Let me tell you a story about …

For over seven years, I’ve been a published novelist, but I also write short stories. And now I’d like to tell some of those stories to you. My new book, The Silence In Noise and Other Stories, is a collection of short fiction. The stories range from one to twenty pages and offer fascinating, poignant, and often dark glimpses of ordinary people in critical moments.

  • Balance: After tragedy strikes a close-knit family, a grieving father’s inability to cope leads to a horrifying resolution.
  • Straightening the Curves: Nicole made a bad choice when she married Russell. Yet when she finally leaves him, it’s to his family she runs.
  • Unspeakable Words: A young woman receives soul-shattering news.
  • A Beautiful Man: James is only a small-time con artist until he meets the wealthy Ann. You’d think he’d be satisfied with his new Manhattan lifestyle, but James has a wandering eye and a greedy heart.
  • A Heart Next to Mine: Jesse fled a dreaded future underground in the coal mines, but two decades later, he’s a solitary man, emotionally buried just as deeply.
  • Meditation: A cynical woman rejects the possibility that something good is happening to her.
  • My Name is Amy Walls: When Amy awakens one Sunday morning to a terrifying new world, her struggle to survive begins.
  • Ambition: Kelly Jean is determined to get out of Mossy Creek. Unfortunately, her boyfriend doesn’t much care for her plan.
  • Act in Haste: Stan sees himself as a stand-up guy, but a strange encounter late one night leads to a different judgment.
  • Blood Relation: Janine is a tormented mother who lashes out with tragic consequences.
  • Existence: In the near future, strict governmental rules severely impact the life of a teen.
  • Better Left Alone: Newly divorced, Teresa succumbs to temptation when her teen heartthrob, claiming to have never forgotten her, reaches out.
  • Perchance to Dream: All is not as it seems when Nina prefers to spend her time dreaming of a man who is not her husband.
  • Secrets and Shadows: An unusual shadow embodies a child’s fears.
  • The Tisserand Phenomenon: The secret to phenomenal success for one New England family’s business lies deeper than anyone imagines.
  • Sight Unseen: Elise’s decision to meet a man she’s known only online ends in surprise.
  • The Silence in Noise: Beth’s drive to be the perfect mother has devastating repercussions.

IN OTHER NEWS
The Kindle version of my romantic comedy Love & Liability is on sale the whole month of December for only $.99! This is book 2 in my High Tea & Flip-Flops series “starring” Chelsea & Jeremy. I’m working on the last of that trilogy now.

If you celebrate a holiday this time of year, I wish you a wonderful one!

Brain Buzz

Because I was severely anemic, I had to have a blood transfusion before my recent surgery. My doctor said I needed five pints, but the most they could give me was three. He said I’d feel a lot better afterwards. Well, I can’t say I got to enjoy the energy boost right away because the next morning I went to surgery, but after I came home from the hospital, my brain started buzzing.

brainbuzzLike many things that change slowly, I knew I’d been struggling with brain fog, but I didn’t realize how bad it had become until it lifted. I hadn’t written much of anything for two months before my diagnosis, and certainly couldn’t concentrate to write after. But as I recovered from the surgery, ideas started popping.

In the last two weeks, I’ve written one new short story, finished two, and edited and revised nine other stories and a couple of poems! Alas, my doctor’s warning that I would lose that energy boost all at once has proven true. I’ve slowed down again, but hopefully my body will make up the deficit soon.

In any case, I now have an anthology in the works. And I hope to finish a final polish of my supernatural thriller and submit it to the Kindle Scout program. The publication of my romantic comedy, High Tea & Flip-Flops, has been successful, so I want to try again—especially since this is a totally different genre than I’ve published before.

But it’s not darker than I’ve written before. Many of my short stories deal with death, fears, and broken relationships. But I’ll balance my anthology with a few happier stories.

So that’s my writing plans for the near future. If I can just keep the brain fog at bay, that is.

I hope your brain is buzzing merrily.

Linda

Eventually, it always comes back to writing

So, yeah. I’ve been writing. As soon as I finished the first draft of one story, I started another. Now, scenes from my next novel are playing in my head. It’s a bit distracting, but I’m not going to drop everything and open that novel file yet. These little previews are just the Muse letting me know she’s working on it.

So, yeah. I’ve been writing. As soon as I finished the first draft of one story, I started another. Now, scenes from my next novel are playing in my head. It’s a bit distracting, but I’m not going to drop everything and open that novel file yet. These little previews are just the Muse letting me know she’s working on it.

