Category Archives: Journal


There are certain postmarks as a writer that mean more than some others. When series editor Tara Masih sent me the news that my flash fiction, “A Box,” (originally published in RIFT) was chosen as a winner, and would be included in the second installment of Best Small Fictions 2016, I was overjoyed. The BSM 2016 book was released two days ago, and I can’t wait for my copy to arrive tomorrow. Also, it makes me even more ecstatic that Kathy Fish (we co-wrote our last book, RIFT) had her incredible story, “A Room With Many Small Beds” chosen by editor Stuart Dybek for inclusion in the same stellar anthology:


From the Goodreads page: “This second installment of The Best Small Fictions continues to celebrate the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words. Forty-five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Alberto Chimal, Toh EnJoe, Kathy Fish, Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, and Eliel Lucero—offer readers “some of the brightest concise writing available today” (NewPages). With spotlights on Texture Press and author Megan Giddings, the acclaimed new series, with its “finger on the pulse,” succeeds in its aim to make something big from many small things.”

Best Small Fictions 2016, Featuring Small Fictions by:

Amir Adam, Daniel Aristi, Tina Barry, Paul Beckman, Laurie Blauner, John Brantingham, Alberto Chimal, Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Toh EnJoe, Grant Faulkner, Kathy Fish, Rosie Forrest,Megan Giddings, Amelia Gray, Charles Hansmann, Britt Haraway, Mary-Jane Holmes, Laird Hunt, A. Nicole Kelly, James Kennedy, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, Nathan Leslie, Paul Lisicky, Eliel Lucero, Nancy Ludmerer, Melissa Manning, Michael Martone, Elizabeth Morton, David Naimon, Jessica Plante, Dianca London Potts, Dawn Raffel, James Reidel, Sophie Rosenblum, Caitlin Scarano, Vincent Scarpa, Robert Scotellaro, Courtney Sender, Janey Skinner, Curtis Smith, Robert Vaughan, Clio Velentza

Amy Hempel: “Prepare to be surprised by this striking new series–it has quickly become essential reading.”

Exploratory Fiction at Mabel Dodge Luhan House

Hi friends!

I just returned yesterday from our week long workshop. Kathy Fish and I led an Exploratory Fiction workshop: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice. It was held at the venerable Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. There are so many favorite moments, captured in snapshots from the entire, phenomenal week. I will include them in this post when possible.

Len Kuntz and I arrived a day early, and toured Bandolier National Monument:


The day was perfect, and I hadn’t been there since 1987. Quite amazing memories, and new ones, also.

Our workshop participants arrived all day on Saturday, and we began the event after dinner. All week, our focus was on creative, generative writing time, supported by contemporary writing examples of exploratory fiction we all read together each morning (e.g. Lucia Berlin, Lydia Copeland, Yennie Cheung, DJ Berndt, Eileen Merriman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Aubrey Hirsch and Casey Hannon).

teaching MDLH

Above is Juniper Hall, where we experienced some stimulating discussions about flash fiction. Also, we had terrific fiction exercises that we used in class or as possible prompts all week for the workshop participants to pursue.

IMG_3757IMG_3758IMG_3791IMG_3810Meg Taos

Top (L to R): Len Kuntz outside Big House; Levi Andrew Noe on Patio

Middle (L to R): Jonathan Cardew in Gazebo; Katherine Seluja in Big House

Bottom: Meg Tuite in Room 1 of Juniper House

We also held roundtables from 3-5 pm every day. The two groups would meet with either Kathy Fish, or me. Each writer would take a turn reading her/his new story aloud, then receive insightful comments. It was truly inspiring, both to hear the new work, and the amount of distance each writer traveled in terms of risk, support, adventure, and willingness to play at 100%.

The meals were terrific: ’nuff said. All three, every single day. The staff: beyond the best!

entire crewMDLH kitchen

Workshop participants on L

Mabel Dodge Luhan Kitchen staff on R.

In addition, we held a panel discussion Tuesday night about publishing with independent presses:

Ts Panel MDLH

(L to R): Len Kuntz, Kathy Fish, Meg Tuite, Robert Vaughan.

And on Wednesday afternoon, we had a docent tour of the Big House, which is exquisite:

DHL windowsunnamed-1

Left: Bathroom windows painted by D.H. Lawrence! Right: Painted stairs to Mabel and Tony’s rooms.

K and me

“Salon Talk” in Mabel’s room, Robert Vaughan and Katherine Seluja!

homies MDLH

Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite and Len Kuntz on Tony Luhan’s original sleeping couch!

Our last evening in Taos, Thursday, we held a reading, hosted by Meg Tuite…all ten participants shared a new work that they’d crafted during the workshop. Also, Kathy Fish and I did. My story was called “Speed Trap.”

KF readingIMG_3958

None of this would have happened without my partner and cohort, the uber-talented Kathy Fish. Thanks for everything you did (and have done), to make this all a realized dream:


And here’s the good news: we are already making plans for a 2018 return to Mabel Dodge Luhan House. In the meantime, visit Kathy’s site at And I’ll be adding my teaching dates for 2017 very soon! Taos, we miss you so very much. Endless great memories made during our Exploratory Fiction: Tap In, Dig Deep, Discover Voice workshop:




Blog Talk Radio’s Kayla Greenwell: Robert Vaughan & Kathy Fish talk about RIFT with theliteraryunderground

BLOG TALK RADIO interviews Kathy Fish & Robert Vaughan about RIFT, their new collaboration:

Cover with blurbs

TURN THE PAGE Host Kayla Greenwell interviews the literati and oddball creative-types with a focus on DIY and grassroots initiatives. This week, Kayla interviews Robert Vaughan and Kathy Fish about RIFT, their new collaboration of flash fiction from UNKNOWN PRESS.

Source: Turn the Page with Kayla Greenwell: Focus on Robert Vaughan & Kathy Fish 12/02 by theliteraryunderground | Writing Podcasts

Readings, Raffles and more

Hi friends!

A quick recap of my recent trip to Santa Fe: WHAT A BLAST!!! The view from our room 630 at La Fonda, and my pal, Len whom I shared the glory with:

10426125_10205375485565130_1045649562077628047_nLen Kuntz Sa Fe 2015

We went to Santa Fe for the TWISTED Reading Series, hosted by our pal, Meg Tuite:

El Flacco and Meg Santa Fe

Our featured reader was the exceptional Kate Braverman, and once Karen Stefano and James Claffey arrived, everything was A-OK! Meg’s Santa Fe reading circle rounded out the twelve readers. Also the Denver writers, with Sally Reno, Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman (at a Karaoke Lounge after the reading) :

Kate Braverman and meReading in Santa FeThe gang Santa Fe 2015Len and me Santa Fe

Last photo of me actually reading a new piece, “Keep it, Curt”:


Overall, it  was a festive event and a great extended weekend!


The winner of the January Raffle is…Julia Fiero!!! There were seventy-four entries and I asked a non-writer to select a name out of a hat (blind). Congratulations, Julia- I hope you enjoy Luke Goebel’s Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours as much as I did!

February Raffle is Together We Can Bury It by Kathy Fish! To enter, simply comment here or on my Facebook Post, Twitter or Tumblr. This is another book you simply must have!

And, my piece called The Fallow Heart, which is in my Addicts & Basements book, you can read at Fictionaut: “The Fallow Heart” by Robert Vaughan — Fictionaut

And that, sugar plums, is a wrap…stay warm and informed.


Book List 2013 and the cold

Hi friends,

It’s sub-zero weather this morning! Negative 11 degrees, to be exact. Which means, I’m a shut-in. Schools are closed, food is in the fridge. It’s a great day to curl up with a good book. Which brings me to my list from last year. I wasn’t going to publish my reading list from 2013. Why not? Who knows. But then, I devoured a great book the past three days, Calendar of Regrets by Lance Olsen (thanks, Jane L. Carman for recommending it), and I thought, why not share what I read last year? Also, how do you hear about the books you read? How do they come to you?

