Getting Unlost

It’s easy to get lost. A wrong turn here, a missed street there. And suddenly nothing looks familiar. You don’t recognize street names, you have no landmarks. You have no choice but to plot a new course. Draw a new map.

In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, an artist who’s life has taken a unexpected turn gets lost on the streets of Paris, and realizes she has no choice but to keep moving forward.

Read it here:


Cool in the Pool

Summertime at the community pool. Those blue-tinged, chlorine-scented waters can hold as many memories as it can people. And it can hold A LOT of people. Look close enough, and you just might catch a reflection of your past self in the always-shifting water.

In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, a challenging afternoon at the community pool turns into an opportunity for Tara, a harried mom of three, to recapture her inner child. If only for a moment.

Read it here:


Comfort Food

Tradition. It’s the comfort food of life. That taste of home we crave no matter how far we roam. And that we never appreciate until we’ve left it far behind.

In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, Gia is struggling with the burden of carrying on a family legacy she never asked for. Then a terrifying moment makes her realize just how much she’d lose if it all went up in smoke.

Read it here:



Ups and Downs

Raise your hand if your life turned out exactly as you imagined it when you were twenty two.


My latest story for Short Fiction Break, “Hanging Out,” is about a woman grappling with her choices in life. Literally. As she dangles dangerously from a cliff above the Italian Riviera with her best friend from college whom she hasn’t seen in years, Amanda realizes she’ll never be twenty two again. And that’s okay.

Read it here:


Story Lines

Ahh, to know the future. To peek ahead, to know how our lives will turn out. What’s the harm? Certainty is so much more comfortable than uncertainty.

But certainty has a dark side. In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, a palm reader’s certainty about her future has cut her off from her present. When an acquaintance suddenly puts a crack in that certainty, the power of possibility floods back into her life. A life she thought was finished, but she now sees is unfinished. Uncertain. Full of possibility.

Read it here:


Grand Prize!

Yea! My short story took the Grand Prize in Short Fiction Break’s Winter Writing Contest! I am blown away. Thank you, judges. Thank you, readers. Thank you, people of planet Earth (I’m feeling generous right now). And especially, thank you Write Practice and Short Fiction Break for hosting the contest.

Check it out!

From the judges:

““The Appointment” by Erin Halden. This poignant tale masterfully blends reality and imagination, painting a world of color and light. It takes us along a magical journey to a bittersweet resolution. Its full emotional experience, strong writing, and well-developed characters won the judges over, and we’re pleased to declare it the winner of this contest.”


Wet Cement

I live in a city full of turn-of-the-century Victorians and foursquares, stained glass windows and front porches… and curious patches of sidewalks with quotes and bits of poems and random thoughts pressed into them. Why or how this came to be, I have no idea.

Of all the curious patches I cross as I walk the neighborhoods, this one, on Selby Avenue, brings me to a stop every time.

wet cement

It has no rhythm to it, no beautiful words. It’s awkward, clunky. Not even particularly inspired. Wet cement,/ Opportunity./ It only takes a second/To change this spot forever.

The first thing I think is, someone lost the actual poem that was supposed to be there and just made something up on the fly. Next I think, someone somewhere is laughing, thinking about people stopping to ponder their little prank, like the guy who put the glasses on the floor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and visitors thought it was an inspired statement on the lowering of culture in the modern world. Ha.

Wet cement. Formed, yet malleable. Like a blank canvas, a blank page. The lens of a camera before the aperture snaps. There, waiting to be given its final form. For someone to make a mark.

We all have one chance to stamp our words, thoughts, ideas, and pranks into the wet cement. One chance to change our spot in the world forever. To make a mark that will last long beyond us, stamped into the sidewalks future generations will walk upon and, perhaps, stop and ponder. Formed, yet malleable.

A funny thing happens when I walk by a stamped patch of sidewalk. The silence of the unstamped ones screams at me. Why are those empty? What wisdom or beauty or prank am I missing, because no one put it out there?

Opportunities wasted.

So please, people, fill those sidewalks. Give me something to ponder. And if I think of anything, I’ll do my best to stamp it, somewhere.