“Who’s dying now?” my Triangle Writers Group asks when it’s my turn to submit a short story. I’ve heard this dozens of times over the years (ours is one of the longest-lived Groups in the nation, continuously workshopping stories together since 1985). It’s true, most of my fiction is about death and how we deal with it (or not). Both of my short stories that were published in 2021 were about dying (OK, so maybe it is my fictional wheelhouse), but still, I feel the stories are especially relevant–and maybe even helpful this past Year of COVID. Impotence, loss, and grief are universal themes...but so are resilience, hope, and love. I think these stories balance both. Frayed Edges won the 2021 Carolina Prize Writing Contest and was published in County Lines Literary Journal. Stripped, a finalist in the 2019 Doris Betts Fiction Prize, was published in the Fall 2020 issue of Minerva Rising which was released in 2021.
Express yourself! Whether it’s journaling feelings, keeping a gratitude list, penning a poem, creating a movie script, or crafting the next Great American Novel, try writing for just five minutes every day. It’s fun, and can be illuminating. Oh, and support your local writer: READ!