Here are my 2013 reads, in chronological order:

The Human Line– Ellen Bass (poetry)

Something Has to Happen Next– Andrew Michael Roberts (poetry)

Space, In Chains– Laura Kasichke (poetry)

A Thousand Morons– Quinn Monzo

Somewhere Piano– Sarah Busse (poetry)

The Bill From My Father– Bernard Cooper (memoir)

Debacle Debacle– Matt Hart (poetry)

Racing Hummingbirds– Jeanann Verlee (poetry)

Pomegranate and Other Stories– Gay Degani

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?– Jeanette Winterson (memoir)

Moods By Rachel Glaser

Shampoo Horns– Aaron Teal

House of Incest– Anais Nin

Laure: The Collected Writings– trans. by Jeanine Herman

Winter Stars– Larry Levis (poetry)

When the Only Light is Fire– Saeed Jones (poetry)

Smoking Mirrors– edited by Meg Tuite, Connotation Press

Fast Forward: A Collection of Flash Fiction 2012– edited by Leah Rogin-Roper

leadbelly– Tyehimba Jess (poetry)

A Secondary Landscape– Aaron Gilbreath

the great enigma– Tomas Transtromer (poetry)

Letters From Robots– Diana Salier (poetry)

Blue Rust– Joe Millar (poetry)

Machine Dreams– Jayne Anne Phillips

Life on Mars– Tracy K. Smith (poetry)

But Our Princess is in Another Castle– BJ Best

A Little Soul: 140 Twitterstories– Darren Cormier

What the Right Hand Knows– Tom Healy (poetry)

Native Guard– Natasha Trethewey (poetry)

He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices– Stephen S. Mills (poetry)

You Are Jaguar– David Tomaloff and Ryan Bradley (poetry)

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story– D.T. Max (memoir)

The Buoyancy of It All– Robert Walker (poetry)

Heroines– Kate Zembrano (memoir/essay)

Triste– Lisa Marie Basile (poetry)

Adirondack Camps– Craig Gilmore

The Art of Porosity– Andrew Franck

Aaron & Keoni– Loren Moreno (flash fiction)

Henry Darger Art and Selected Writings– edited by Michael Bonesteel (memoir)

Man Vs. Sky– Corey Zeller (poetry)

The Dream Police– Dennis Cooper (poetry)

A Taste of Cherry– Kara Condito (poetry)

Badlands– Thomas Biel

Verses– Ani DeFranco (poetry)

Slut Lullabies– Gina Frangello

Train Dreams– Denis Johnson

Glaciers– Alexis M. Smith

A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos edited by David Trinidad (poetry)

Men Undressed– anthology edited by Cris Mazza

the & now awards: the best innovative writing– ed. by Davis Schneiderman

The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara- edited by Donald Allen (poetry)

Black Aperture– Matt Rasumssen (poetry)

Rough Music– Deborah Digges (poetry)

One Hidden Stuff– Barbara Ras (poetry)

Zin!– Kyle Hemmings (poetry chapbook)

Waging Heavy Peace– Neil Young (memoir)

A Marker to Measure Drift– Alexander Maksik

A Walk in the Woods– Bill Bryson (memoir)

Pleasure Trout– Gloria Mindock (poetry)

Antidotes For An Alibi– Amy King (poetry)

Milk Run– Kate Braverman (poetry)

My 1980s and Other Essays– Wayne Koestenbaum (essays)

The Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge– Peter Orton (short stories)

We Agreed to Meet Just Here– Scott Blackwood

Time-Bound– Kurt Brown (poetry)

Bound by Blue– Meg Tuite (short stories)

First Time– anthology, edited by Bud Smith

By Myself– D.A. Powell & David Trinidad (faux memoir)

The Buoyancy of it All– Robert Walker (poetry)

Eternal Patrol– Russell Dillon (poetry)

The Peerless Four– Victoria Patterson (novel)

In the Carnival of Breathing– Lisa Fay Coultey (poetry)

Her Skin Is a Costume– Meg Tuite (chapbook)

Cinema Verite– Sam Rasnake (poetry)

Alone With Other People– Gabby Bess

Inheritance– Steven Reigns (poetry)

Dead Letters- Joani Reese (poetry)

American Busboy– Matthew Guenette (poetry)

The Whack-Job Girls and Other Stories– Bonnie Zobell (flash fiction)

Morrissey- Autobiography- Stephen Andrew Morrissey

The Book of Women– Dorianne Laux (poetry)

The Anchorage– Mark Wonderlich (poetry)

The Laughter of Strangers– Michael Seidlinger

Box Cutter– Samuel Snoek-Brown (flash fiction)

Had I A Hundred Mouths– William Goyen (short stories)

Were there any outstanding books you read in 2013? Any prior to last year? Do you share your favorite books with friends? Are you a member of Goodreads, where anyone can share the books you’ve read, rate them, or write a review? Here is my Goodreads | Robert Vaughan page. 

