Tag Archive for Writing

Nonfiction Bragging – Front Porch at the Independent Weekly

Would you like to know how good of a year 2012 has been so far? This is the second time I’ve had to replace one of my planned bragging posts with a just published one instead!  Let’s hope this is a trend that continues.

This week, I’m directing you to an essay I wrote for our local independent newspaper, sensibly named the Independent Weekly, or the Indy if you’re a local. The Front Porch column is open to readers to send in 500-word essays on any topic, and it’s often a great place to get a sense of what others in the community are thinking about or just taste a little slice of someone’s life. This week, it’s my life you can dig into, or at least my opinions on the running craze and the constant fundraisers around us. Here is your teaser:

On Facebook, I complete the circle of life every day by reading the status updates of friends and acquaintances. Births, weddings, deaths, more births: They’re all there on display. Lately, it seems, there’s a new element of living that I’d previously neglected. I’m talking about races, the running kind—anything that ends in “-athlon,” “-K” or red-faced racers clutching their stomachs as they breathlessly pass a finish line.

Ostensibly, it’s both the method of choice to raise money for every known charity and the trendiest way to announce a transition from out-of-shape blob to exercise hound. Watching from the sidelines, it’s a little bewildering . . .

For the rest of the Front Porch, either pick up a free copy of the Indy at pretty much any coffee shop and many local businesses or head over to the web version. Thanks for reading!

Fiction Bragging–Last Complaint

I wouldn’t call it a resolution, but I am attempting to do a better job of that self-promotion part of writing. I hate self-promotion. I want people to magically find all my published work, become instant dedicated fans, and beg me to create more stories for them. Funny enough, that doesn’t happen on its own! Or at least not at this stage in my career. But this stage in my career is actually pretty awesome, because I’ve been published several times now, and that’s a huge building block in terms of ego and confidence to keep going.

Here’s my plan: I’m going to point you all to my published pieces one by one in case you missed them the first time they were published. I’ll report links to my interviews on other blogs as well, maybe revel in that time—ok, two times now—that Durham magazine interviewed me on the Triangle dining scene or those times—ok, two times now—that the Independent Weekly mentioned my name. Eventually, I’ll even  tell you all about how I’m writing the occasional post for WRAL Out and About, the first of which will be coming out soon. Yes, I’ve known that for weeks, submitted my first review last week, and I still haven’t told the interwebs about it—I really am that bad at self-promotion, folks.

Consider this the first installment in my bragging series, to be posted at least every other Thursday. Our first installment is Last Complaint, a horror short story that won me third place in WOW! Women on Writing’s Flash Fiction contest back in 2009. In it, a grumpy old woman finds out that airing her grievances isn’t always the wisest plan. Here are the first few paragraphs:

She parks her station wagon under the “No Vacancy” sign. This is the first inn she’s passed since dinner at that horrible truck stop diner. Her bowl of clam chowder had been lukewarm and the waitress had the gall to try and make her pay for it. She doubts she’ll be treated any better at this place, but she can feel her eyelids drooping.

“Bellboy!” she yells into the dark lot. No one comes. She sighs, then pulls out her suitcase and wheels it towards the small front office that glows with a pale green fluorescence.

“Can I help you?” grunts the middle-aged man wearing a stained gray uniform at the desk. He flips the channel on an old television set that’s perched on the countertop behind him.

“I need a room,” she says. “How much?”

“We’re full up. No vacancy,” he gestures towards the sign outside then stares at her, his mouth hanging open.

“That’s ridiculous,” she insists. “I have a nephew who manages a Hyatt.” She waits for this to affect him but his expression does not change. She continues, unperturbed, “There are always extra rooms available, that’s what he told me.  Even at the Hyatt.”

To continue reading, head here, and scroll down the page about halfway. You’ll find my picture and the rest of Last Complaint there. This picture was not taken with the story in mind, but it captures the mood of the latter half of the story, stumbling through a dark hallway half asleep.

Enjoy! And let me know what you thought.


Six Sentence Sunday

I’m joining in with Six Sentence Sunday this week, giving my fiction fans six sentences from one of my works to see if it entices you. Six Sentence Sunday is mainly perused by romance authors and readers, so when I participate, I try to include something a bit similar to that genre. This six comes from my short story, Treasure, that I’ll soon be submitting to a speculative fiction magazine.

By now, she knew such things were repulsive here, that killing another human was anathema to his race, yet she was amazed he could focus on anything but her curves in the morning light.

“Get dressed,” she commanded, “or don’t you plan to work today?”

He gazed at her for a moment, groaned, and then rose. With both hands, he pulled her face toward his, kissed her, then whispered in her ear, “You’re safe with me, Filor.”

Her cheeks colored, both with flattery and shame. She could not trust him with her real name—did the shame mean she wanted to?


Hope you enjoyed it!

Six Sentence Sunday

I’m participating in something new today! It’s called Six Sentence Sunday, which is organized by the fine folks over at the Six Sentence Sunday blog. As you may be able to guess, Six Sentence Sunday is a challenge to authors to put out six sentences from any of their works, published or not, that should excite readers to read more. These six sentences are from my romance novella, Maya’s Vacation, which is published by Astraea Press and available at their website (and Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Smashwords) in all e-book formats. Here we go:

“Dean Mitchell. Nice to meet you too, Cliff.” He spoke fast and with a nervous catch in his voice, but each syllable cracked her concentration until it shattered like a boulder hitting a car windshield. She went to look, and her heart nearly stopped. It was him.

It was him.

Here’s the cover art for Maya’s Vacation.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thesis Fiction

First off, I’m short on reviews right now. I haven’t made it to a lot of new places or tried a lot of wines or cocktails in the past couple of weeks. I’ve got a couple in mind for this week, but it’ll be a few days before I go, review, and write things up anyhow. Apologies for the shift in content, but I’d rather keep posting than not!

Secondly, I don’t read about writing a lot. There are lots of writers out there who’ve read every book on the subject.  It’s also extremely popular blogging material. From what I can tell, writing about writing seems to generate a huge amount of interest. I think it’s bizarre, and just something I can’t get into.  I can’t watch musicals or movies that are about a musical or movie (yes, nearly all of the musicals-movies of the 30s through 50s, you fit this bill), either. Call it one of my quirks, if you will. But today, I’m blogging about writing.

Don’t get worried that I’m going to start doing this regularly (unless you’d rather I did; then you should probably just scurry along to another blog, one of the gazillion out there on the subject).  This post is an exception. It’s not even about writing, really; it’s about a style of writing that I hate but is increasingly showing up everywhere I look.