Quick Reads (October 2018)

So many wonderful magazines and journals released new content this month and it was hard to keep up. I haven’t read through all the things I want to, but I’m sure I can sneak more in while procrastinating during National Novel Writing Month!

Anyway, here is the list of everything short I read this past month. Please remember: this list is not necessarily meant to act as a review, a show of favor, or a “best of” list. Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!


A Summoning in Section 292.1.J-P” By Anya Josephs (Green Briar Review)
[Note: This is where I volunteer as a fiction editor. Please consider sending us your own excellent creations!]

When Czechoslovakia Was Still a Country” By Tad Bartlett (Green Briar Review)
[See note directly above this.]

4P16.3” by Maya Alexandri (The Forge Literary Magazine)

Snap Bam Boom” by Robert Mangeot (The Forge Literary Magazine)

Zero Tolerance” by Jayne Martin (Barren Magazine)

Toy Box” by Asher (Barren Magazine)
[Note: “Buried in the Ground” by yours truly is in this issue of the magazine!]

Barnlights” by Amanda Crum (Barren Magazine)

A Girl Buys Lilies for Herself” by Priyanka Sacheti (Barren Magazine)

Sharp Parables” by Emily Osborne (Barren Magazine)

How to weave a blanket out of horsehair and spidersilk” by Sonja Swift (Barren Magazine)

The Horror of Party Beach” by Dale Bailey (Lightspeed)
[I listened to this story via the Lightspeed podcast.]

The Miracle Lambs of Minane” by Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld Magazine)
[I listened to this story via the Clarkesworld Magazine podcast.]

Midwestern Women: An Essential Reading List” by Meghan O’Gieblyn (Literary Hub)

The Routine” by Marie McKay (Rhythm & Bones)

Unravelling” by A.L. Bradshaw (freeze frame fiction)

Waiting for Nothing to Happen” by Caroline Langston (Image)

Dionysus Promised to Let You Have Another Glass” by Chloe N. Clark (Likely Red)

The Atomic Clock” by Michael Grant Smith (Spelk)

Crazy in Love” by Anita Goveas (Pixel Heart Literary Magazine)

Letter of Recommendation for a Basic Male MFA Applicant” by Emma Brewer (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)

How to Build a Dream World” by Ruth Joffre (Electric Literature)

The Power of Cautionary Questions: Neil Gaiman on Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ Why We Read, and How Speculative Storytelling Enlarges Our Humanity” by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)

Into the Wash” by Mitchell Grabois (Blue River)

The Hill” by Laura Huey Chamberlain (jmww)

The Things I Miss the Most” by Nisi Shawl (Uncanny Magazine)
[I listened to this story via the Uncanny Magazine podcast. It is part of the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue.]

Convalescence” by Alicia Cole (Uncanny Magazine)
[I listened to this poem via the Uncanny Magazine podcast. It is part of the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue.]

“Catalyst” and “Reaction” by M. Stone (Nice Cage)
[My short story, “All the Waves Resound,” is also in this issue of the journal!]

New Old” by Tara Isabel Zambrano (The Southampton Review)

Emily As We Turn Off the Sound of Monday Night Football” by Darren C. Demaree (The Stay Project)

The Horror of the Unknown: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti” by David Peak (Electric Literature)

Quick Reads (September 2018)

Here is the list of everything short I read this past month. Please remember: this list is not necessarily meant to act as a review, a show of favor, or a “best of” list. Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!


Rabbit Hat” by Marcus Slease (Nice Cage)

Watch Them Glitter” by Tommy Dean (Ellipsis Zine)

Comfort, Dogs” by Matthew Fiander (Barren Magazine)

Fantastic Fabrics” by A.E. Weisgerber (Barren Magazine)

Chinese Bleeding on a Friday” by Peter Ngila (Barren Magazine)

Sweet Violets” by A.E. Weisgerber (New Flash Fiction Review)

The Funny Thing” by Michelle Ross (Nashville Review)

All of #22, Volume XII, Issue 1 of the Whitefish Review

Salt and Calcium” by Sarah Roth (Columbia Journal)

One Lifetime With a Stranger” by Matthew Caldwell (The Esthetic Apostle)
[Note: Matthew attended Creighton University’s MFA program around the same time I did.]

