2018 Nominations

I’ve been very fortunate this year in finding great homes for my stories and in receiving nominations.

🌹 Thank you Sally Reno and Doug Mathewson from Blink Ink for nominating “Tabula Rasa” for a Pushcart Prize, the Best Small Fictions, and the Best Microfiction.

🌹Thank you James Tate Hill from Monkeybicycle for nominating “Clean Hands” for Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net.

🌹Thank you Michelle N Ross from Atticus Review for nominating “Lost and Found” for Best Microfiction.

🌹Thank you Mary Lynn Reed & Lesley C. Weston from Moon Park Review for nominating “Breathlessness” for Best of the Net and Best Microfiction

I’m very honored and touched. 2018 was a great year of reading, writing, and publishing!

La Chambre Claire 2018

The Best Short Prose Published Online in 2018 According to Claire 

There were stories I loved that I didn’t include. There were probably stories I would have loved, had I read them. So the list below is non-exhaustive and unfinished, which is exactly how I like my lists. 

Thank you, dear authors and editors, for all you have given me. This year of reading has left me enriched.  

“The Less Said” by Jolene Mcilwain in New Orleans Review

“The Whole Girl Detective Thing” by Cathy Ulrich in Black Warrior Review

Five Micros by Kathy Fish in Pidgeon Holes

“Smile, Lisa” by Lynn Mundell in Monkey Bicycle

“New Words for the New World” by Paul Crenshaw in Tin House (Flash Fidelity) 

“Monstrous, Chaotic Things” by Maureen Langloss in Cheap Pop 

“One More Time” by Melissa Goode in Jellyfish Review

“Desert Island Diet” by Megan Giddings in The Adroit Journal

“Checkmate” by Jacqueline Doyle and “Echoes” by Nod Gosh in Blue Fifth Review 

“You Won’t Believe What Really Happened to the Sabine Women” by Amber Sparks in The Collagist

 “The Magician” by Kara Oakleaf in Wigleaf

“The Sky Is Just Another Neighborhood” by Lori Sambol Brody in SmokeLong Quarterly

“The Boy with the Glass Eye” by Stacy Trautwein Burns in New Flash Fiction Review 

“Stranded Sea Mammals” by Meg Pokrass in Jellyfish Review

“What Is Left” by Jen Michalski in Heavy Feather Review

“Knock Knock” by Jessica Barksdale in matchbook

“Snow” by Kathryn McMahon in New Delta Review 

“Us” by Leonora Desar in Cheap Pop 

“Subsoil of Memory” by Julie Zuckerman in The Coil 

“Plastic” by Corey Farrenkopf in Lunch Ticket

“After The Fog Come The Hunters” by Jad Josey in Jellyfish Review 

“This Is All We Need” by Jennifer Todhunter in Atticus Review

“We All Know About Margo” by Megan Pillow Davis in SmokeLong Quarterly

“The Woman with a Box at the Church” by Alina Stefanescu in Wigleaf 

“Weather Proverbs, Explained” by Ingrid Jendrzejewski in StreetLight 

“Mother of the Year” by Lindsay Hunter in Kenyon Review Online  

“It’s Called Deception” by Jan Stinchcomb Gone Lawn

“We Knew Not What” by Lisa Ferranti in Spelk Fiction

“And Sometimes We Meet” by Dina Relles in matchbook 

“Out of My Hands” by Jayne Martin in Hippocampus Magazine 

“Melanzane Al Forno” by Jennifer Harvey in Jellyfish Review 

“Chimaera” by Stephanie Hutton & Sophie Van Llewyn in Connotation Press

“Late Bloomers and Perennials” by Dorothy Rice in Brevity 

* If you see any mistakes in this list, please let me know, and I’ll correct it ASAP! 

Winter Publications

Stories printed and stories online: I’m very grateful to the editors of Fiction InternationalElm Leaves Journal, The Sunlight Press, Flash Boulevard, and Spelk for publishing my work this season.

The following stories are available to read online:

December 2018

Author Talk: Fact, Fiction, Fantasy

On the challenge of writing a historical novel with a touch of the surreal.

My co-author Daniel Presley and I are invited by Gabrielle Griffis to come to the Wellfleet Library, one of a handful of American libraries that received a five-star rating for more than a decade.

Friends in Massachusetts and beyond, be welcome and meet us for an evening of music and literature on December 13!

A Conversation on Publishing and Editing

My co-author Daniel Presley and I are invited by Corey Farrenkopf to come to one of the oldest libraries in the United States for a conversation on publishing and editing!

Friends in Massachusetts and beyond, be welcome and meet us in the Sturgis Library on Cape Cod on December 12!