Also, thanks to Molly Gaudry and the great peeps at The Lit Pub, for the listing of Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits: The Lit Pub • Home. My publisher, Deadly Chaps Press, and Joseph Quintela, sent out his 2013 year-in-review newsletter, and included this excerpt: 

“Deadly Chaps Press made one release in our continuing chapbook series but it was a doozy: the remarkable Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks, + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan. He’s already getting rave reviews and has been listed at LitPub. Get your copy now, or as always, you can give it a read online for free! We look forward to upcoming releases by Niela Mezynski and Mark James Andrews in 2014.”  Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits






A new Anthology: First Time

Hi everyone!

When my friend Bud Smith told me he was planning a collection of pieces that had to do with loss of virginity, I thought…hmm, what a fantastic idea (and he’s full of them!) I’d just published Microtones with Cervena Barva Press (The Lost Bookshelf), and there is a poem in the chapbook, “My Bicycle,” that hints at a first time experience. Surely, as does most poetry, it leaves more details out than what might be included. So when I sent the poem to Bud (letting him know it was already in my chap), he took it. Then he proposed a suggestion: how about writing about it in non-fiction, or essay form? Hmm.

And I tried. More than once. Entering the situation from different angles. But it just wasn’t working. Then, I had a recent experience where it all came clear to me. When I was in San Francisco, we had the great fortune to take in City Lights Bookstore, an icon, and one of my favorite haunts. Among the books I purchased, was Marie Calloway’s what purpose did I serve in your life. I’d paid some attention to the initial publication of her story, Adrien Brody which had appeared at Muumuu House (included in the book). And the controversy that accompanied this, the Gawker article (Girl, Microfamed) and it’s ongoing debate. I remember thinking at the time, what’s all the hubbub? I’d read The Happy Hooker, most of Kathy Acker, among many other graphic, gripping accounts of sex.

So, then I read Marie’s (not her real name) book, in one sitting. And it felt anti-climactic. It’s not that the writing is “bad,” or too repetitious, or just bloody boring. It’s that one person’s sexual experiences are unique to their own person. And this is when I doubled back to my own complications with writing that scene in the tent. It’s mine. No big deal. Instead, enjoy this iconic song by Todd Rundgren, that came out the same summer I lost my virginity: ▶ We gotta get you a Women-Todd Rundgren – YouTube. Some great irony in those lyrics!

And, if you’re interested in sex (who isn’t?), or loss of virginity, or how over forty talented writers write about this topic, then by all means, get FIRST TIME:

Cover for First Time

Here is a list of contributors:

List of Contributors for First Time

The Amazon Link to First Time: An Anthology about Lost Virginity:

Description: Four dozen writers retell the intimate details about how they lost their virgnity in this touching, hilarious and shocking collection.

“Utterly unique.” Kleft Jaw

“A truly jaw-dropping collection, featuring some of the best underground writers around today.” Uno Kudo

“This is one bareass collection you just gotta’ have…” Robert Vaughan

This enthralling assembly of short stories, essays, and poems never ceases to entertain. Everyone has a story about their first time; these writers take it to the limit. Thanks, as ever, Bud Smith, for rocking it time and time again.

June Bug

I love the B-52s. Music that is irreverent, danceable, and simply unusual. I also like summer storms, and it’s a good thing since we have had plenty. I find the transitions from thunderstorms to shiny, happy skies refreshing. Weather has a profound, intense affect on me, on moods, and mental imagery. I often write about the world around me, the woods, the whistling trees, the budding peonies.

It is an honor to see that my writing is included among two “best of” lists, one that I mentioned at Gay Degani’s fantastic site called Flash Fiction Chronicles 100 Story Links in Honor of Short Story Month 2011 (4). Compiled by writers who suggested links to their favorite stories of 2010, my story, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” , included at #66, was recommended by great friend and talented writer Meg Tuite. Thanks Meg, Gay and folks at FFC for compiling such a wondrous list.

Then I was shocked, and elated to see the same story appear at Sam Rasnake’s blog on his list 10,000′s favorite short fictions & verse: a would-be/should-be anthology « sam of the ten thousand things. Wowsah, thanks, Sam, and what a great list!

