Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Link Corral...of Good News!

Goodness! An embarrassment of riches over here, so let me offer a few links and you can pick and choose or ignore altogether, as you see fit. There will NOT be a test at the end—though if there were, because I’ve been watching a lot of “Jeopardy!” lately, I suspect the answers would be in the form of questions.


First, I’m thrilled that Kirkus Review has named THIS ANGEL ON MY CHEST as one of “9 Books You Shouldn’t Overlook”--!!


I wrote a short piece for BookRiot about the books that I read while grieving the loss of my husband. As I wrote, I thought about the so-called stages of grief:

Denial Before the funeral, a friend handed me a copy of A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, the classic book about loss in which Lewis offers a diary-like glimpse of his life following his wife’s death and his meditations on his struggle to understand this pain. It’s a heartbreaking book, but I felt a sense of numb distance as I read. This poor guy, I thought, he’s so sad. There’s no quick and jolly conclusion, no “and then I lived happily ever after,” which should have signaled something to me. But I was in denial, and this book let me rest there a little longer....


My dear friend and writing pal Marty Rhodes Figley invited me to write a foodie piece for her blog, so I wrote, “Love, and Welsh Rabbit,” which includes a beloved recipe:

I didn’t realize that the death of a loved one brings along with it an additional thousand tiny losses, some of which are not immediately apparent. In my case, because I love to cook, and Robb (and I) loved to eat, it turned out there were recipes I could no longer make because eating and preparing those particular dishes made me sad....

P.S. One of my favorite picture books is Marty’s Emily and Carlo, about poet Emily Dickinson and her dog. Read more about it here:


In case you missed the previous post, I was interviewed by Barrelhouse editor Dave Housley about THIS ANGEL ON MY CHEST and Patrick Swayze:

In each story in this collection, a young husband dies suddenly. Obviously, that plotline (such as it is!) could get awfully repetitive, so as my writing progressed, I found myself playing with form, which was a stylistic departure for me (and so fun!)… 


And last, but not least—but not linkable—the new issue of River Styx, the fabulous literary journal based in St. Louis, arrived in my mailbox. It’s the REVENGE issue (oh, juicy!!) and it contains my story, “Bad Girl” (which is a section from my novel-in-progress):

            …He wore a blue shirt—nothing special, something vaguely denim with white buttons that were more lustrous than regular white buttons. Faded, milky blue, soft to the touch. Well, I didn’t know it was soft because I couldn’t touch it, not even the sleeve, not even that way girls might laugh too long at a dumb joke, that laugh the excuse to seize the guy’s arm. Flirting 101.            But I wasn’t allowed to do that with him, with my best friend’s boyfriend….

Here’s more information about River Styx:

Also, whatever you do, do check out the journal’s gallery of amazing and hilarious cover letters, all reprinted with permission, so no gratuitous mocking:


Okay, there IS a short, Jeopardy-style quiz:

Answer: Infinity x 1000

Question: How grateful is Leslie on a scale of 1 to 10?


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.