My upcoming collection, “Rift,” with Robert Vaughan!

Things are moving quickly with the upcoming co-authored short fiction collection with Bud Smith’s Unknown Press. Robert Vaughan and I are busy exchanging edits and deciding the layout and order of our stories. We have found an amazing photographer for the cover art (which I’ll reveal soon!), and we are actively seeking blurbs. And once again, I’m knocked out by the generosity of my fellow writers and literary heroes who are providing blurbs for us on very short notice! These are exciting times and I’m both thrilled and grateful. Look here for updates on the book’s progress, but we are hoping for a December launch!

fish tankJust last weekend I finished up with another two-week Fast Flash© Workshop AND a weekend flash fiction workshop with Word Tango. Both, I believe, were a success! The two-week group were extremely talented and hard-working and just all-around great. I’m happy to hear they have formed their own workshop now and they’re calling it:  “The Fish Tank!”

Word Tango , the brainchild of Jennifer Kircher Carr & Elizabeth Pettie, is a fabulous new resource for writers. They  will be offering critiques, networking opportunities, and weekend workshops, so check out their services. I’m very honored that they entrusted their first workshop to me! And what a wonderful group that was too!

And this made me very happy:

Twenty Female Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW in Entropy Magazine. The list includes: xtx, Amber Sparks, Roxane Gay, Paula Bomer, Alissa Nutting, Jen Conley, Heather Foster, H.L. Nelson, Steph Post, Amanda Gowin, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Christy Crutchfield, Berit Ellingsen, Letitia Trent, Mary Miller, Jac Jemc, Audrey Hirsch, Leesa Cross-Smith, Andrea Kneeland, and, incredibly, me. Many thanks to Entropy Magazine and Kevin Catalano!

That’s it. I have another Fast Flash© Workshop starting later this month. I am enjoying these so much! October is going to be VERY BUSY!

My Favorite Reads of 2014

As usual, my favorite reads were published predominantly by small presses, written by writers unafraid of taking chances with their work:

I bookended the year with collections by the innovative Robert Vaughan: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (blurbed, reviewed on Goodreads) and Addicts & Basements, also reviewed on Goodreads.

Every Kiss a War by Leesa Cross-Smith, just a beautiful collection, I blurbed and reviewed on Goodreads and interviewed Leesa here on this blog!

I also read and blurbed Nancy Stohlman’s book Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories. Nancy is another original who performs her stories live as well as she writes them.

I read Avital Gad-Cykman’s chapbook recently released from Matter Press: Life In, Life Out, and reviewed it on Goodreads and interviewed Avital right here on this blog.

If I Would Leave Myself Behind: Stories by Lauren Becker, which I also talked about here.

Understories by Tim Horvath, which is terrific and I gave five stars to on Goodreads.

I read two Gay Degani books in 2014, her collection, Pomegranate Stories and her novel What Came Before, which I blurbed and reviewed on Goodreads. I also interviewed Gay right here and she has lots of smart things to say about writing in general.

Bald New World by Peter Tieryas, reviewed on Goodreads. This book was recently nominated for the Folio Prize in the UK.

Bones of an Inland Sea by Mary Akers, reviewed on Goodreads.

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller, reviewed on Goodreads.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, reviewed on Goodreads.

My Mother Was An Upright Piano by the talented and versatile writer of flash as well as longer works, Tania Hershman, reviewed on Goodreads.

Girl with Ears & Demon with Limp by Edward J. Rathke, reviewed on Goodreads.

Doll Palace by Sara Lippmann, this book was one of my favorite short story collections of 2014 and one of my favorites, ever…reviewed at The Lit Pub.

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro, a great inspiration in 2014 and mentioned in various posts on this blog.

I reread The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (who incidentally drafted the novel in four weeks according to this article in The Guardian).

Understudies by Ravi Mangla, reviewed on Goodreads.

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Don’t Tease the Elephants by Jen Knox. blurbed and reviewed on Goodreads.

Quarry Light by Claudia Smith Chen, reviewed at The Lit Pub.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. A fascinating, harrowing read.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp, another inspiring read, also mentioned a time or two on this very blog.

Smokelong Quarterly: The Best of the First Ten Years 2003-2013, a book I contributed to and reviewed on Goodreads.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, reviewed on Goodreads. I loved this book so much I read it twice.

Available for pre-order: "The Lineup: 25 Provocative Women Writers"

Provocative cover photography by Jennifer Moore.

Provocative cover photography by Jennifer Moore.

So honored to be a part of this anthology, edited by the estimable Richard Thomas and published by Black Lawrence Press. Foreword by Alissa Nutting. The book launches in March, 2015, but is available for pre-order now from BLP here!

“There are women writing short stories today that take chances, risks—you might even call their work provocative. The Lineup is a collection of twenty-five of the most compelling, powerful, and honest stories that have been published in the last five years. Written by some of the most talented contemporary voices in literature today, this collection contains award-winning, anthologized, and recognized authors that are emerging as the voices of our time. These women are not afraid to tackle any subject, to write from any perspective, or to lay any secret bare. If the stories in this collection don’t make you laugh, enlighten you, and break your heart, then you should check your pulse, because you’re probably not alive.

Stories by: Paula Bomer, Karen Brown, Shannon Cain, Kim Chinquee, Monica Drake, Kathy Fish, Gina Frangello, Amina Gautier, Roxane Gay, Amelia Gray, Tina May Hall, Jessica Hollander, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, Holly Goddard Jones, Stacey Levine, Nina McConigley, ŸMary Miller, ŸJanet Mitchell, ŸEthel Rohan, ŸLaura van den Berg, ŸxTx, ŸClaire Vaye Watkins.”