Unmentionables” by Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice (Paper Darts)

Back Talk” by Danielle Lazarin (Copper Nickel)

Nebraska” by Brian Hoey (New Orleans Review)

A Girl Walks on the Moon” by Ruth Joffre (Vestal Review)

Muriel” Elizabeth O’Brien (Newfound)

The Difference Between Reading and Reading Well” by Collin Huber (Fathom Magazine)

A Son” by Rachel Rodman (Apparition Literary Magazine)

Inversions” by Meghan Xanthos (The Bookends Review)

Mullenville, Population 82” by Sandra K. Barnidge (Allegory Ridge)

Wings and Sand” by Sean Patrick Whiteley (Obra/Artifact)

Counting Elephants” by F.E. Clark (Rhythm & Bones)

The Farewell” by Gem Caley (The Ginger Collect)

Out and Out” by Latifa Ayad (The Masters Review)

Quick Reads (August 2018)

Here is the list of everything short I read this past month. Please remember: this list is not necessarily meant to act as a review, a show of favor, or a “best of” list. Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!


All of The Conium Review: Vol. 5

Why Christians Should Read More Fiction” by Paul Anderson (RELEVANT Magazine)

“The Fool’s Stone” by Aubry Kae Andersen (Analog Science Fiction and Fact)

An elf in the witch-garden” by Kate Garr (Rhythm & Bones)

Thaumatrope” by Christopher Iacono (Rhythm & Bones)

forgiving mistakes i’ve made” by Linda M. Crate (Rhythm & Bones)

Today” by Maddie M. White (Rhythm & Bones)

A Dungeon Open House” by Ben Niespodziany (Train)

And the Hole Never Heals” by Ryan Habermeyer (Bat City Review)

Dragon Princess” by Michael Chin (Cherry Tree)
[Note: I read the excerpt available online.]

Big Bad Wolf” by Terrance Wedin (New South)

Unicorn” by Philip Dean Walker (Big Lucks)

This and That” by Ricky Garni (Big Lucks)

Rhode Island Red” by Michael Kimball (Big Lucks)

The Wardrobe” by Aysegul Savas (The Adroit Journal)

Apology” by Anne Rasmussen (Jellyfish Review)

Uncle Soot” by Joshua Jones (Midwestern Gothic)
[The round 1 winner for the journal’s annual summer flash fiction series]

Perseids” by Madeline Anthes (Midwestern Gothic)
[The round 1 runner-up for the journal’s annual summer flash fiction series]

Day in the Manner of Magritte” by Austin Sanchez-Moran (Maudlin House)

Bees” by ​​Melissa N. Warren (Gordon Square Review)

Me and You and Zvonimir” by Casey Whitworth (Green Briar Review)

Arsonist With Unlit Match” by Matt Fiander (Barren Magazine)

The House Mourns Alone at Midnight” by Maryse Meijer (Outlook Springs)

Koi Pond” by Cathy Ulrich (Outlook Springs)

Quick Reads (July 2018)

Here is the list of everything short I read this past month. Please remember: this list is not necessarily meant to act as a review, a show of favor, or a “best of” list. Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!


Pillow Talk” by Lori DeSanti (Blue Earth Review)

Ice” by Marianne Villanueva (Bellingham Review)

Ohio Deathbed, 1990” by Greg Marzullo (Arkana)

This Must Be the Place” by Jeffery Helton (Appalachian Heritage)

Of Leaf and Limb” by Hamilton Kohl (The Arcanist)

Bloom” by Lori Sambol Brody (matchbook)

Coloring Book Sky” and “Holy Noodles” by Elizabeth Elliott (Remington Review)
[Note: Elizabeth graduated from the Creighton MFA program before I did.]

Tips on Discipline” by Jeff VanderMeer (wonderbooknow.com)

Jeff VanderMeer on the Art and Science of Structuring a Novel” by Jeff VanderMeer (Electric Literature)

Rebuking A Sexist Prayer” by Diane J. McDougall (Fathom Magazine)

Every Bright Patch of Green” by Rachel Joy Welcher (Fathom Magazine)

Birds of a Feather” by Tianna Grosch (Okay Donkey)

The Piano Room” by Lily Wang (Cosmonauts Avenue)

Quick Reads (February 2018)

Here is the list of everything short I read this past month. I’m going to cheat this time and include some nonfiction and poetry with the flash fiction and short stories. Please remember: this list is not necessarily meant to act as a review, a show of favor, or a “best of” list.

Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!


Paper Shackles” by Sean Enfield (Lunch Ticket)
[Note: I worked with Sean—namely, performed some minor edits—on his piece “Colorblind Passengers,” which was printed in F(r)Online.]

Prom Night” by Jayne Martin (Crack the Spine)

Life Without Anesthesia” by Kristen M. Ploetz (Crack the Spine)

Death and Dying in America” by Bailey Bridgewater (Crack the Spine)

Forever Jung” by Leah Mueller (Crack the Spine)

The Diamond Girl” by Courtney Bird (Fairy Tale Review)

The Clowns” by Rodney Gomez (Fairy Tale Review)

Ashes” by Aimee Pokwatka (Fairy Tale Review)

Delicate” by Jasmine Sawers (Fairy Tale Review)

Interrogation” by Michael Chin (Prime Number Magazine)

Devil’s Hopyard” by Donald Hubbard (The Harpoon Review)

The World for a Heart” by Kenneth Otani (The Harpoon Review)

Trajectories” by Alex Miller (The Harpoon Review)

Otherwise Panic” by Mary Kuryla (Shenandoah)

Resort” by Mary Miller (Wigleaf)

Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work” by Meghan Phillips (Wigleaf)

Parliament of Owls” by Jeff Ewing (Smokelong Quarterly)

Princess Shipwreck” by Tessa Yang (Smokelong Quarterly)

Ueno Zoo” by E. J. Koh (Smokelong Quarterly)

חלב חם” by Lea Klibanoff (Smokelong Quarterly)

New Yorker Story About Michigan” by Carolyn Nims (Smokelong Quarterly)

The Jumper” by Geoff Kronik (Smokelong Quarterly)

The Cartographers” by Joshua Jones (Smokelong Quarterly)

The Noises from the Neighbors Upstairs: A Nightly Log” by Amber Sparks (Smokelong Quarterly)

All the shortlisted flash fictions for the VERA (Vestal Review)
[Note: James R. Gapinski’s story, “Tuxedos and Evening Gowns,” appeared in F(r)iction #6]

Moorish Architecture” by Erinrose Mager (The Adroit Journal)

Check My ID” by Krys Malcolm Belc (The Adroit Journal)

The Cry of the Butterfly” by Matthew Baker (The Adroit Journal)

Chinaman, Run” by Kathryn Hargett (The Adroit Journal)

Harvest” by Stephen Case (Bracken)

poltergeist ii” by Candice Wuehle (Sonora Review)

We Are Trying to Understand You” by Joy Baglio (TriQuarterly)


[Note: I’m pretty sure I missed a few.]

 

Book Review: Uhaul by Emily Ramser

Bear with me, because this is relevant. Those who know me well know I have an aversion to romance. I find phrases like “rippling muscle” and “love canal” gag-worthy and unattractive. If I read one more novel where two characters have “their eyes meet” and they don’t immediately try and kill each other afterward, I might stab a book. (Side note, I’m actually nice—or try to be. It’s been a long day.)

I know what you guys are thinking. But LeeAnn, we see you promoting romance novels on your Twitter all the time! Yes, observant friends, you do. That’s because there are great writers out there who write romance—a genre equal in awesomeness to all the others. I’m friends with quite a few romance writers. Some very kind ones let me join their writing group and I’m a better writer for it. I actually dig a lot of mentioned romance writers’ stuff.

UhaulThe point is I’m not romantic, therefore I don’t like sappy writing. What I appreciate about Uhaul: A Collection of Lesbian Love Poems by Emily Ramser is that, while definitely romantic, it is also honest. These are the types of poems you write about your crush in your journal and then hide in your shoe box under your bed because they are soul-bearing and unpretending. These are poems of sheer adoration.

Ramser writes in plain language that the average reader can understand. For example, the poem “One Day, You Will Eat” begins with a humorous list of things that the person the speaker is referring to will not eat: “You don’t like mushrooms,/hamburgers, cinnamon, lettuce…”. However it ends with a nice sort of twist, with words that seem simple but actually will resonate with many readers.

There are two poems that leave me scratching my scalp. The poems seem odd editions to the collection. I am still at a loss after reading “The Day I Spoke With Your Gray Hair” and am frustrated with the somewhat successful but ultimately eyebrow raising, “I give you my body for your own.” They’re not bad, necessarily, just different and somewhat out of place.

As expected, Ramser brought back the birds in this collection with the poem,”I will sing to you.” It’s in this poem, arguably, that she writes her most memorable description: “how you hide your smile behind your thumb.” Again simple, but spot on, and ironically proceeded by how the speaker found it difficult to describe this action.

The poem I find most surprising is “I’d Steal You a Skillet”. This poem interested me—not because of the romantic elements, but because of this odd and fascinating tradition. I also got the sense that the speaker was as surprised as I was—not by the tradition but by the romantic elements.