American Library in Paris Book Award

On November 8th, my co-author and I attended the American Library in Paris Book Award ceremony 2018.

It was held in the gorgeous Hôtel de Talleyrand where the Marshall plan was signed in 1948. By being there, we felt we inserted ourselves into the history we had written about in “A Whale in Paris.”

Although our novel didn’t win the award, we had a lovely time and are grateful to have been invited. Thank you American Library in Paris for a sparkling soiree and congratulations to Julian Jackson for winning with “A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle!”

Three New Stories

As I’m working hard on two new novels, one for younger readers and one for adults, I sometimes gratify myself by writing flash fiction. It’s such a joy and a great practice and a fabulous genre all by itself.

I’m particularly proud of these three pieces recently published in Atticus Review.

Whether it’s 1940 or now, whether you’re on holiday or going on a stroll with your husband who is slowly losing his mind, we all need to make moral choices. Do we acknowledge or ignore our conscience?

Inspired by real-life stories from my grandmother and friends, please read: “Dutch Neighbors,” “Battle of Brushes,” and “Lost and Found.”

  • update: The story “Lost and Found” has been nominated for Best Microfiction 2018!

October 3, 2018

Two New Stories

Two new stories of mine were published this week!

“Inner Thief” appeared in FlashBack Fiction:  

Her husband folds his hand over hers, the one wielding the knife, and she stops slicing the breakfast bread. He says they have enough. Their eyes meet. The word “enough” sounds foreign to her, as though it has lost all meaning.

Continue reading >>>

“New Leader” appeared in Cheap Pop:

This morning, I invented a new leader. I was tired of the old one and thought: I want a leader who is as loyal as my watchdog, Jodie, and as fierce as my cat, Joelle, and who possesses some type of magical power, such as breathing underwater like my goldfish, Jojo.

Continue reading >>>

Thank you, dear editors, for selecting my work!

Image courtesy of the Albert Heijn cultural heritage website.

September 16, 2018

Reader’s Questions (I)

Daniel and I were delighted last week to receive a kind and interesting letter. It was sent by a young reader who liked “A Whale in Paris” enough to thank us for having written the book. She also asked a few questions about how and why we wrote this novel.

Today I’m sharing my answers and the questions from Evelyn B (Denver, Colorado) with her permission and my gratitude.

Why did you choose to write about World War 2?

Because we think it’s important for young people (like you!) to know about what happened. And because we wanted to know more about France during that time. I was born and raised in the Netherlands and learned a lot about World War 2 at school and from my grandparents and stepfather, who all survived the war. They spoke to me about air raids, about hiding from the Nazis, about hunger and fear. But most of what I know took place in the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. My husband and I wanted to learn about Paris during the occupation, so we chose to write about it, because that would require us to do research.

What made you think of putting a whale in Paris?

Our story began with the whale. Do you know those lazy Sunday mornings, when it rains and rains and you’re in bed or on the couch and really don’t want to get dressed, because the world out there is just cold and wet? Well, there are a lot of Sundays like that in the winter in Paris, and sometimes my husband and I just lay on our backs, listening to the rain and making up stories. In one of them, there was a lost whale (wrapped up in a sheet) making funny sounds, and a girl who befriends him and helps him to swim back to the sea. That was the kernel of our book. It took years of talking about that girl and her whale, before we actually believed we had a story that could become a novel.

Did you have to learn about whales to write the book? What did you have to do to learn what kinds of sounds Franklin would make?

We did indeed do research on whales, too, and were fascinated by what we learned. Whales use sounds for all types of communication. We now know that whales can sing to each other and that they use click sounds to identity one single whale to other whales in the pod. A lot less was known in 1944, so Chantal was guessing more than knowing—she couldn’t read a book about it yet, like you and me. My husband and I listened to online recordings of what people call “whale vocalizations,” and our imagination did the rest. Chantal probably couldn’t really understand Franklin’s sounds, but she did understand that he was lonely, lost, and homesick, and that he needed help.

What is your favorite food?

That really depends on the time of day and my mood. I often love the simplest things. Avocados, walnuts, blueberries, artichokes, mangos, zucchinis, dark chocolate, and salmon—I really do love salmon, smoked, grilled, raw, or in a quiche!

August 27, 2018

A Whale in Paris

A Whale in Paris — Review

The Historical Novel Society has reviewed “A Whale in Paris” — thank you so much! — and here’s what they say:

“This story … delves into the workings of human nature, and teaches young readers valuable life lessons, such as not judging people prematurely and the importance of keeping promises…. an excellent introduction to WWII for elementary readers, being both an exciting and touching story.”

Read the full review on the website of the Historical Novel Society.

Read more about “A Whale in Paris” here.

August 2018.