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The Tiger In The Lifeboat

You’ll probably agree with me when I say that the word ‘epic’ is an overused one. ‘That was an epic party last night, man.’ ‘The cupcakes Betsie made for Jess’s party were epic!’ ‘Whoa, Claire just delivered the most epic of epic burns!’ Despite the propensity for ‘epic’ to be thrown around like a Frisbee at a frat house, I’ve never shied from attributing the term to certain works of fiction, or from feeling more connected to those works because of it.

When I was in middle school, I was always primed for the possibility of finding the next epic read. Stories and scenes that topped this list were the shipwreck at the start of Black Beauty, Where the Red Fern Grows, with its fulfillment of the heartbreaking but awe-inspiring Native American legend...
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Choosing Settings for Your Writing by Christa Carmen

Think of the last place you visited that really stuck out to you. What was it about the locale that made you connect to the experience? What details of the place did you retain and recall at later, unexpected moments, bridging the gap between the past and the present? These are the kinds of questions I like to ask myself when deciding on a setting for a story, if that setting has not already announced its presence like a bull before a matador (and usually equally in need of at least a little taming).

I’m not a writer (or a reader) who considers the “write what you know” rule a prerequisite for successful storytelling. Much like the Alcoholics Anonymous strategy of “fake it ‘til you make it,” if you’re dedicated to an idea...
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February's Women in Horror Month as a platform to explore the dreaded question: Do you believe in writer's block?

Originally published on the New England Horror Writers website, Feb. 25, 2017

February is Women in Horror Month, which means…absolutely nothing if you are a female horror writer who is anything like me. During the month of February, I write. I also write on Christmas, my birthday, on the day when I had applied for a new job and found out I didn’t get it, and I write on the day, a year and a half later, when I had applied for the same job and I found out I got it...
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Judging The Write Practice's 5th Anniversary Short Story Contest

I love discovering a new author through an amazing short story or novel that has me turning over a plot twist or mourning an unforgettable character long after I've put the piece down. The Specialist's Hat was my first foray into the writing of Kelly Link, and I was agonizing over the fate of the story's twin protagonists at the top of their nursery chimney for days (if you haven't read the story, I can't recommend it enough). I love all things creepy, so if I'm listening to an audio book coming in from my car in the dark, and your prose causes me to quicken my pace, to want to get into the house before something reaches out from under my car to grab my ankle, I'm coming back for more.

I was recently asked to judge a short story contest for The Write Practice...
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Latest and Greatest...

In honor of my new website (a big shout-out to Adam Francese, of RI Digital Media for doing such a killer job on it!), this blog post is dedicated to news and upcoming events!

First up, I will be submitting a 1,000-word short story, entitled 'Take Me to Your Horror,' to the Wordhaus Spring Writing Contest. Partnering with The Write Practice and its Becoming Writer community...
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From Brain Waves to Paper Reams...

Artwork by Michael D. Reeves

I have read several articles recently on the topic of when it’s acceptable to call yourself a ‘writer.’ I can commiserate with the individuals penning these existential dilemmas on authorial status because despite churning out a one-hundred thousand page novel (rewrite in progress) and eleven (and a half) short stories in the past eight months, four of which have been published, two of which have been accepted for publication, I still find myself choking on the sentence ‘I am a writer’ whenever those words find cause to be on the tip of my tongue.

I have been a student, a waitress, a gymnast, a dancer, a research assistant, a mail room clerk, an intern, a volunteer, a recovery advocate, a mental health counselor...
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Short Story Showcase

Four Souls Of Eve

On All Hallows’ Eve, the door between the physical and spiritual worlds dissolves, and the past quite literally returns to haunt Eve.

Before this Halloween is over, she’ll wish that door had stayed shut, and the ghosts of boyfriends past had stayed dead and buried.

Available direct from Frith Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and other eBook retailers.

Read a free excerpt now      View all short stories