The artwork for this collection is stunning. Sara Tolbert’s work adds another, beautiful layer of meaning to the poems. I was very impressed and kept gazing admiringly at the black-and-white drawings.

Overall the collection is interesting and honest—even if romance is not my favorite subject. What’s more, Ramser is an impressive person. She is an editor at many different publications with four published collections while still an undergraduate student at Salem College. She has a lot of things to write still. I’m curious to see what comes next.

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Maya Angelou, writing, reading, quote, advice, The Monday Post

It’s a day late. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Have fun reading. 🙂

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archivePlease follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Weekend Writing: The Animal Messenger

dogs, dog, hunting, countryside, country

The use of animals in literature is often symbolic. Certain types of birds like owls or hawks were used in Shakespearean literature to alert the reader to shifts in mood or upcoming changes in plot. For this prompt, though, the animals are going to have a more direct effect on the story. Are you up for the challenge? #WeekendWriting

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Photo by Karl-Heinz Stargardt, bleeding heart, photography, poem, poetry review, Witness, literary journal/magazine
Photo by Karl-Heinz Stargardt

After reading “The Heart” by Ryan Van Winkle, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. So it was obviously a great poem. There were moments of fleeting hope and then a severe reminder of human frailty, finished with a beautiful dash of joy.

You can read “The Heart” here.

Ryan Van Winkle’s poetry has appeared AGNI, The Prairie Schooner, The American Poetry Review, and other places. He lives in Edinburgh and has a collection of poetry that will be published this year.

Weekend Writing: Music as Your Muse

music, writing, writing prompt, country, rap, rock, classical, pop, "Music listener" by Kashirin Nickolai - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkashirin/5325053378/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Music_listener.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Music_listener.jpg
"Music listener" by Kashirin Nickolai - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkashirin/5325053378/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Music_listener.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Music_listener.jpg

[Photo: “Music listener” by Kashirin Nickolai]

I’m a visual learner, so I often use photographs as inspiration for writing. Occasionally, however, I’ll listen to a composition by a band or singer that makes me vividly image a scene or a story in my mind. Music is a powerful tool. Like all art, it can inspire. That is this week’s challenge, are you up to it?

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Weekend Writing: The First Time

tourist, horseback, first time, mountains, mist, green grass, horse By Peter from Bern, Switzerland ("Dummy tourist on Jago's Horse.JPG") [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Peter from Bern, Switzerland

[By Peter from Bern, Switzerland]

Unless your characters make a goal to experience everything they can throughout their lifetime, chances are they may encounter something new within your creative work. This actually is an interesting challenge — for you as a writer and for the reader who is wondering what the characters will do. This challenge explores that idea of “there is a first time for everything.” How do you avoid cheesy descriptions and actions? That is the challenge this week. Are you up to it?

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Weekend Writing: Exploring the Cave

tomb, cave, adventure, writing prompt, Photo By Полищук Денис Анатольевич [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Полищук Денис Анатольевич

[Photo by By Полищук Денис Анатольевич]

This prompt is for the adventurer, the adventure writer, and those fascinated with exploring and suspense. You may shape the prompt so it fits into your particular genre — horror, romance, etc. or you can create something new and unexpected. This prompt is about exploring a cave. The one featured in the photo is a tomb, but you can make yours into whatever you’d like. That’s the challenge, are you up for it?

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Weekend Writing: An Unpleasant Gathering

"A painting representing a Qajar family gathering for Nowruz, and sitting around the Haft-Sin and probably reading Hafez." Source: http://www.crystalinks.com/noruz.html, Persia, Wayiran
"A painting representing a Qajar family gathering for Nowruz, and sitting around the Haft-Sin and probably reading Hafez." Source: http://www.crystalinks.com/noruz.html

[A painting representing a Qajar family gathering for Nowruz, and sitting around the Haft-Sin and probably reading Hafez. Source: http://www.crystalinks.com/noruz.html]

Ah, the holidays. Whether we celebrate them or not, their presence can be felt in the commercials and the lighting and the store fronts and the religious buildings. I personally enjoy the holidays but many of my friends do not. With holidays comes family and not everyone gets along with their family as well as I get along with mine. That is this week’s writing prompt. Are you up to the challenge?

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Copyright L. N. Holmes, truck, old, black and white photography, J. K. Rowling, quote
Copyright L. N. Holmes

I am continuing a series (inspired by Electric Literature) where I post important links for writers and readers on Mondays. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post.

