“Catching College” – Live on Metaphorosis!

Squeee-! I’m so excited that “Catching College” is up on Metaphorosis today! This story had such an immense journey to publication, I cannot even tell you. I absolutely hated the first draft of this story. I pounded it out, but I couldn’t wait to set it aside to cool off. Everything seemed wrong with it. Then, about a year later, I finally felt able to come back to it, and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it!

Two months later, I’d rewritten it almost from scratch, filling in everything it needed, and cutting it back from almost 12k to 8.5k. Then it was off to the submission races! And…nothing. Lots of form rejections, a few really nice personalized ones, but nothing that could help me pinpoint what needed fixing. It was killing me, because by this point I loved this story, and I whole heartedly believed in it.

Enter Metaphorosis and the tenacious B. Morris Allen. He came back with a clear vision for what he felt the story could be, but it was going to take a lot of work. I won’t lie: the rewrite request scared the sh*t out of me. I’d never done a rewrite request before, and I was nervous: nervous I’d mess up the thing I loved about the story (I have a bad habit myself of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when I need to fix something), and nervous that it might not be worth it. It was right at the heart of the holiday season, which any parent knows is a wild, busy, chaotic time. I barely had time to write–could I rework (essentially from scratch) this 8.5k story?

I could! I still don’t know where the energy for it came from, except that after doing a lot of research into the magazine and Morris himself and finding his very helpful statistics on their rewrite requests, I decided it was worth it, and more than that: his suggestions felt right. That’s always my meter for whether or not a critique suggestion is one I’ll take: does it feel in line with the story I’m trying to tell? His felt right, so I decided, what the hell. I’ll give it a go. Worst case scenario, I’d waste some time and some words and come out with something he didn’t like. I’d still have my original draft, so nothing much lost for me. Best case scenario, I’d learn something about writing short fiction that had eluded me, and come out with a better story. The one thing I wouldn’t compromise on was that I had to feel like it was still the same story I’d set out to write, and that was the first thing I did when tackling the edit: write out what originally inspired this story for me, and what had to be in there for it to still be the story I wanted to tell.

After I locked that down (which I’d never really thought about prior, and from now on, will probably ALWAYS do on short stories, because holy crap, it’s helpful in guiding editing decisions, even really hard ones like the ones I made in this story revision), I plunged in full-force. I ended up writing TWO different versions, removing different characters to see what the effect would be. The end result wound up combining BOTH of those versions, eliminating all but two characters and thousands of words, but also resulting in tighter world-building, stronger theme development, and a story I’m quite proud of. It took several months to hammer its original steel into a proper tale, but I’m so glad I took the time and made the effort. I did learn a lot about my writing process, and proved to myself that even a huge edit can be accomplished with a little foresight and diligence.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy “Catching College,” which is now available via the Metaphorosis website, in print, and in audio formats!


On Vacation

No microfiction today! Although I was hoping to get one done early yesterday, we ran out of time with various birthday/short vacation prep. But the Metaphorosis issue with my story, “Catching College,” is coming out on Monday, so check back here for links and cover shots!

Have a great weekend, everybody!


Portrait of a Frog Prince – A 300 Word Story

This story came from using my delightful pile of “inspiration cards.” I made them by searching Pinterest for images that snagged my eye–strange, weird, wonderful things–and then printed them out onto name tag stickers, which I put on blank game cards. Whenever I need a little inspiration, I flip through them or draw one out at random and go from there. This particular story was inspired by a painting of a frog in a double breasted suit, very Beatrix Potter yet somehow even more serious. Enjoy!


The Hollowman’s Request – A 200 Word Story

(Because let’s face it, five sentences was HARD! Also, one thing I want to practice–not in this one, but in future stories–is sentence length/pacing, which is hard if you’re only allowed five…) But I still want to keep them as brief as possible, because otherwise it just gets to be too much to fit into the week. Hence: 200 words!

This idea comes from ages and ages ago, when I thought it’d be neat to write about a cult in which both the male and female priest/priestesses can bear children to replenish a world constantly torn by war and sickness and famine. I combined that with another idea for hollowmen, or assassins who lose their souls bit by bit with each life they take until they have nothing left. So there you go! This is the 200 word result.


Scary Cola – A 5(ish) Sentence Story

A little late today on my 5 Sentence Story, not for lack of interest, but just because I got distracted! Taking care of a 3yo and a 9mo puppy is HARD WORK, and very distracting. But I did throw this one together, which means I finally got to enjoy this strange little idea I’ve had bumping around in my skull for a few years but which I haven’t quite gotten to work as a longer-form story. I’m leaning into the dark/horror fiction lately, aren’t I?


Tulipteeth – A 5(ish) Sentence Story

When did it become Friday already?! Time gets weird when the kiddos are traveling and the house is quiet and you can hear your own thoughts.

Anyway, this story is one I’ve absolutely wanted to write, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, so I thought I’d play with it a bit here. It’s a squiffy five: there are fragments, dialogue is included in one line, etc., so I’m playing a little fast and loose with the rules today, but I still had fun with it. Enjoy!


Best Stories: Volume 5 – Andromeda Spaceways Magazine

So I completely missed the boat on announcing that Best Stories: Volume 5 from Andromeda Spaceways Magazine came out this month! It got a bit delayed with COVID, etc., so I’d actually not really been expecting it to happen, but it DID! And I’m so excited.

This volume includes thirteen stories from 2022 issues of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine and includes my silly, snarky, pissed-as-hell superhero story, “Any Day But Today…”

I love this little story and it makes me laugh every time I read it. Poor K.C. Kinetic. She’s not having a good day. Turns out the worst day to fight your stupid nemesis is right dab-smack in the middle of a visit from Aunt Irma, and when your headaches are seeping via telepathy into every poor shmuck on the street, nobody’s exactly cheering for you, either. But damn it, crime doesn’t stop just because you’ve got cramps, and K.C. is going to do her best…or at least, you know, half-ass it as always.

Check it out here!