Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Tally. Oh!

In a short time, another story of mine will be online, published by The Coachella Review. It is titled Black Mirrors. The story is one that I successfully took through deep revisions this summer.

Do I often do revisions? No. But I happened on a file of my stories that had been marketed but weren’t accepted. I had retired but not discarded them. I certainly had fresh eyes when I came back to these stories; it had been five or six years since some were written. In the meantime, I had gained some skills and like a good editor, I was able to see the weaknesses and strengths of my stories.

This does take objectivity. I have a tendency to fall in love with my stories as I write them. My darlings are perfect, I think, until I have time enough to detach.

This does take time. My summer, busy as it was, did have little blocks of home time that I thought would suit my revision projects. I’m willing to add that it takes confidence. I believed could make these stories publishable.

When the acceptance email came through about Black Mirrors, I checked my records. This is the eighth story of mine accepted so far in 2018. Then a week or so later, I returned to the records to answer another question. There are four revised stories of this year among those accepted. The other four were new, recently written stories. Three of those are flash fiction, something that I dabbled in this year for the first time. A decent tally, but not to rest too long, it’s Oh. Onward!

A Newfoundland garden plot - a picture from my busy summer.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Theme Explored Twice.

The Sparrow is now online.  I started this story with a character that was very resistant to ‘letting go and letting God’.  A version of this was in the marketplace but wasn’t placed.  I did get some feedback from an editor or two, always encouraging.  During a revision I decided to use Yoga elements as the armature of the story and this is the result. 
It seems I may not again write of a rural wife with a brain-injured husband, but I have written of this once before, long ago (2003).  You might be curious about that story, which surprisingly is still online.  I do remember being in love with the long title which is The Last Hurrah of Shenandoah Tait. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Sparrow

The Sparrow is my most recent short story publication.  And as the count goes it is my 40th - that's a lifetime total.  I am pleased and proud of this publication.  Link to read The Sparrow

FYI I've finished the first draft of my novel and I plan to share a few writing posts here in the immediate future.  Thanks for reading. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Novel Equals Writer Education

I finished the first draft of my novel shortly before Easter.  Writing a novel was a big leap for me and it required time and focus.  One of the first things about writing a novel that I want to share with you is this.

I began with a quote.  I do mean began, because the first thing I had to do was let my mind get used to the idea of writing a novel.  I’ve misplaced the quote but it was from a mountain climber that even mountain climbers hold in awe.  So paraphrased, as I remember the words, they are…I expanded my mind so that the unfeasible slowly became within the realm of possibilities.

Maybe I could write a novel.  I told myself that I had completed my apprenticeship in writing with the short stories I have written.  I told myself that my novel didn’t have to be ‘good’.  I told myself that each portion would be a small puzzle that I could solve.  The final expansion of my mind was to look about and see who had written novels.  If they could do it…

One of my winter visitors
So can I!  And I did.  

This is from Writing as a Sacred Path by Jill Jepson.  …about writers…”We turn every action we take, every thought we have, every moment we live, into an education about writing.”  Writing the novel was an education that I’m glad I took.  



Tuesday, January 9, 2018


My short story Afterimage has found a home.  Danforth Review is featuring this story and several others as of January 6th, 2018. The link to Afterimage will let read this rather dark short story.  I am quite proud of Afterimage because I certainly struggled to get it 'right'.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Flash Fiction Publication

It was a warmish February day last year that prompted this short piece of fiction.  Sprouting Something is the first story of mine to be published in 2018.  Check it out at Pif Magazine

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Winter Count

This short story, Winter Count, was written a number of years ago.  I had attended a gun show and ended up talking with a fellow named Rolland who was involved in the fur trade.   One thing led to another and Winter Count was the resulting story.  I put it aside.  I could not imagine that such a story would find a market.  It was, after all, old.  It had an old person, an old problem and was about an old profession.  The modern world could hardly be interested in this.  Obviously I got over my reluctance and I sent it out to a few markets including the MFA program at Converse College in South Carolina.  They loved it.  Who would have believed it?  Not me!  You can read my short story with this link.  Winter Count at South 85 Journal
Coyote on the hunt