New Short Story: Bad Air and Bitter Herbs

Sometime in late April, I fell down a rabbit hole of links learning about the history of the plague in Europe. It was a dark impulse in the middle of a modern-day pandemic, but I became fascinated by the plague doctor costume, a head-to-toe covering designed to protect the physician from infected patients. Through myContinue reading “New Short Story: Bad Air and Bitter Herbs”

The Magic of Deadlines

I have heard rumors in my travels of creative people who are entirely self-motivated. They get up early, awakened by an innate drive to create, go to their computers, ignore Facebook and Google, and complete their work in a timely manner with no exterior motivator. I am not one of those people. I’m not evenContinue reading “The Magic of Deadlines”

No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me

“Writers are liars, my dear, surely you know that by now? And yet, things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.” – Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Last year, I read a short story of mine at CreativeContinue reading “No-Good, Rotten Liars Like Me”

Literary Anxiety

My year is off to a running start (creatively, at least). The end of January is busy for most writers of short prose, including me. A lot of literary journal reading periods and contests close around this time, turning the last week of January into a flurry of submissions. I’ve learned a lot about theContinue reading “Literary Anxiety”

New Short Story: “The Cannibals of Kitsap”

My newest short story, “The Cannibals of Kitsap,” was just published in this week’s Creative Colloquy. It has everything you could ever want — fourth grade intrigue, food that isn’t what it appears to be, and of course, cannibalism in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t want to give too much away, but I do wantContinue reading “New Short Story: “The Cannibals of Kitsap””

Why We Need More Women and Minority Protagonists

Modern fiction has a problem: The vast majority of protagonists in novels and short fiction are men and most of those fictional dudes are white. It’s a problem that’s been bothering me for a while. Fiction is meant to be a mirror held up to our world, but for too many people, that mirror doesn’tContinue reading “Why We Need More Women and Minority Protagonists”

Wrong Neighborhood

He pedaled down the alley. Alone. In the dark of night. A bag of groceries hung from one handlebar. Mostly crackers, jerky, eggs, a bottle of cheap bourbon. Music pumped through his headphones like water to a boiler. The sky above was a wash of pink-tinged clouds laden with snow. A few icy flakes drifted downContinue reading “Wrong Neighborhood”

Base Camp

I hit a milestone today. This morning, while pounding out the novel I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month, my word count surpassed 15,700 words. In terms of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m tracking way behind where I should be. But this point is an auspicious one for me. In four years ofContinue reading “Base Camp”

How It’s Made

“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” – John Godfrey Saxe We are on the eve of a hallowed time in the writer’s calendar. At the stroke of midnight on November 1, thousands of people around the world will start the long and arduous process ofContinue reading “How It’s Made”

Writing Is The Best Therapy

I haven’t written a word since before Labor Day. It’s been more than four weeks since I’ve made the time to create amid the chaos of wedding planning, learning a new job and moving into a new house. For a writer to go a prolonged period without writing is like an athlete not training forContinue reading “Writing Is The Best Therapy”