Blog Archives


So…how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolution(s)? Plugging away? Struggling? Or have you given up already?

Joseph Auslander’s  “A Goal for Goals” at Read Short Fiction just might put what you’re up against into perspective—or give you that “oomph” you need.

This story quite literally cracked me up when I read it, and I remember thinking I hadn’t read anything this outrageous, clever, and funny in a long time. And yet, in a very scary way, I also identified with this character—I found this piece an excellent example of how an exaggerated character in a story can absolutely work. There’s a little bit of this guy in all of us, probably, whether we want to admit it or not, and he’s one I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Check it out at


The Holidays are over, and for many of us that means heading back to work–even if it’s maybe not a job, but a routine. It’s taken me a little while to get things going again, but after having taken a break for awhile it’s also meant the ability to see things with fresh eyes.

This month at Read Short Fiction, we’ve got a great short story called The Limo Driver’s Diary by A.J. Profeta that reminds us a day at work might not always be routine. And it’s also a reminder that we often don’t think about the secret inner lives of Limo Drivers or cabbies, and yet they are the ones on the road every day, all day long, which leaves them with a great deal of time, I’m sure, to reflect on their lives, the lives of others, and the state of the world around them. That’s what appealed to me most about this story. This Limo Driver is very human, and a day on the job for him, on many occasions, means facing his own mortality, fragility, and age. I found this a very poignant reminder that this highway we’re on called life doesn’t always take us where we want to go, but where we’re supposed to go. I got chills reading this piece.

So, if you’ve got the back to work blues, I suggest you go check it out! You can read it here:

Enjoy, and hope your 2011 brings you safe travels!


Cynthia Wilson at the Cliffwalk, Newport, RI, July 2010. Photo by Melissa Martin Ellis, whom she couldn't wait to meet. The pair hit it off right away.


A very good friend of mine, Cynthia Wilson—who wrote under the name C.L. Ross—passed away suddenly on Friday, December 10, 2010. I know that many of you on this list knew her or were familiar with her work.

Cynthia was working on a paranormal thriller series called The Llewellyn Legacy which was set in Ireland, a country she loved very much. She was thrilled to be returning to Ireland this coming February to complete the draft, and while there, she was going to be doing some paranormal investigating with her friends Mick Doyle and Ruth Deery of the Killarney Paranormal Society, of which she was a member.

She had, in the past year, built a website and invited several people to contribute to her blog on paranormal topics ranging from witchcraft to druidism to ghost stories. She was a proud member of the online pagan community WitchVox, for which she wrote many articles over the years; in addition, she had some of her short stories published in magazines and was actively working on polishing others to submit. And she had just recently discovered Twitter and was having a ball with it.

She held an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, which she had been awarded in January, 2010. Goddard is where Cynthia and I met. And we helped throw the best damn graduation party for the graduating class of January 2009 EVER…I’ll never forget us trekking all over Barre, Vermont to shop in the middle of the most brutal snow. It was me (a New Englander) and Julia (a Chicagoite)—but Cynthia the Southerner was driving the truck. Hilarious.

I decided that I would post links to where her work is available online, and also a link to her website, which for now is still up. She had just purchased the domain this year and I’m hoping against hope her password is someplace—or I can find it, because she gave it to me once but I don’t know if I kept it—so that I can renew her domain every year indefinitely. If anyone else knows where her work might have been posted, please let me know—I wanted to give everyone a chance to read what have turned out to be her last words.


“Sunshine and Stones”

Read Short Fiction

March 28, 2010


“Breathing Room”

Voices from the Garage

Spring 2010


“The Eulogy”

The Smoking Poet-Cigar Lounge

Summer 2010


“Fixin’ the Blues” (poem)


Issue #2, October 4, 2008


“Purgatory” (poem)


Issue #2, October 4, 2008


“Murder in Frogtown” (poem)

Aquila Review

Fall 2008

(this also contains the first publication of her poem “Fixin’ the Blues”—SWAMP had retained it as a reprint)


“Rebellious Bat” (prose poem)

The Pitkin Review

Fall 2007


Cynthia’s C.L. Ross Website and Blog: includes many guest posts about the paranormal, witchcraft, Druidism, and legends; some of her otherwise unpublished short stories; and snippets of The Llewellyn Legacy.

There are a couple of her pieces available in expired print magazines; I just found one that I’m going to order and see if her work is in it. I’ll keep you posted.

If you wish to visit the “In Memory Page” her friends have set up on Facebook, you can do that here:


Our Read Short Fiction Facebook page is pretty active—we post NaNo Tips, Writing in the News and of course our magazine’s adventures. Right now, we’re running the “25 Days of Christmas Shorts”—we’re posting a link to one classic Christmas short story per day through Xmas Day. There’s no better time to “Like” our page, right? If that weren’t enough, “Like” our page before December 15 at

and be automatically entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate. We want to help one lucky winner stock a friend’s bookshelf—or his own!

A winner will be chosen by number using on December 15, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.


Family Holiday? You’ll probably recognize a few characters in Bob Shar’s “Snapped” at Read Short Fiction.

I thought this story was a unique take on sibling rivalry and what goes on in families—but what I also loved about this was the dialogue, especially the kids’ dialogue. Sometimes in stories like this, kids’ dialogue can sound stilted. In this case, Shar has nailed it. What a fun read.

Take a break from the craziness and check it out at


Sometimes a reunion with a long-lost love isn’t a good idea. Gary Carter’s “Long Time Gone” is up NOW at Read Short Fiction! If you love Ray Bradbury, don’t miss this one:


Mark Charney’s “A Safe Deposit” is now up on Read Short Fiction! Head on over and find out why some mail is better left unread:


…then Andy Bailey’s “Strike” at Read Short Fiction might be just what you’re looking for! It’s just been posted here. Enjoy!


If you’re a fan of The Manchurian Candidate, you’ll enjoy Gerald Rivard’s “Faith” over at Read Short Fiction! It’s an intense little piece full of twists and turns you won’t want to miss. Check it out now here.


If you’re a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, you’ll definitely want to head out to Read Short Fiction and check out Cynthia Wilson’s short story, “Sunshine and Stones.” This tale of teenage mischief on the day of the plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zandt, Steve and Cassie Gaines, Dean Kilpatrick, and two pilots beautifully renders a moment in an era gone by–and serves as a reminder that nothing is the same once you have an awareness of your own mortality.

Read “Sunshine and Stones” here.

%d bloggers like this: