Hi, friends! The good people at Rhythm & Bones published “Shadows Cannot be Seen in the Pitch-Black” recently. You can find the story here if you’re interested in reading it.

It’s been a tough year for the editors of Rhythm & Bones. As Tianna mentioned in the issue’s “Letter from the Editor,” “We weren’t quite sure we would make it to the end of the year, but here we are: strong as ever; stronger, even. Our passion and motivation have not flickered out, if anything they have grown.” I’m grateful not only for the publication of my flash fiction amid all of the challenges Tianna and her team faced, but I’m also grateful for the story’s early release. I admire Tianna and her team for their hard work, tenacity, and persistence. I hope you will join me in supporting the lovely literary magazine they’ve worked so hard to create.

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I talked to the wonderful booksellers at The Bookworm today, and they’ve agreed to sell Space, Collisions! For those of you who’d like to buy a physical copy of the micro-chapbook, I’d encourage you to pick it up at this lovely independent bookstore. You can buy the micro-chapbook online or find it on their local author shelf inside the brick-and-mortar store. The Bookworm has a wonderful track record of housing and promoting local authors. It would mean a great deal to me if you’d consider checking out this family-owned business, especially during your holiday season shopping.

Hi, friends! “Buried in the Ground” is up at Barren Magazine today if you’d like to read it.

Here is an excerpt:

You begin with the vegetable garden because it’s the likeliest place to bury something. You slip the blank paper into your bag and get to work, not daring to put it down until your dad goes back into the house. The ground is still soft in the garden from spring’s tilling and makes the digging less painful. But when you dig up the carrots, you regret your decision. It isn’t until you’re under the soil that you realize the vegetables are still slivers of orange root, born too early. The leafy carrot tops trick you, making the roots appear more mature than they really are.

I hope you’ll check it out! If you do, thanks for reading.

I recently had a short story accepted for publication at Barren Magazine. “Buried in the Ground” is one of the darkest stories I’ve ever written and it hits very close to home for me. Like other writers such as Eleanor Kriseman and Melanie Finn, I sometimes write about child abuse and neglect to grapple with and discuss these very real issues. In addition, “Buried in the Ground” also deals with animal abuse.

Fiction can often foster empathy and that’s my goal here. While many of my other stories tend to suggest abuse is happening, this one deals with it directly. It’s my way of acknowledging that, tragically, not all child abuse or animal abuse cases have happy endings. To put the reader in the shoes of the child, I also used the second person. Even though this is a work of fiction, it is a difficult story and I recognize that it will not be one that everybody can read. I respect the decisions made by readers who choose to abstain. If you do choose to read it, then I thank you.

And don’t forget there are wonderful organizations out there, such as The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, that help with real cases of child abuse. Let’s all work together to create a more loving and safe world for everyone.

“Buried in the Ground” will appear in Issue No. 3 of Barren Magazine, which is scheduled to release October 20.