Anthology Releases

While I was out wandering the world for the last couple of weeks, three exciting collections were released.

1. Evil Girlfriend Media’s Witches, Stitches, & Bitches was released last Friday (the 13th) and is now available in ebook and paperback editions. Congrats to everyone involved. I recommend reading the WS&B story “No Substitute” by Caren Gussoff — one of my favorite writers around. It was so much fun to promote “For Want of a Unicorn” with EGM. From videos to memes, they pulled out all the stops. Though my contribution is far lighter than most, I’m so glad they found my stitching heroine a good fit for the anthology. I can’t wait to finish the rest of the stories.

2. I already mentioned Song Stories: Blaze of Glory’s publication from Song Story Press. It is now also available in ebook and paperback.

3. Finally, Loyal Stone Press’s Surrender the Sasquatch and No One Gets Hurt is available in both electronic and dead tree editions. This issue of Prospective: A Journal of Speculation includes my story, “Home, Again” about small towns and that which hides in plain sight.

I  hope you’ll enjoy some or all of these fantastic collections. Working with these small presses has definitely been one of the highlights of 2013. xo


I admire people who set goals. I am not one of them. I prefer nebulous targets over clear deadlines and have mercifully gotten by with that for most of my life. That all changed, though, when I began writing full time. Part of that is because I felt I needed to be accountable to those who were supporting me. The first year threw me some curve balls and yet I was able to attend workshops and take classes and hit more than a few publishing milestones. Last fall I declared that 2013 was to be the year where I won something (I did!) and found my way into at least one anthology (it appears that the 2013 count will be 3).

Earlier this week, Song Story Press’ Song Stories: Blaze of Glory was released in paperback and for the Kindle. I’m enjoying the process as a contributor and am looking forward to the arrival of a shiny paperback version this afternoon to enjoy as a reader. It’s a big milestone for me, even though the year has already been rewarding and eventful. I hope you enjoy the anthology as much as I do. xo

The Story of a Story

I’m one of those people who thinks that, sometimes, the birth of a story is almost as interesting as the story itself. That said, I try not to indulge in the practice to much without prompting. But today I want to talk about the birth of “Kilby,” which came out this week for the Humor prompt at Infective Ink.

I started this story at a Clarion West one day workshop last October with the incredible Stephen Graham Jones. The thing was, after reading his Growing Up Dead In Texas, I didn’t expect the class to be particularly cheerful.  I’ve been to a fair number of writing classes in my 36 years and I’ve never been to anything quite like it. The combination of joyous energy, personalities hungry to teach and learn, and immediate growth was magical. It isn’t often that a person can leave a 6 hour class and feel like going home and writing some more. A lot of us stayed in touch after that class, too, and have supported one another since.

Life got complicated soon after. I lost my grandfather and attended a workshop that brought my confidence in my genre writing to subterranean levels. I laid the story aside. For a long time. I picked it up again seven or 8 months later, determined to finish it. My writing group loved it and encouraged me to smooth the rough parts and forge ahead. It felt good to finish — like I had come out of that dark place and had something funny to show for it.

I started “Kilby” on its way through the bumpy journey of submissions. Light humor — silliness, in particular — is harder to place than other sorts of fiction and so I knew this particular piece would require patience. That is, until I submitted it to a market who accused the piece of being casually sexist.

Those are fightin’ words for me. Though there was a time in my life when I was a fairly ignorant feminist (and therefore not a very good one), there was no basis for that accusation in the story. “Kilby” is the story of a young girl who perceives her worth and destiny as a part of a couple. Through her maturation, she realizes she maybe never wanted that at all. That is progression. That she at one point wanted a relationship that was unhealthy does not make me sexist. I know because I modeled “Kilby” after my own behavior as a teen. Growing up in a small town, I was boy crazy and thought that the approval of one of those men was what was going to make me special. That romantic love would validate who I was. I was wrong, of course, and I grew out of it. I realized at 24 that, partner or not, I was going to live the life I wanted to that would fulfill me. I happened to meet a partner after that, but our relationship succeeded because we wanted the same things, not because we changed ourselves to be what the other wanted.

“Kilby” is a lot of our stories. Some of us — perhaps all of us — are flawed heroines. If the impetus to write is to see ourselves in literature, then this is a story close to my heart. I’m better for writing this story and I hope others will see it that way, too. My heroine saves the day. I can’t think of anything much stronger than that. xo