Short Fiction

"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?What we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves. . . . A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us."  Franz Kafka

I am working on a collection of short stories. Here are a few excerpts, with links to those published in literary journals and zines. I've also included links to some of my blog posts where I talk about the stories and my writing process.

Short Stories

13 Ways of Looking at Dying, Just Before, and the Moment After Published in Cobalt Review

EXCERPT: I She streaks past me naked in the dark hall.  Light from the bathroom flashes upon her face, her thin shoulders, her sharp knees.  Her head turns toward me, her dark eyes angry stabs.  As if daring me to see her, stop her, help her. Or demanding I don’t.  

I struggle up from the cot where I’ve been sleeping.  Through the open doorway, she’s a slice of bright light, slumped on the toilet, the white tiles gleaming behind her.

She kicks the door shut in my face.

Read it HERE   This blog post includes the story as well as notes its process: Blog post about the writing process  

Blog post about what inspired me to write it: The Deer's Scream, My Mother's Eyes, and a Ripe Strawberry

Us, Ancient - Published in Drunk Monkeys

EXCERPT: You know what I love most about swimming?  How perky my breasts get.  All round and full and buoyant.  Gorgeous, really! And floating right up there where they should be.

It’s so deflating when I get out.

 Read it HERE   You can also read it on my blog "Us, Ancient" - A Short Love Story

When Things Go Missing (Novel Excerpt) - Published in Unchartered Frontiers

EXCERPT: Cal is standing on the front stoop of his parent’s home with the cold breeze swirling around him, liking the damp chill seeping into his skin, goosing it up. The sun is almost gone now, a faint dull glow smeared along the horizon.  Dusk settles like ashes over the neighborhood rooftops.

He’s watching his sister back her Volvo out of the driveway, heading off to Northridge or Norwalk or wherever the hell she is living now. She’d come home looking for some comfort since mom had gone missing.  Fat chance of that, he thinks. But he’s sorry now that she’s left, that he let her go, that he hadn’t at least said he loved her, or asked her for some money, and missing her even before she disappears around the corner.

Read it HERE  Read about the story and the novel on my blog: "When Things Go Missing" - Piecing Together the Puzzle

Tamara in Her Garden

EXCERPT: I was eleven years old when the house burned down one night. Burned clean to the ground. Nothing left but heaps of ashes and twisted metal folded among the stone foundation. Sifting through the silt and rubble, firemen found the charred remains of my father, who had died in bed, and the broken bones of fifteen young men, boys really, buried beneath the house.

(Looking for a good home)

Read more about the story, the process and inspiration on my blog: The Pieta and the Writer's Palette and Writing - A Leap of Faith

Looking for Bobby - Published in BareBack Lit

EXCERPT: The woman gives a startled little laugh.  "My!  You're quick-like, aren't you.  You remind me of my little brother.  He was wild like that and all.  Always springing out at a body.  And look what's come of him!"

"Lady," Bobby snarls, "I may be a number of things, but I promise you this, I ain't nowhere near like your baby brother."

Read more HERE

Fine and Shimmering (formerly "Sheri Unleashed")

EXCERPT: Sheri sat in the front seat of the van squeezed between the two men and barely said a word as they wound their way down the coast and across the border.  Yet the conversation never faltered.  It flashed back and forth across her, over her, through her, welding them together.  A hot dry wind poured through the windows catching Sheri on all sides, pushing against her eyes, her nose, her mouth, stealing her breath and lifting her hair into a cloud about her face. 

She had never felt so alive as she did then, soaring down the road between these two men as if they were wings spread out beside her and she was flying on their high.  The road reeled out dizzily beneath them, taking them farther and farther, higher and higher, like the string let out on a gigantic blue kite."

(Looking for a good home) Read more about the story on my blog: The Lightness of Being, Unbearable and Otherwise

Petite Marmite

EXCERPT: Sheila was so gullible. She’d believe anything—anything at all if you said it with a straight face and a bit of feeling. Richard found this out early in their relationship. It had its advantages if you were willing to take them. Richard was never one to let an advantage pass him by.

(Looking for a good home)

Comments or Questions? – You can contact me at the email address below.

I look forward to hearing from you and will make every effort to reply as soon as possible.

Comments From Readers

"Your collection of short stories are imaginative and highly entertaining."

". . . incredibly subtle and compassionate."

"Your style is both lyrical and spare . . . . I admit to a prejudice against short stories -- I just get into them and then they're over -- but "Sheri Unleashed" and "Tamara in Her Garden" are whole worlds unto themselves, giving me as a reader exactly enough."

"Superb blend of action, dialogue and narration. . . . A riveting read."

"Your writing contains passion, subtlety and a deft control which makes an overall sense of a brilliantly realised narrative."

"These are sensitive, delicate, beautifully written quiet tales."

". . .  Haunting and memorable."

"There’s a superb flow to your writing that engages the reader immediately."

Deborah J. Brasket

Writing from
the Edge of the Wild