• blog,  Book Reviews

    Book Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

    *Spoiler Alert* In A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash tells the story of a death that happens in a small church from three different points of view, each person giving different parts of the story. There is Adelaide Lyle who opens the book remembering how much has changed in the tiny North Carolina town where they live. She hints that these changes came about because of the actions or decisions of Carson Chambliss. The book is about a tragic event that changes the town forever. Read more about writing a great beginning with a great hook.  This first chapter is incredibly strong. It follows the full arc of a…

  • blog,  On Writing

    Four Ways to Grab the Reader’s Attention in the First Sentence

    Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t grab your reader in the first sentence, you could miss it. This essay is a summary of the points made in my recent Write Naked, Die Famous Podcast on the topic of Beginnings. Use this article as a reference. Listen here. There are so many things competing for our attention it’s even hard to focus on the important things, it’s hard to stay on task. We are easily distracted and hard pressed to really focus on something. With fast-paced TV shows, high tech movies and the scandal, drama and salacious content in bite-sized portions on social media, how are we, as novelists, supposed to…

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    This is Friday night

    This is Friday night at the country club for dinner with my Ivy League husband where we will act surprised to see all the same people we saw last Friday night at the country club for dinner. The pale blue undertones in my $500 J McLaughlin dress will complement the deep blue in his Non-Iron Milano Fit Multiplaid Sport Shirt from Brooks Brothers.  We look like we planned this.  It’s casual Friday. We will reassure our friends that our lives, jobs and children are just as exceptional as they were last Friday, if not more. We will ask about the specials. It won’t matter that I have on my period panties…

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    Lady Moth

    Why are butterflies more beautiful than moths? With their loud colors, their sturdy wings, their pretentious stories of transformation as if that one time they changed was some grand accomplishment. The butterfly had no control over that change. It was a pregnancy, giving birth to herself. There is no talent or skill in giving birth. Your body takes over with contractions and cramps and pain until you are turned inside out. It is out of your control, giving birth to yourself or another. You are along for the ride. It’s what you do after that takes wisdom. But butterflies rest on their smug laurels talking about metamorphosis and transformation and…

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    Charcoal Skies

    The sky is charcoal grey with stars in every direction. In the distance, lightning flashes like an orange ball illuminating a low hanging clump of storm clouds. Cool air, smelling of salt and fish is tumbling around me pushing against my jacket, playing with my hair and lifting my skirt with unexpected gusts. I’m sitting on the beach with my knees drawn in. The sand is hard and soft underneath me. It feels cold and damp, but it’s dry where I am, far enough away from the shore that it’s rippled and pliable, but close enough that if I don’t move, the waves will reach up to me within the hour. It’s…

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    You Can Not Trust Your Eyes

    She knows that she looks sweet. She looks tender. Pretty. There’s an innocence about mher that inspires you to let down your guard. You want to protect her. How kind. You should know, it’s too late for your protection. There is no part of her that has not suffered wounds. There is no real innocence left. She have seen darkness and fought it. She won. And she lost. It consumed her, she fought back harder and consumed it. She carries it with her now, in her belly, in her blood. She knows that she am fun. She is happy! What a relief for you to find a woman so open!…

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    Sunrise and Sunset

    He is the grounded earth and I am the fickle sky and on the horizon his green and my blue make the fuzzy grey line where we mix, where we blend, where we are "we" and "us."

  • Fiction,  flash fiction

    I Have A Hunger Without Shape or Home

    I have a hunger without shape or home.  It beats through my body and fills me, pushing its way out with every breath, searching for you. It’s the way I stand taller next to you. It’s the way I can’t stop from smiling.  It’s the way I like to linger with my eyes on your eyes, on your shoulders, on your chest and on your hands.  It’s the way I’ve lost all formality, swearing my frustrations and confessing my fears as if there were no distance between my needs and your response.  My most primal needs are plain to you as if it were normal, as if I were naked like…