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“Fishing the Wind” first published in Pearl 40, then online in Underground Voices, excerpt:

She miscarried again, and after this last loss, Jules was different. For one thing, she became a fish hog. She hooked and released just about every trout within fifty miles of their cabin. Whenever they went fishing together, she strode upstream, pulling a fly from her hat, and got her line in the water before Derek put his rod together. She never slowed or stopped to give him a turn in front of her. She didn’t pull her fish from the water any more, not even to show him a big one. If a fish was hooked deeper than the lip, she held the line taut and got the clamp down its throat, freeing it without ever touching the fish’s body.

Sometimes Derek just stood and watched her. She no longer fished from the bank. She was in the water, sometimes to her hips, even in fast water. When she bent to free a trout, it seemed she might follow it.

Continue reading Fishing the Wind at Underground Voices

“The Boss of My Body” first published in Monkey Puzzle 9 and Honorable Mention in their Flash Fiction contest, then online in Wilderness House Literary Review, excerpt:

There are reasons I didn’t have a child until forty-two. I won’t go into them.

I was seduced by my husband of twelve years into thinking I could have a child and it would all be okay.

What a shock to find I loved the roundness, the swish-swish of amniotic fluid when I walked, the little galloping heartbeat on the monitor, the way delivery cut through all the crap to the core, where I was.

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“January Thaw” published in CutThroat, A Journal of the Arts 7, no. 1,  excerpt:

This kind of cold brought the focus close to the body. If Mel touched exposed metal with bare fingers, her skin would stick. If she breathed too deeply, her lungs would burn. If she didn’t keep moving, her toes would throb. She was alive, and it hurt.

The sky stretched out over Missoula like a sheet of blue ice. Mel stepped through the door of the Bitterroot Café and was hit by a current of warm air and the smells of brewed coffee and cinnamon. A group of men and women from the morning meeting were seated around a large circular table in a corner booth. Bart, a young man in a studded leather jacket, was talking. They slid over to make room for Mel, and Bart continued his story.

Continue reading January Thaw at CutThroat

“Don’t Ask Me No Questions and I Won’t Tell You No Lies”

The first time I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd I was with Troy Dean. We were driving through the night, cruising down Highway 39 in his white Trans Am on our first and only date. Being on a date meant driving around doing nothing.

Troy was singing along with the music. He was singing with such feeling, veins popping out on his neck as he wailed his don’t ask me, I got the impression he was trying to tell me something.


I call 911. Everyone is botching everything, even the rescue team. They can’t get to me. I am surrounded by people who don’t know a fatal wound when they see one.  I am so determined to live that I become bossy.

“Give me a towel. Put some pressure on this hole here. Wait. Get out of my way. I’m walking to the hospital.”

At the hospital they give me a stack of paperwork to fill out and point me to the waiting area equipped with three TVs to keep me calm. I insist until I find someone who understands I have a gunshot wound that needs attention.

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