Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Short Fiction

A few months back, I posted links to a handful of exceptional short stories I'd read. I thought I'd do another round as a way of celebrating a short story acceptance I received today.

So without further ado, here are some more great stories I've read, many of them several times. The links take you directly to the stories. Go, read them. You won't be disappointed.

And the Next, and the Next by Genevieve Valentine

The Taste of Starlight by John R. Fultz

Nine Bodies of Water by Monica Byrne

Captive Girl by Jennifer Pelland

Bridesicle by Will McIntosh

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Quiet Plea to Writers on Behalf of My Dogs

As if it weren't bad enough that the media has to vilify the American Pit Bull Terrier, in the past few months I've read several books and stories that use the snarling pit bull as a metaphor for anger and rage. Please, please, my fellow authors, understand that pit bulls are not by nature snarling beasts who want to rip out a human heart or tear flesh from a limb.

There are terrible people who abuse the American Pit Bull Terrier's inherent nature to want to please their owners (yes, even when their owners want them to fight other dogs), but these dogs are not monstrous by nature. Remember Petey from The Little Rascals? He was a pit bull. Helen Keller had pit bulls. Sergeant Stubby, a pit bull, is the most decorated dog in military history. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson had pit bulls. I could go on, but if you want to read about more famous pit bulls, click here.

Please, just consider that when you use the pit bull as a metaphor for rage, you are helping to perpetuate the stigma these dogs face. Almost one million pit bulls are killed in shelters every year. One million. And many shelters automatically euthanize pit bulls without ever giving them the chance to be adopted, and many cities have placed bans on pit bulls, even after studies have shown that Breed Specific Legislation does not work.

It's just fiction, you might be thinking. And yes, you're right. But these dogs are already villains in the eyes of so many. It's a little thing, really, to change that pit bull metaphor to something like a 'rabid dog' or a 'guard dog trained to like the taste of human flesh'.

As a writer who sleeps with two beloved pit bulls at the foot of her bed every night, I only ask you to consider this. Please. Bad owners and the media have already made them villains. Must you, too?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bards & Sages Reader's Choice Awards

In April of this year, my short story, The Depository, appeared in Bards and Sages Quarterly. A while back, I'd posted about their Reader's Choice Awards. After I made the post, I completely forgot about the whole thing.

Yesterday, I received word that my story won the Reader's Choice Award for Best Story from the April 2010 issue. To say I was shocked is an understatement.

For a long time, I wrote without any thought of having my work published. I just wrote. It wasn't until I joined the Absolute Write forum that I started sending stories out into the world. Although I had other stories appear earlier in various places, The Depository was my first short story sale, so knowing that readers liked the story is quite a thrill. If you read and enjoyed and took the time to vote for my story, I thank you.

And I'll offer up this little hint. Jasper's story is not finished. He is part of a novel in progress, and maybe one day, with a little luck, the larger story will make it out into the world.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Murky Depths Issue 14

I received my contributor's copies of Murky Depths Issue 14 in today's mail. The cover art, based on my short story, Lilacs, is absolutely stunning! I am so thrilled!

Murky Depths Issue 14 Cover

And here is a wee little peek at my story!

Sneak Peek at Story