish it traditionally. So the next step after the beta read is to review their feedback, fix it, and then begin the process of submitting to agents.

I’m crossing my fingers that I can finish the next round of edits in a timely fashion, get my materials together, and start submitting to agents this fall before they shut down over the holidays. We’ll see if my work schedule actually allows for that. But I am trying to restructure and reorganize to inject better balance in my life because what I’ve been doing, it ain’t workin’ for me and it needs to change in a big way.

Along with finishing this draft of Shadow, I also wrote and submitted a short story to an anthology. Really crossing my fingers it makes it in. That short story takes place slightly after the events of Shadow (though it features different characters) and will serve as a bridge into a future book in the same world (or maybe two). I haven’t started trying to plot any future stories yet. I have two ideas and I feel I could do them both or just do one if I don’t feel I have enough meat for the both of them. But I need to do a lot more reading and research to start developing those ideas to see if they amount to anything.

If you’ve seen me any time in the last two months, you’re probably floored that I actually managed to do this much on the writing front. But wait! There’s more…

I wrote a flash fiction story in the fall, something completely different, and had a grand idea to maybe start serially publishing more stories in that world on this blog. For all that this has been my personal book and writing corner for the last eight years (!!!), there’s a distinct lack of my own writing on here for general consumption which I think is kind of a problem. So I started outlining a longer short story or maybe a novella I could serially publish on here….but then it quickly started to feel like that story was going to be another book. Or maybe more than one book. In any case, I ended up finishing an outline for whatever that work ultimately decides to be when I dig into it. So I got that done too!

I also have a draft of another book I had written a few years ago, before I decided I wanted to dig in and finish Shadow. I still really, really like that story and that world and I want to go back to it. It’ll probably need a total rewrite because it’s been three years (or maybe four?) and the opinion of pretty much everyone who saw my writing in 2018 and 2019, is that along with everything else going on in my life, I made really big strides forward in my writing abilities. Yay for that, but it means any of these other projects I have from the past that I might want to pick up again need to be revamped. Le sigh.

My group has really encouraged me to start something new though and not get stuck trying to improve something old. I think they’re right because it was really, really hard and discouraging at times for me to work through everything I needed to do with Shadow. Sometimes I felt like giving up on writing entirely. But as I said, I still really like the draft story I have even though I wonder that with our current climate of political correctness and sensitivity readers, whether I should even be trying to tell that story.

What I do know is that I’m not going to start another book right away. I want to write a few short stories set before the beginning of Shadow and I should work on the query letter and crafting some synopses of different lengths for Shadow while I wait on the feedback from beta readers. I also have a few more small fact-checking related items to look into which will require some emails to different people.

 

Anthology, Fiction, Reviews, Short Stories

One Horn to Rule Them All

One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology

Unicorns, with their single ivory horn, are elusive and magical creatures of myth. Yet even more elusive are the purple unicorns. First sighted at the Superstars Writing Seminar, their legend has grown year after year until it could only be contained in this anthology. Nineteen storytellers, including Peter S. Beagle, Todd McCaffrey, and Jody Lynn Nye, as well as new and rising authors, invite us into worlds both near and far, across a desert oasis, a pet shop, a Comic-Con exhibition floor, and more, and show us the many variations of purple unicorns, from the imaginary to the actual—and one very memorable half-unicorn, half-potato. One Horn to Rule Them All is an unforgettable collection of imagination and creativity. So, saddle up, and take a ride beyond the rainbow. 

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I didn’t mean to start reading another anthology so soon on the heels of Undercurrents. But while taking care of my neighbors’ cat, I found myself having to wait for the cat to come out from behind the bookshelf. Picked up one of their books to pass the time and wanted to choose something I actually owned…because you know, it would have been too much work to walk back across the street and get my own book.

Anyway.

Purple unicorns it is!

If you follow me on social media, you know I kind of have a thing for unicorns. And kind of absolutely love that unicorns are a hot trend right now. Which makes One Horn to Rule Them All an anthology that was years ahead of its time.

Overall, I really liked this anthology and not just because of the unicorns. I thought all of the stories inside were great in their own way and there were a couple that got me interested enough to look up the authors to see what else, if anything, they had written that I could buy. There were also some very, very imaginative stories in this mix which was neat. I liked the stories in Undercurrents, but I felt like there were some genuinely wacky concepts that worked amazing well in One Horn to Rule Them All.

As another fun treat, my friend (and neighbor) has a story in this anthology that she’s been expanding on…and we got to read it in writer’s group over the summer!

Fiction, Mythology, Short Stories

African Folktales

By Roger D. Abrahams

Nearly 100 stories from over 40 tribe-related myths of creation, tales of epic deeds, ghost stories and tales set in both the animal and human realms.

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My goodness this was a long, hard slog!

This was my second attempt at reading more mythology, fairy tales, and folk tales in my effort to increase my awareness of storytelling archetypes. I started with Native American stories and enjoyed that far more than the African ones.

It could be that, having grown up in a Western Plains State, the Native American story-telling structure was already part of upbringing. I didn’t feel like it was, but I just had such an easier time following and digesting what I was reading.

I have been picking away at this book for over six months. And it was pretty painful.

I think I had two problems with the African folktales: 1) the names and 2) the names of animals or things that I had no idea what they were.

Many of these African folktales including a song component and our a repetitive structure, similar to nursery stories like Goldilocks and The Three Bears or The Three Little Pigs. And whenever that would happen, I would find myself trying to skim the story and then getting confused.