• #amwriting,  The Business End of a Pen

    Crossing the (genre) streams

    The Nov/Dec 2021 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine featured one of my short stories–“The Debtor,” a crime story set during Christmastime in New York City. (I don’t know what it is about New York City that has inspired me to base all of my crime fiction stories here–maybe it was one too many Law & Order marathons–but here you go and there you have it.) It’s a significant publication for me, not only because of the publication itself (EQMM has been publishing award-winning mystery/crime fiction for 80+ years), but because crime fiction is not my usual genre. And I am almost more proud of that than for the accomplishment…

  • #amwriting,  The Answer is 42

    On the other side of our long, dark winter

    Note: This is part 2 of this post series. Read Part 1, “Writing through a pandemic,” here. All the weeks and months of anxious mulling over the Ullr story hadn’t changed my mind about which party and which character I’d center it on. I still loved the opening lines, but I knew the happy-jolly fun romp tone was gone. And that was okay. I didn’t need to write a fun story. I just needed to write a story with a party in it. If there’s anything that I’ve learned as a writer, it’s that as a discovery writer, I need to trust my process. I’m not the type of person…

  • #amwriting,  The Answer is 42

    Writing through a pandemic

    Usually, when I release a new story, I like to sit back and let readers experience the story for themselves without much set-up. Sure, I’ll write a blurb to let you know what the story is about so that you can decide up front if it’s the type of story you like to read, but I don’t set many expectations beyond that because I don’t want to bias your experience. The latest story I just released though… this one is different, in so many ways. First, some context. I knew I needed a write a story for this anthology a long, long time ago. I was given plenty of time…

  • You Are Enough Text in BuJo
    The Answer is 42

    Owning our grandma stories

    In the year before the Age of Covid, I had just started raising my hand for speaking gigs—tentatively, of course, because I had and still have a very young career in writing, and always with a sense of a shock whenever my applications were accepted. And whenever I shuffled to my seat on a panel or stepped up to a podium to deliver a presentation, I’d scan the crowd—deliberately, methodically, checking each row and each face. I was looking for something quite specific. I was looking for those faces that, like mine, don’t look like “the norm” here in Utah. Hell, let’s be honest—that difference applies even outside of geographic…

  • man hiding behind wall
    The Answer is 42

    “Me” enough for my own story

    The first storyteller who taught me the value of stories was my Taiwanese immigrant mother. Her lessons and advice always came couched in a long-winded story or parable or anecdote rather than as a simple, straightforward admonishment, delivered in an “are you listening?” tone that demanded her audience’s attention more forcefully than did the most skilled orators’. I’m telling you, Rome’s best senators had nothing on my mother. As an impatient teenager, I perfected the art of the eye-roll thanks to the hours I’d had to listen to her recount the fable about the frivolous prince who pierced his ear and thus pierced his destiny and died a poor, penniless…