Meanwhile, we taped and aired our May Flash Fiction Friday program at WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Writing & Reassurance. This month’s line-up was stellar with Wisconsin writers, bl pawelek and, Jack Douthitt and national writer Julie Innis. Thanks to all the talent, and co-host Stephanie Lecci!

Other writing published since I last blogged:

Blue Sky Ahead by Robert Vaughan « In Between Altered States (thanks Aleathia!)

Simo Freeshow – Pure Slush (theme was queer, thanks editor Matt Potter!)

“No Soul” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

fwriction : review (this is a collaboration of work called “Fictionaut Six” by editor Danny Goodman, including, Ana Verse, Len Kuntz (People You Know By Heart), Meg Pokrass, Sam Rasnake (sam of the ten thousand things), Susan Tepper and me. What an honor to have my work included in the great issue and zine. Thanks, Danny!

My micro-fiction “Rejection,” is up at 50 to 1. Thanks editor Paul!

And this just in: a new home page at 52|250 A Year of Flash!!! The project is morphing into Baker’s Dozen, more forthcoming from editor Michelle Elvy (Glow Worm), who also selected my story “Breath” to be included in her “Language and Place at the Edge” for Edition #6 of Language and Place Blog Carnival. Thanks, Michelle!

I have work forthcoming at Metazen, Housefire, Yes, Poetry, Connotation Press, Midwestern Gothic, Eunoia Review, MiCrow, among others.

This morning I am listening to Nicki Minaj…thanks to Char for turning me on to Nicki last week. Her song “Moment 4 Life” is infectious!

What are you listening to? Any favorites? What are you reading? Standouts?

May Flowers

What a whirlwind world we live in: a Royal wedding televised like nothing previously, followed by the death of an infidel with images we would never see prior to this week. The movies don’t get better than this! How does it relate to fiction? Say a writer brings memoir to a roundtable, reads it. During feedback, someone might say it just doesn’t sound “real,” or the voice or point-of-view sounds “inauthentic.” And the writer usually gets defensive: “But, but, this is how it REALLY HAPPENED!”

Point is, it doesn’t matter. Life is far more stranger than fiction, exemplified this past week on a massive scale.

Some writing features since I last blogged:

We taped our April Flash Fiction Friday show at WUWM’s Lake Effect. This month, local writers Laurel Landis (“Carousel”) and Timmothy Merath (“Juggernaut”) read their flash pieces, and I had the privilege of reading Meg Tuite’s “Distracted.” We’ve had lots of great feedback and the show would not be possible without the efforts of my delightful co-host, Stephanie Lecci and the Lake Effect staff. WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Choices in Gender   Listen for submission opportunities.

My piece, “The Outlaw” is included in the May elimae! This is one of my favorite online magazines, so it’s fantastic to be included among such talent. I re-posted the piece at Fictionaut. (It appeared originally at 52/250 in January). “The Outlaw” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut Thanks editor Brandon Hobson!

And speaking of 52/250, it’s hard to believe this incredibly  fun, generous, and gracious community will be writing it’s last segment this week, with the theme for the 52nd week: “Threesome.” For what’s to come with 52/250,  read What’s Next? | 52|250 A Year of Flash Thanks editors Michelle, John & Walter!

And my latest When He Calls by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Cold Front by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Matron by Robert Vaughan | 52|250 A Year of Flash

I have a collection of three micro-fiction at Blue Lotus Review. Thanks editor Amy Willoughby Burle.

“Liminal” is included in a great May line-up at Negative Suck. Thanks editor Jeffrey Callico .Wordprompt 5 – NEGATIVE SUCK

“Loneliness” is up at Magnolia’s Press. Thanks editor Will Clingan “Loneliness,” Robert Vaughan « MP

Happy One Year Anniversary to Russell at The Camel Saloon! Check out the great line-up of writers, including buddy Len Kuntz with his poem, “The Truth About Snow”: The Camel Saloon Thanks Russell, for all of your ongoing support.

I have work forthcoming at 52/250, “Nowhere in Sight” at Pure Slush (check out this site for the Queer theme all May). About – Pure Slush

Also a non-fiction article called “On Writing Recollection and Flash Fiction” is forthcoming at Flash Fiction Chronicles (thanks Gay Degani). Flash Fiction Chronicles I’ve work coming out at Frwiction, Used Furniture Review, Rufous City Review, Cavalcade of Stars, Thirty-Nine, The Scream, and more.

