Going Right, Going Left

We spend our days making decisions. Some are small, like what to wear, what to eat. Some are bigger, like what to do with your life. No matter how many pros and cons lists we make, no one knows what the future holds. No one knows just how all those decisions – big and small – will add up in the end.

In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, Susan’s out on her daily walk when a small decision – to go left instead of right – takes her in a direction she never anticipated.

Read it here: https://shortfictionbreak.com/the-walk/

The-Walk

Goodbye, Ursula

Yesterday, the world lost a unique mind, a powerful voice, a passionate advocate.

Urusla LeGuin was a truly singular writer. It’s impossible to read one of her books and walk away unchanged. She set human problems and emotions and frailties and strengths against fantastic backdrops, and in doing so challenged us to face reality. She fought tirelessly for the legitimacy of science fiction and fantasy as literature, and for the legitimacy of those who wrote it. In her book on writing, The Wave in the Mind, she wrote, with her usual cutting wit, “To think that realistic fiction is by definition superior to imaginative fiction is to think that imitation is superior to invention.”

She called on all of us to use our imaginations in her 2014 National Book Award speech. She warned us, “Hard time are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope.” Then she took on the publishing industry –  a large part of the audience that night – for its lack of imagination. “Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing… Books aren’t just commodities.”

In releasing the news of her death, her son called her a “peaceful warrior.” I can’t think of a better description of such a courageous spirit.

Yesterday, I lost one of my literary heroes. Thankfully, one whole shelf in my library is stocked with her books and short stories and essays. Her words will always be with me.

Goodbye, Ursula…

 

Trade-Offs

Decisions. Choices. Trade-offs.

Aftermaths.

No matter how well-thought out, no matter how many pros and cons lists we make, decision are made in the moment. There’s no knowing how it will all turn out.

In my latest story for Short Fiction Break, Kate made a decision she believed was best for everyone. But she wasn’t prepared for the aftermath, and now she’s stuck between what’s best for her family and what’s best for her. And the weight of her choice is crushing her.

Read it here: http://shortfictionbreak.com/cracked/

Cracked

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: http://shortfictionbreak.com/lost-halden/

Lost

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 to recapture her inner child. If only for a moment.

Read it here: http://shortfictionbreak.com/pool-day/

Pool-Day

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: http://shortfictionbreak.com/family-business/

Family-Business

 

Ups and Downs

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

Anyone?

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:  http://shortfictionbreak.com/hanging-out/

Hanging-Out