What I'm working on now

I always have several books coming together in my mind. Here are my current projects.

Hand kneading bread

Silver Tongue

When women talk, stuff happens. The stories in this trilogy focus on essential connections for and among women:

  • A young single mother wants to give her son more than will fit in a box.
  • Two sisters and their mom struggle to understand the rules of rugby and the changes a scholarship brings to their close-knit family.
  • Two friends test the endurance of their college-era bond as personal peeves and national politics impose a new reality.

The title story, "Silver Tongue," won Iron Horse's 2020 Trifecta competition for long stories.

Niagara

Love and Water

In her story "Death of a Traveling Salesman," Eudora Welty describes a lonely man with a failing heart. He witnesses true love and realizes he's never known it. In a fever dream, he speaks to a would-be love:

Come stand in my heart, whoever you are, and a whole river would cover your feet and rise higher and take your knees in whirlpools, and draw you down to itself, your whole body, your heart, too.

This plea for love like water inspired me to write a collection of stories, which build into one novel, all connected by love and water. Familiar characters appear and move on: there's Corey Budget, a blues musician from southeastern Michigan, and his older brother Dustin, who has a wanderer's heart. They eventually cross paths with Bridget from Glasgow, who deserts her religion- and drug- addled family, even as she pursues the old family business—glass making—overseas.

A ship, a flood, a rogue wave, a marine research station: no matter where these characters find themselves, they are looking for love. Water is the vehicle that takes them on their way.

Eternal Girl

A story of origins, disappointment, a Great Lake, and meals.

Carmel McPherson, a 23-year-old cook who doesn't eat and drinks way too much, leaves Iowa to return to northern Michigan in search of her father, Ben—the guy who sent her away in the first place. When she arrives at Cedar Haven, the camp where she grew up and her only true home, he isn't there. Instead, she finds Josh, her first crush and current nemesis.

And suddenly the place that's been preserved in her mind for all time isn't so stable anymore.

The Fifth Voice

A family of musicians plays together and falls apart in Detroit.