During the month of April, Thunderclap Press supported poets and Poetry Month by publishing a poem per day on our blog. Check it out! A chapbook is forthcoming, as well as discounts on Thunderclap 5! Get it NOW!

Please join us for our next Redbird-Redoak on the road! A Cafe Fixx Showcase in May 5th, more information here: RedBird-RedOak Writing

Also, I will be teaching FLASH IN THE PAN on May 14th. Register today, before its too late! “Flash in the Pan” with Robert Vaughan « RedBird-RedOak Writing

Happy trails my friends, until next installment!


This new header on my blog is from a series of watercolors that I painted in the span of twenty-four hours one day in 1989. Someday I might just get brave enough to post more of that project. Fine art, as in drawing, painting, sculpture, etc. never seemed to be my forte. I was more akin to music, dance, theater and now, finally writing (which I did all along). Perhaps because my sisters are all gifted in their own unique way, I steered clear of the artistic paths of true “art.” Who knows?

I recently got a scanner. This comes as a shock, probably more to those who know how technologically challenged I am. It’s been fun surprising friends with the occasional “remember this?” photo, or a sibling with an emotional moment: a photo of our beloved farm on Victor Road, or a kick back moment with goofy garb (weren’t they all in the 1970s?).

And then, yesterday, I tracked down (with the assistance of my sleuth-skilled pal in Brooklyn, thanks red!) my freshman room-mate from Fredonia State University. John is not an easy fellow to trace, in fact we resorted to calling one another “The Foreigner” and “Mr. Guinnips” when we roomed together. We still don’t know why. We were the solo music majors (perjoratively called “zippies,”) surrounded by jocks and meatheads in Alumni Hall, an all male dorm. I know I was unprepared (17 going on 15) and John and I, after a few weeks adjusting, became fast friends. I sang lead in a band, Traail, and we dabbled in, well, expanding our fields of perception. We did some really bizarre things, including hitch-hiking to Myrtle Beach on a whim. John and I have been in touch on and off through the years. But as he is not into social networking, per se, track him down I did! It was great to chat yesterday, like falling into an easy chair.

The writing scene is storming ahead! I am still reading flash fiction submissions for the LOVE issue of Thunderclap! Magazine…thanks to editor-in-chief Amanda Deo! Here is the information, closes November 15th…


I am also reading still for JMWW magazine and loving the work there. Staff recently helped Jen Michalski to decide on the JMWW print Anthology #5 and it will premiere at the AWP Conference in Washington, D.C. in Feb., 2011. I can’t wait, as I will be there!

Here is where you can find more of my own recent work since my last post:

“Sometimes he feels like it’s numb” at Salt River Review…farewell issue! We will miss you! story by Robert Vaughan

“Casey’s Grill” at In Between Altered States In Between Altered States

“Nod to Jack” at The Camel Saloon

The Eye of the Needle: Jack Kerouac Day October 21, 2010: Nod to Jack

“A Good Pain” at Fiction at Work Short Shorts

“Stuffed” at Negative Suck current content – NEGATIVE SUCK

“Just Tell Me” at

I want to thank each and every editor who has worked with me since I began this journey of submitting, and to those who accepted work above: Lynda (best to you dear!), Aleathia, Russell, Toby, Jeffrey, and Shannon. Each a talented writer in their own write! (right)

Last Saturday, I led a Flash Fiction workshop called Flash in the Pan! There were 14 participants and we had a great time at the Redbird- Redoak Studio. You can see some pictures here: RedBird-RedOak ~ A Unique Writing Community Thanks again, Kim Suhr for doing such a stellar job at the helm. It drove home the reasons why I do love this genre and continue to explore its dazzling facets.

If you are local and able to join me, please come to Boswell Books on Friday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m. A multi-talented trio of writers from Chicago will be there to read, laugh and talk about their latest books: Gina Frangello (Slut Lullabies) Davis Schneiderman (Drain) and Zoe Zolbrod (Currency). It’s going to be one you don’t want to miss! More information about the event here:

Forthcoming Events – November 2010 | Boswell Book Company

As our weather turns to chill, warm your heart with a great book, an interesting magazine, an author event, a great book on tape or Kindle. Sometime in December I will post all of my reads from 2010. Damn, my eyes have been busy!