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Weekend Writing: Researching the Unknown

Sfoskett , "Hot air balloon glow". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_air_balloon_glow.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Hot_air_balloon_glow.jpg
"Hot air balloon glow". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_air_balloon_glow.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Hot_air_balloon_glow.jpg Photo by Sfoskett

[Photo by Sfoskett]

A writer is wise to do research, even if they are making up their story.

While I was rereading the second edition of Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, I came upon a writing prompt that was really interesting. The writer is supposed to make a list of some sort and then use something off the list as a trigger for a writing prompt. One of the suggestions is “Things on which I am an expert” (page xxvi). For this writing prompt, we are going to do the opposite of that and do a bit of research. Are you up for the challenge?

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My Latest Publication: ‘How to Love Again’ in GERM magazine

L. N. Holmes, Nicole Gentles, author photo, How to Love Again, poetry, poem, GERM magazine
L. N. Holmes (Photo by Nicole Gentles)

[Photo by Nicole Gentles]

Here is the newest update of my personal progress as a professional writer.

GERM magazine is a bright place, full of wonderful people, places, and things. Along with articles on love, life, style, inner and outer beauty tips, and other topics, GERM magazine has a literary section. As soon as I saw the lovely work of other writers that was featured, I knew I wanted to be a part of this gorgeous publication.

As I saw they accepted previously published work (if the author has the rights) I offered my poem “How to Love Again,” which was originally published in Incunabula and won the Katherine B. Rondthaler Award for Poetry in 2012. To my great relief and delight, they accepted it.

You can find the poem here:

“How to Love Again” by L. N. Holmes

Please feel free to read, review, and share with others. Thanks for your support in advance. Even Jennifer Niven, founder and editor-in-chief of GERM magazine, recommends it:

 

 

I hope you enjoy it!

Weekend Writing: Assembling a Cyborg

Raíssa Ruschel, cyborg, Cyborg Girl, weekend writing, writing prompt, science fiction
Copyright Raíssa Ruschel

[Image copyright Raíssa Ruschel]

Cyborgs and their enhanced abilities due to their attached machinery are a topic of interest for science fiction fans. What about the process of becoming a cyborg? What would that entail? That is this week’s prompt. Are you up for the challenge?

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How to Help an Artist: 6 Ways to Support Artistic Innovators

This House is Haunted, John Boyne, Other Press, Twitter, book, novel, fiction, author
I try to practice what I preach. I posted this photo on Twitter to draw attention to Other Press and John Boyne when they so generously gave me a free copy of This House is Haunted to read and enjoy.

[Photo caption: I try to practice what I preach. I posted this photo on Twitter to draw attention to Other Press and John Boyne when they so generously gave me a free copy of This House is Haunted to read and enjoy.]

Let’s say you find a book, painting, photograph, set of earrings, etc. that you really like. Let’s say you have the privilege to meet the artist behind the work and you think they’re a pretty swell person. You’d like to support said swell person, if possible, but you are unsure how to do that outside of saying on social media “hey guys, this person is swell.”

This post is dedicated to you.

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The Prince of Loyalty: A Poem

L. N. Holmes, husband, poem, Prince of Loyalty
Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

So I wrote a poem for my husband. I feel as if he is a rare gem, one that I stole from a haunted crypt before Indiana Jones could get his hands on it. He is a wonderful man, one that has always been loyal to me. So in appreciation for his admirable qualities — and because I love him — I wrote this for him. I hope you enjoy it.

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Weekend Writing: The Toothless Dentist

Deutsche Fotothek‎ [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Zahnärztliche Maßnahmen bei einem Kind (1950)
Copyright Deutsche Fotothek

Have you ever experienced something so unexpected that you went along with what was happening because you were so shocked? These “life shocks” are what inspired this writing prompt (the idea came from my genius husband). Are you ready for the challenge?

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Weekend Writing: A Horrific Love Story

Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)
Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

If you’re easily frightened like I am, then you can only tolerate so much horror. But even if you are a horror genre fan, finding new ways to entertain is important. So that’s why I am proposing a mash up of genres in celebration of Halloween. If you’re ready to take on the challenge, check out the details below. Continue reading

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

It was my goal to write 60,000 words by the end of October. Instead, I met that goal yesterday. I am still trying to figure out how this happened. I took a picture of it to prove it to the world.

Yes, it happened.

Yes, it happened.

I also wrote a flash fiction story, a poem, conducted research on 30+ literary agencies, and have written at least one blog post every day since beginning A Vase of Wildflowers. I am going to wrap up my story within the next couple of days and then it is on to revisions. I am hoping prayer and hard work will be my ticket into the big leagues. Wish me a blessed journey.