Category Archives: Short Stories

My story “Where There’s Smoke” soon to appear in THE HAUNTED TRAVELER

Triangle Shirtwaist elpaso-032711

I’m not sure that the true cause of the fire was ever discovered. This is interesting — and it has a direct connection to my story even though I’ve never seen this headline before I posted this–I swear!

My short story “Where There’s Smoke” will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Haunted Traveler: A Roaming Anthology. The first half of the story takes place on the premises of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which survives today on Greene Street in New York City (my brother lives near there). There is definitely a special brand of chilling silence in that area–at least for me. In fact, here’s an interesting article about the building’s current state: https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/triangle-fire-the-building-survives/?_r=0

If you’re not familiar with the tragedy,  this Cornell University website is a good place to start: http://trianglefire.ilr.cornell.edu/story/introduction.html

The Haunted Traveler publishes twice a year. You can find out more about it here. To check out past issues: Vol. 1, Issue 2; Vol. 2 Issue 1.

INK STAINS January 2018 issue update, call for subs: April, 2017

Abandoned Building Art

The last couple of months have been busy on the Ink Stains January 2018 issue. It hasn’t been easy finding pieces that ring my bell for this anthology–I’m looking for that specific something that’s intangible, really; pieces that are making a specific statement about decay that isn’t the same statement that any of the already accepted pieces have made. So far, though, I’ve been lucky! Since the last update, contracts have been signed to publish:

“The Depths,” by Elizabeth Allen

“Stikini,” by Travis D. Roberson

These will be Read the rest of this entry

MURDER AMONG FRIENDS release date announced!

murder-among-friends-cover

I’m excited to announce that the collection Murder Among Friends: Mysteries Inspired by the Life and Works of John Greenleaf Whittier–which will contain my mystery story “A Cricket in the Wall”–now has a release date of April 25, 2017.

 

I’m honored to appear with some well-known writers, some old friends, and some of Greenleaf’s contemporaries. If you love mysteries, add this to your shelf! Here’s the Table of Contents. For bios, visit here.

Edith Maxwell (Murder in the Summer Kitchen)
John Greenleaf Whittier (The Murdered Lady)
Pete Rawlik (On the Black Ice)
Victoria Weisfeld (The Flock)
Ken Faig (The Goodwife and the Bookseller)
William Cullen Bryant (The Murdered Traveller)
David Bernard (The Death Clock)
Susan Oleksiw (Miss Larcom Meets the Neighbors)
Kristi Petersen Schoonover (Cricket in the Wall)
Gregory L. Norris (Antiques)
Lucy Larcom (The Murderer’s Request)
Rock Neelly (Cane Fishing)
Celia Thaxter (A Memorable Murder)
John Greenleaf Whittier (A Mother’s Revenge)
Judi Calhoun (Exposed for Murder)
D.G. Critchley (The Skeleton on the Ski Lift)

In case you missed it, my story “Shreds of Black” appeared in Snowbound with Zombies: Tales of the Supernatural Inspired by the Life and Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, a collection of horror stories which also benefits the birthplace. You can pick that up here: http://a.co/hqRzScZ

Here’s a little spooky story I found…

ides-of-march

Just in time for the Ides of March, here’s a little real-life spooky tale I found by Howard Mittelmark, author of Age of Consent (definitely get this novel if you like ghost stories!) and How Not to Write a Novel.

I get a charge out of these real-life shorts; I think each of us has probably had something inexplicable happen to us. Stuff like this is where ghost stories come from.

Read “A Scary Halloween Story” here: https://theawl.com/a-scary-halloween-story-a0cd9034855#.xktehhcee

INK STAINS January 2018 issue shaping up!

Stove in abandoned lab

A disintegrating stove in an abandoned Geology lab in Massachusetts in 2010.

I’m happy to announce that the Table of Contents for the anthology I’m guest editing—Ink Stains January 2018—is coming together nicely!

Before exploring the submissions box, I acquired two stories by dear friends that I’d read years ago and never forgotten (both pieces were not intended for publication; they were part of theses, so fortunately for me the rights were still available!). One more—a poem, actually, which will serve as the preface—came along by default, and I have feelers out for another piece, but I won’t know if that’s going to come through for a few weeks, probably. I’ll talk about these in another post.

For now, I’d like to announce that contracts have been signed to publish Read the rest of this entry

Coming Soon: ‘A Cricket in the Wall’ in mystery collection MURDER AMONG FRIENDS!

murder-among-friends-cover

I’m thrilled to announce that my short mystery “A Cricket in the Wall” will appear in the collection Murder Among Friends: Mysteries Inspired by the Life and Works of John Greenleaf Whittier. All proceeds will benefit the 327-year-old birthplace museum, which is a favorite educational field trip destination for students of all ages in the Haverhill, MA area.

For this collection, writers were tasked with Read the rest of this entry

New release: Read “Roots” in PERNICIOUS INVADERS

This public domain illustration is from an 1886 book called Sea and Land by J.W. Buel and depicts a person being consumed by the legendary Madagascan Man-Eating Tree.

This public domain illustration is from an 1886 book called Sea and Land by J.W. Buel. It depicts a person being consumed by the legendary Madagascan Man-Eating Tree.

My short story, “Roots” is available in the anthology Pernicious Invaders from Great Old Ones Publishing!

“Roots” is inspired by the famous legend of the Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar (read more on this here — but for a really in-depth fascinating look with lots of wonderful art, read this here), and I’m not saying more than that because it’ll ruin the story. Get your copy of Pernicious Invaders here: https://amzn.com/1539140008

Pernicious Invaders Cover

 

Short Story Sunday: Volcano

Volcano Excerpt Cover

Volcano, by Yvonne Weekes

Back in 2008, this piece of creative nonfiction blew me away: it’s a heart-rending, four-page glimpse of the devastation wrought on Montserrat by the Soufriere hills in the mid-1990s; I felt her unfathomable despair as I watched her friends leave and her world turn black.

It made such an impression on me that I when I found out, eight years later, that it was an excerpt from a full-length memoir of the same title, I bought and devoured it in one day. Still, I recalled the more succinct narrative packing more punch, so I dug it up and re-read it.

The four-pager is more intense because it’s not an exact lift; it’s some of the most powerful, grief-infused paragraphs from several pages throughout the book made into a haunting piece in its own right.

I recommend reading both.

Full Memoir: Volcano, by Yvonne Weeks: https://amzn.com/184523037X

Excerpt: Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad https://amzn.com/1580051391

Literature Without…

A decade ago (I can’t believe it’s been THAT long), I was lucky enough to do the teaching practicum required for my Goddard MFA at Gibbs College in Norwalk (thanks to my friend Chris Emmerson-Pace). I taught Comp 101, which required this book which was expensive as hell (as most college textbooks are): Literature Without Borders.

Despite the book’s cost, it was the absolute cheapest thing I’d ever seen. Pages–in sections–started falling out. By Week Four of teaching, I had to use an elastic band just to hold the pages in. By the end of the semester, there wasn’t one page attached to the binding or the cover. It might as well have been a loose stack of manuscript pages.

I’d forgotten about it, but last weekend, I was looking for another book when I discovered it in the bottom of one of my many bins of books. Apparently I was annoyed, because look what I did to it.

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