NC Writers Network

I’d like to give a quick shout-out to the, which—among many other valuable services—offers a critiquing and editing service for writers of all stripes (essayists, poets, fiction writers, screenwriters). I’ve used this service a few times for short stories that felt a little “off.” When I’m having trouble with dialogue, or feel that I’mContinue reading “NC Writers Network”

Write that Story! Fall Fiction Class at UNC-A

I’ll be teaching a fiction-writing class via Zoom for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC-Asheville this fall. Write That Story! Elements of Short Fiction runs for eight weeks on Mondays from 2 to 4 pm, beginning September 20, 2021 in the Reuter Center. The course is designed for beginning to intermediate fiction writers,Continue reading “Write that Story! Fall Fiction Class at UNC-A”

May 3: “Writer Talks!” Interview

Here’s a link to my Writer Talks interview on May third by Elizabeth Ann Atkins at Two Sisters Writing and Publishing. We talked about the craft of writing, the challenges, and the inspiration for the story “Fathering,” published on the Two Sisters website at ttps:// YouTube link to the interview: I also read aContinue reading “May 3: “Writer Talks!” Interview”

“Rift Zone” on PenDust Radio

“June sits in half-lotus on the edge of the mattress and narrows her eyes against the volcanic glow. She finger-combs her short, dirty hair off her forehead and watches him load the gun, sliding a single shell into the chamber.” Rift Zone When Kilauea volcano erupts in May 2018, back-to-the-land farmers June and Lani mustContinue reading ““Rift Zone” on PenDust Radio”

Lizzy Baby – a novella

Lizzy Baby has received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite. “A somber coming-of-age novella…a gripping story that made my blood run cold in one chapter and made my blood boil in the next. The eponymous character, Liz, is easy to sympathize with [and] the narrative build-up was perfect. … I truly wanted to reach insideContinue reading “Lizzy Baby – a novella”

Community Book Merchants

Where would we be without our independent booksellers? When I lived in Raleigh, my second-favorite happy place (after our back yard and the woods) was Quail Ridge Books in North Hills. It’s a magnificent space, upstairs and down, that since 1984 has offered fascinating selections of best-sellers, local works, and more obscure titles. Over theContinue reading “Community Book Merchants”


Stories are vehicles for witnessing truth, for creating histories, revealing secrets and solving mysteries. People in my family have always been storytellers, but not always reliable ones. (Is this narrator reliable? Is this my truth, his truth, wishful thinking, or somewhere on the edge of plausibility?) And the stories tended to be only pretty ones.Continue reading “Storytelling”

From the Bear’s Point of View

On our neighborhood blog, someone posted a picture of her SUV, after a black bear spent an hour or three working on the passenger side door to find what might food have been left inside. The newly redesigned vehicle sported a ripped-out gasket along the door frame, a bent sideview mirror, and several scrapes andContinue reading “From the Bear’s Point of View”