Until next time…


We have two invasive plants that grow on our five acres of mostly woods. One is garlic mustard, a biennial that sounds like it would make a great culinary addition to any meal. This one we have mostly under control, thanks to our friend, Jay, who sprays non-invasive chemicals throughout the growing season. It doesn’t kill our lovely woodland flowers: sweet william, lupine, phlox, Turk’s Cap lillies and many other varieties. But if we don’t manage the garlic mustard, it does attempt to take over; it is prolific and highly pervasive.

Our other species of concern is common and glossy buckthorn. It is able to spread aggressively because it thrives in habitats ranging from full sun to shaded, and is an abundant seed grower. There is also speculation that they are allelopathic, using toxins to outcompete other vegetation. Well, you can imagine how relieved I feel to have had a team of landscapers working on removing our buckthorn completely. It was not an easy project, but so necessary. To have those sight lines opened up again, and to spot even more woodland creatures: fox, deer, coyote. Oh boy!

In getting ready for my upcoming Flash in the Pan course that I will be teaching at Redbird- Redoak on October 30th, I made a list of writers and artists whose work had, continue to have, an impact on my short fiction: William Vollman, Anais Nin, Donald Barthelme, Rumi, e.e. cumings, Hafiz, Jayne Bowles, Joseph Campbell, Jamaica Kincaid, Barry Yourgrau, Margaret Atwood, Rimbaud, Kenneth Patchen, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson. Maybe take a moment to create a short list of those artists whose lives or work have impacted yours?

Here are the places you can find my work published this past month:

Cowboys & Indians « Clutching at Straws

Fill the Void « Clutching at Straws

“Semaphores” at 2010 September 15 |

“Zasu Pitts” at: The Camel Saloon: Zasu Pitts

“Test” at Indigo Rising:Indigo Rising Magazine. Also inclusion of “Box Elders” in Indigo Rising Print Edition #3.

“Harley Heaven” at Orion headless:Harley Heaven | Orion headless

“Pool Hall” at Girls with Insurance: Pool Hall | GwI

“Salt” at Magnolia’s Press: “Salt,” Robert Vaughan | Magnolia’s Press

A thousand thanks to editors: Shawn, Shannon, Russell, Tannen and Michael, Sara, Dawn, and Will. Behind every amazing web or print zine is a person or a staff that makes tough decisions. I am so honored to be found among these pages.

I also want to give a huge shout to my girl, Amanda Deo, for honoring me with editor credit on the latest Thunderclap! Press, Numero Tres: The Femme Fatale issue! I was so excited to find this all female issue chock full of inspirational points of view, and the gamut of  female experiences. You can order that here, and please do!

Thunderclap! Special Edition – Femme Fatal by thunderclappress in Poetry

Also, Amanda and I are looking forward to reading submissions for the upcoming Thunderclap! Magazine Numero Quatro issue. Theme? LOVE! Send us your LOVE poems and LOVE flash pieces. Today! Here is the place to mail them:

SUBMIT! « Thunderclap Press

Last Friday I was able to scoot over to Madison to take in the Wisconsin People & Ideas book fest reading at Avol’s. This was to honor the winners’ of their 2009 annual Wisconsin People & Ideas contest. The top three poets read (keep an eye out for the first place winner, Austin Smith, who’s first book “in the silence of the migrated birds” is out by Parallel Press). And the top three fiction readers read, topped off by dear friend and bottomless talent, Sheila Hanrahan. She read her 1st place winner, “Anything that Sticks” which was included in the Summer 2010 Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.  Sheila was fantastic, and her story held me on the verge of tears numerous times. Here is more information about the contest winners, and also a link to this year’s contest:

Wisconsin Academy : 2010 Short Story Contest

Wisconsin Academy : Writing Contests

In closing, I was surprised to see a friend make a recent comment on my blog. She and I met briefly the first morning of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in July. We were early birds, eagerly among the first to check in that morning, and fell easily into chatting about our craft, lives, and the world-at-large. After we attended the massive “welcome” session for all writers, all workshops, we departed to our separate writing worlds, never to see one another again. And yet…this is one of those fantastic things about the internet! She tracked me down through my blog! Yes, I know, I could delve into the darker realms of the internet, and I might wait to do so, as I am seeing “The Social Network” movie today. Instead I’ll just say, thanks, Nancy, for finding me!