A Few Short Stories
For some reason, my stories usually have contemporary
settings, though I put my novel characters back in a historical moment.
Featured in Literary Journals
The Cincinnati Review published one of my (to me) most gut-wrenching stories, "Fourteen Shakes the Baby," in summer 2016--and nominated it for a Pushcart Prize--and sent it to Electric Literature as recommended reading.
It's a story about an adolescent girl and the dangers of saying yes.
Much-loved adoptee Ileanna Pratt invites a lonely friend to visit her birth family on the Tesuque reservation ... driving the narrator's father's car, which contains a loaded gun that might or might not be of interest to Ileanna's family. First published in Prairie Schooner in 2005.
"Perfect, for You" is a romp about a man just out of prison and wooing his telegenic dream girl--via a botched bank robbery for which he's made no plan. It appeared in Gargoyle.
From The Los Angeles Review ... Who wouldn't be hurt if her sister left her behind and drove to L.A. to win prizes on The Price Is Right? Rhonda Burns addresses the local Media Club and Mothers' Optimists Club ostensibly to celebrate her sister's achievements and explain how the two of them got where they are today.
"Their Foreign Body" was published by Blue Mesa Review online. Click the button to read about a desperately weird family and their attempt to connect with the neighbors by taking in a worldly (and sultry) French exchange student.
"un-Bridal: The Clerk's Tale" shows that sometimes you can get a real story out of a writing exercise. This exercise involved verbs in one hat, occupations in another hat; you pull a slip of paper from each one and write a story with the result. As a bonus, this online feature shows my actual wedding cake--after the cake deliveryman broke the antique bride and groom on top. You can read this on PS I Love You, as of winter 2017.
"The Loneliness of Carson Drew" is the fruit of decades of wondering about Nancy Drew's parents--exactly how her mother died (in one book only, we find out Mrs. Drew died of "an illness"--and perhaps even more crucial, why her father never seems to go on dates. I may have had a hunch about a few things ... Miracle Monocle published this story about teen sleuthing in spring 2018 and nominated it for a Pushcart that year.
Painted Bride Quarterly took "Last Meeting of the China Moon Pain Club."
"Sleeps Well with Others: The Evaluations" was in Hayden's Ferry Review--which also ran one of my very first published stories when I was 24.
"The Bed of Imaginary Loves" won The Journal's fiction contest in 2010.