Tag Archives: anthologies

A short story called “Duration Matters”

high school lockers in hallIn Written Across the Genres, the last Mainstream Fiction short story, is “Duration Matters” by Arleen Eagling. It’s written in first person. The protagonist, Jennifer, is a high school student and she’s in trouble. Here are the first couple paragraphs:

“Three months after I transferred from prep school to Ramsey High, I waited outside the counselor’s office for the second time, my hands folded in my lap to keep them still. Portly, grey-haired Mr. Tanner opened his door and motioned for me to sit in the penalty chair.

At Ramsey High I qualified for accelerated classes. Being in the Advanced Placement program, however, went beyond learning more worthless facts faster. Dr. Math, aka Mr. Schwartz, had declared, ‘a certain decorum was expected in his classroom.’ After I’d mimicked him saying those same words, I was asked to absent myself from the room. Maybe because of how I pursed my lips and worked my eyebrows.”

Eagling deepened the story with Jennifer meeting another student whose complicated life touches her own and helps her to grow.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIMy anthology with both of Eagling’s stories in it is available on Amazon and Kindle or it can be ordered at your local bookstores.

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The Use of Diary Entries in a Short Story

diary-25157__180Paula Chinick, who wrote a mainstream short story called “Hidden Discovery” in my anthology, Written Across the Genres, used diary entries between narrative paragraphs. Jean, the protagonist, talks in first person about finding her mother’s  diary after she died.

“I found it a few months ago while forced to go through her things alone. Alone, because neither my brother nor sister would help. Big babies, I never can count on them when things get tough. It’s taken me this long to muster the courage to open it.” I flip open the cover than slam it shut. I take a deep breath, open it again, and read:

December 25, 1970

Dear Diary,

Isn’t that how you start these things. Sounds idiotic. But since it’s in ink I can’t scratch it out and start over. I’ll never use it again.

I received this journal for Christmas from my father’s mother, Nana. I’m not her favorite. Last year I received a blue-haired troll doll, a fad from the 60’s. New motto: Make lemonade out of a turnip.

I’ve decided to record meaningful events in my life. When I’m grey and wrinkled, I will reflect on whether my life held significance.

First entry–Got engaged Christmas Eve. At eighteen, is anyone ready for marriage?

January 2, 1971

Eloped! Never thought I’d go through with it but he’s a good man.

Out of the few who didn’t get drafted and sent to Vietnam.

When Chinick submitted this story I believed it was true. I asked her about putting it in the Memoir section and expressed how touching the ending was for me. The voice of the mother in the diary entries came through in strong contrast to Jean’s narrative. I believed that Paula changed her name to Jean to tell this amazing story. Chinick laughed and said it was all fiction.

How wonderful to unintentionally fool me into thinking it was a true story about her mother. When readers believe fiction is real, that is a sign of a successful writer.

To read Chinick’s story, you can order Written Across the Genres from you local book store, from Amazon, or on Kindle.

Paula Chinick published a thriller called Red Asscher–Living in Fear, available at Amazon and on Kindle:


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Weekend Events Locations Corrected

Thanks to writers George Cramer and Camille Thompson for correcting the locations for this weekend. Without George and Camille, I would have gone to the wrong place on Saturday. For those who plan to attend one or both, here is the right info.

Saturday is the Las Positas College anthology launch.

Sunday is the award ceremony for the high school students who won first, second, and third places in Tri-Valley Writing Club’s writing contest.

Maybe there’s a story hidden in the error. What could happen when a protagonist goes to a wrong setting?

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Written Across the Genres Interview With Cathleen Cordova

I am interviewing the authors who contributed stories, novel excerpts, essays or poems to Written Across the Genres. Today’s interview is with Cathleen Cordova who has retired from a career in law enforcement. She has been published in magazines, anthologies, and in Times They Were A-Changing, edited by Kate Farrell, Linda Joy Myers, and Amber Lea Starfire.

In Written Across the Genres, her essay, “Cooking with Mama” is in the section called About Family. Her second essay, “Round Eye in a World of Hurt” is in the Memoir category.

Julaina: What is your favorite genre and who is your favorite author?

Cathleen: I enjoy murder mysteries, biographies, and historical novels by authors such as Philippa Gregory and Dan Brown. Their novels always move me to research the characters and/or the location the stories are set in to learn more about them.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Cathleen: Anywhere the mood strikes me as long as it’s quiet and I can have a cup of coffee too.

Julaina:  What are you working on now?

Cathleen:  I’m writing stories about various members of my family for a booklet to give out at our family reunion in September, 2014.

Thanks, Cathleen, I look forward to reading more of your work.

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SFWriters Conference after a Session on Anthologies

SFWriters Conference after a Session on Anthologies

Jordan Bernal, Victoria Zackheim, Barbara Santos, and me after the session on “How to Create, How to Contribute”.
A timely session for my work on “A Class of Muses”, an anthology I plan to self publish this summer. Jordan is one of the judges for this year’s California Writers Club anthology.

Victoria and Barbara had valuable information for us.

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February 24, 2013 · 6:16 pm