Tag Archives: short story

SHORT FRICTIONS: Collecting a Collection of Short Stories

picI first started talking about publishing a collection of short stories shortly after HOT MESS went live. Initially, I had a set of about eight short stories on themes around artificial intelligence and robots – some written, some ideas – and the group of them should have been out for your reading pleasure about a year and a a half ago.

Obviously, that hasn’t happened.That isn’t to say I haven’t been writing. I have. A lot. And two weeks ago, I realized that what I thought were a couple of reader-ready stories were actually several more than that. Also that I have a tendency to forget when I’ve finished something if I don’t make a big deal of it right away.

Therefore, this post is an announcement of an upcoming publication from yours truly.

Some of the stories I wanted to write wound up not being the ideas I thought they were, others were far longer than I’d meant them to be, and in at least one case, a criticism from a friend crawled into my brain and died there – which isn’t to say that story will never be written, but there were enough flaws with the idea that it needs some serious time and attention before it’s ready for popular consumption. Others, which would have been timely if I’d managed to get them published 18 months ago, now feel a little stale and in need of a reworking that might not have mattered if so much time hadn’t gone by. Some of the stories in the collection will already have seen the light of day, and some are no longer available in their original publications.

Some of these shorts have been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time – in particular, a piece about a vampire during the Holocaust which I wrote over ten years ago and have been too self-conscious to share since then*.

Well, self, time to get over it.

It will likely be a few more weeks before the collection is ready to go, so consider this a heads-up. I have a new book coming out. It will be available both electronically (through Amazon and Smashwords) and in print (via Createspace, which also feeds into Amazon).

The title will be SHORT FRICTIONS, and I hope you will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, I am legitimately terrified, and once the finishing touches are on the publication file, I will be hiding under my quilt in bed.


*I still remember standing in Blackstone’s Book Shop on Charing Cross Road, back in 2002, staring at a book I wanted to buy and thinking, on my student budget, I can justify buying this if I write something about it afterwards, then it’s research and that’s totally okay. Since then I’ve shared it with a few friends, as well as an agent who said she’d be interested in reading the novel, should I ever choose to develop it into one, I just haven’t actually published it anywhere. 

Scary Story “10 Mississippi” Gets Reviewed

Last month, the short story “10 Mississippi” was released as part of Writer’s Week over on Emily Suess’ blog. The story was written as a round robin, with contributors including Johann Thorsson, Len Berry, Claire Ryan (who helped with the “I Wrote This” redesign!) and me.

Today, the piece received its first review – and it’s a good one! Here’s an excerpt:

“For anyone who spent their childhoods sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories, this twenty-two page thriller is sure to remind you of those tales.  The plot is simple:  three kids perform a dare which entails knocking on the door of a supposed haunted house and staying on the porch for ten Mississippi’s.  Also, the terrifying neighborhood dog plays an integral role in the storyline.”

Caviar Dreams

There’s still time to pick up a copy of the book here, and it’s available in all e-formats.

Writer’s Week 2012

(Graphic courtesy of Emily Suess)

This year, I was invited to take part in Writer’s Week 2012 by contributing part of a round robin short story. The concept behind the round robin is described on Suess’s Pieces, and the short story is available for $1.39 to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

 Within the wider context of Writer’s Week, which takes place September 10th-14th, there’s a writing contest, guest blog posts, and more – check it out!

Things Are Hotting Up – On Climate Change, Speculative Fiction, and Short Story Anthology HOT MESS.


Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My first summer in New York City was hot. Not “better put on flip flops and a tank top” hot. 105 in the shade hot. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and having just spent four years living in Scotland, I remember calling my mom as I walked home from work one day. She could probably hear the sweat in my voice. “What was I thinking?” I asked her. She had no answer.

Most of the year, NYC is a climactically pleasant place to be.  But every summer I’ve been there, without fail, has included one or two miserable days – at the least. And every winter has been a little bit less extreme. In 2011, those miserable summer days came in mid-July, and with them an idea for an anthology of short stories that could examine the idea of climate change and its impact on the way people live in and relate to their world.

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