Still, it’s hard to be patient with the story collection project, when I have a novel waiting. I have a couple more stories to write, and then, as I get feedback on the lot, it will be editing time. Recently, I received valuable feedback from someone I’ve never worked with before. She wrote seventeen comments on a story of less than seven hundred words! I had to laugh because that’s the way I critique. I think we might work well together. 😉

In other news: Has the weather this season been unusual where you live? We’ve been dry most of our rainy season, but finally got a good drench a couple of nights ago and then again last night. It’s been so warm and sunny, my peach and nectarine trees were set to bloom, and now the rain has brought a chill back to the air. Has anyone checked the earth’s tilt lately? I know my equilibrium’s off.

You all probably know that Adele won six Grammies Sunday night. Well deserved, in my opinion. I saw a link to an analysis of why her song “Someone Like You” is such a tearjerker. Though the song doesn’t quite make me cry, I do get chills at moments when I listen to it, so this analysis sounded reasonable to me. Now, if only I can figure out how to apply that “appoggiaturaa” thing to writing highly emotional scenes.

And there you go, I’ve brought the subject back around to writing again, so I think I’ll go do that. You go do something you love to do too.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and I’m not blue!

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about what I was writing until I’d written it, but, like all fiction writers, I lie. I won’t go into detail though. The title of this post says enough. After months of wrapping myself in rope after rope of “shoulds”, I ended up so tightly bound I couldn’t write at all.

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about what I was writing until I’d written it, but, like all fiction writers, I lie. I won’t go into detail though. The title of this post says enough. After months of wrapping myself in rope after rope of “shoulds”, I ended up so tightly bound I couldn’t write at all.

What happened to my plan to write more short stories for a collection? Well, critique comments pointing out things you “can’t do in short fiction”, depressed me. I see now that half the stories I’d written are really novel chapters in poor disguise. My lack of higher education has smacked me down. I don’t know the conventions of short fiction, and I don’t want to take the time to learn them—at least, not right now.

But I do have a story to tell, and it’s novel length. In fact, it’s the story I started to tell months ago, before I let my marketer’s brain take over. The story excited me then and it excites me now. I write what I write. It finds the readers it was meant to find. That’s my career plan.

Of course, now that I’m fired up, it’s almost time to take a break for the holidays. Life has a wry sense of humor. I’m not worried though, I’ve lived with this story for a good while. It’s not going anywhere. And PLEASE, if you hear me starting to doubt again, will you kick me?

Do you take a break for the holidays or try to keep your regular writing schedule?

Maybe a good smack would help!

For once, I’m thankful that thousands don’t follow this blog. As a writer, I seem to be having some sort of breakdown—in public. Several times during this year, I’ve mentioned my next book. It will be this novel. No, forget that one, it’s this novel. No, not that novel, this novella. No wait, it’s going to be this short story collection.

For once, I’m thankful that thousands don’t follow this blog. As a writer, I seem to be having some sort of breakdown—in public. Several times during this year, I’ve mentioned my next book. It will be this novel. No, forget that one, it’s this novel. No, not that novel, this novella. No wait, it’s going to be this short story collection.

In the last two weeks, I’ve had discussions with two different writer friends about my proposed short story collection. Both of them responded with, “Is that what you want to write?” My answer was yes, but I wonder if I lied. Not consciously. I’ve had a bit of fun writing stories, but enjoying something and doing it well is not the same thing.

Am I just killing time writing short fiction because I can’t decide which novel to write? After reading the beta feedback on my last story, I realized I’d actually written two incomplete—read failed—stories. Or did I write the bones of two chapters for a novel?

I had already made notes on such a novel after writing a particular short story almost two years ago. The main character of that new “story” was a secondary character in the first. So, I guess now I have nearly three chapters of that novel written. Even so, I’m not sure that’s where my heart is.

Yes, I have a problem. Heck, all I had to do was read back through my own blog to identify that problem as fear of failure. And I already know the solution—WRITE. So why aren’t I? Well … uh … I’m beta-reading for a friend, and it’s time to start getting things in order for Christmas, and I just discovered Words With Friends on Facebook, and, and, and …

Maybe I need a “personal writing trainer”, someone who will stand over me with a scowl, tapping her foot until I figure out what I really want to write, and then glare at me until I type a hefty number of words each day.

But, above all, I need to quit blogging about my next book before it’s written!