Posted in Writing

Phoenix

WOW.

That’s how I felt when I found out my story “Phoenix” had been selected as a runner-up in the WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest.

I’ve been a WOW! reader for years. I first discovered their quarterly flash fiction contest back in 2013. I submitted a couple of times, without success. My writing wasn’t at the level they sought, and I didn’t yet have a good grasp of what flash fiction really meant. But I started reading their blog, The Muffin, where I drew inspiration from their writing tips and anecdotes, eventually becoming a guest blogger myself, twice in 2014 (in September and November) and again in 2016. I was honored to have my words share space with the women who had motivated me.

This fall, I decided I was ready to give the flash fiction contest another try. I submitted my 748-word story “Phoenix” and crossed my fingers.

“Phoenix” is a subtly witchy story about the power of nature and the power we hold within ourselves. It’s about persistence and sacrifice and a love for unwanted things. It’s unlike most of the pieces I write, and I didn’t know how it would be received, so I was ecstatic when I learned it had placed in the top ten of the contest.

(A visual collage of “Phoenix”)

I want to thank the editors at WOW! for selecting my story as a finalist and Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency for choosing it as a runner-up. I appreciate you giving Gwen and her story a home.

Go to this link to read all the winning stories from the Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. Or, to skip straight to “Phoenix,” simply click here.

WOW! will be publishing an interview with me on The Muffin, so if you’re interested in hearing the background story of “Phoenix” and what the writing process was like, stay tuned…

Posted in Poetry, Writing

How to Name a Lit Journal

I recently spent some time submitting poems in the hopes that 2018 might bring a few more acceptances my way. (2017 was a little quiet, in that respect.) While researching various publications, it occurred to me that there’s a pretty standard code for naming a lit journal. Just take an emotion or a color, add a bird or a plant, tack on a publication type, and… voilà! You’re ready for submissions.

Let’s try it, shall we?

Create your own literary journal using the chart below:

HowToNameALitJournal

 

My literary journal would be called… Morose Penguin Review.

I have to admit, that’s pretty awesome. 🙂

What’s yours? Share the name of your new lit journal in the comments.

Posted in Poetry, Writing

My Words in the World

It’s always a thrill to find out something I wrote will be shared with the world. Nothing beats receiving an acceptance. Writing requires patience and thick skin and endurance, and it’s nice to be rewarded once in a while. I’m grateful to each editor, judge, and small press who has given my words a home.

Lately, I’ve had the good fortune of placing several of my pieces in anthologies. Here’s where you can read my words, if you choose.

Recent Publications:

Cover_1024x1024From “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds”:

“Just as I rounded the corner, a ladybug from the garden flew across the grass, landed next to the teardrop-shaped mark on my left hand, and disappeared. All that was left was the shadow of her insect body on my skin, my freckles masquerading as her spots. I drew in my breath and blinked, but the image stayed.”

I’m so happy that my story “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds” found a home in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VII. This magical, coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old girl and a summer full of changes is a personal favorite of mine. I’m elated to finally be able to share it with readers.

My haiku “writing with a view” and my series of haiku titled “Get a Cat (or Don’t)” were published in the Poetry Society of Texas 2016 Book of the Year, and my poem “Underneath” appears in Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS 2015, which just came out.

“The Morning After” will be in the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar, which is available for pre-order now at the Dos Gatos Press website. The poem takes a humorous look at holiday decorations after the holidays have ended.

PicMonkey Collage2

Coming Soon:

I’m grateful to the judges of the 2016 Austin Poetry Society Annual Awards and the 2016 NFSPS Annual Awards who chose a few more of my poems to receive prizes. “Rooster with a Guitar” and “I Hate Those Poems” will appear in Best Austin Poetry 2015-2016 coming out later this year, and “Cicada Emerging” and “The Footprints” will be published in Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS 2016 next summer.

* * *

A big thanks to my friends and family who support my writing career, to my poetry critique group for all their wonderful advice and companionship, and to anyone who reads my work and smiles. 🙂 I appreciate you.

* * *

To see a list of all of my published work, click here.

Have a question about my writing? Post it in the comments or use the “Ask the Author” feature on my Goodreads page.