I have seldom been able to write a short story. I’ve tried. I’ve written stories for anthologies, such as MISS CHOCOLATE AND THE LAW, in an anthology titled LOVE BY CHOCOLATE. I wrote INDIAN SUMMER, a prequel to my novel, FULL CIRCLE. Then there was A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS, for the anthology, CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS (my story was a fifth story to my Outlaw Hearts series); CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE, for the anthology LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS; THE TOUCH OF LOVE, a bonus story for my MYSTIC INDIAN trilogy; and FOR THE SAKE OF LOVE, in an anthology called CHERISHED LOVE.

        Now I have written TROUBLE RIDES A FAST HORSE, for an anthology titled LOST AND FOUND, a book published as a fund-raiser for the GRAND RAPIDS ROMANCE WRITERS GROUP (not affiliated with Romance Writers of America). The other short stories mentioned above were all novellas, roughly 15,000 – 20,000 words. TROUBLE RIDES A FAST HORSE is only about 5,000 words in length, which is the shortest story I have ever written.


        Writing a short story is very hard for me. In every single idea I have ever had, I see a full novel. I could take any one of the above short stories and turn them into a 90,000-100,000 word novel. Whether long or short, I get very involved in a story’s characters, and I want to flesh them out, stay with them far longer, come up with surrounding characters, back story, goals and motivations that need a long story to be worked out.


   But that’s just me. My sons say I could make a four-page letter out of something that would take 2-3 sentences to explain, and they are right. I have written letters I have had to cut and cut and cut in order to get them down to one page of the most pertinent information. I have never been a fan of reading or writing short stories, but I know there are plenty of great stories out there, and I admire anyone who can write them and write them well. My good friend Lucy Kubash does a great job with short stories, though she is capable of writing wonderful novels also. If you look her up on Amazon or through Google, you will find listings of many of her anthologies made up of several of her own short stories. They are worth reading, and I admire how she manages to get a lot of story-telling into just a few words. It’s a talent not all writers have, and I am one of those who does not have that talent.

        I have no idea why or when I wrote TROUBLE RIDES A FAST HORSE, but it was so short that I never tried getting it published. It was just a title that I loved and I wanted to write something to go with the title, so I wrote TROUBLE, which is a contemporary story about a teenage girl with boyfriend troubles. Her grandmother tells her a story about her own boyfriend troubles when she was young, making the story something like “what goes around, comes around.” If we are patient and trust in God’s will, life will turn out like it’s supposed to.

       I hope you will order LOST AND FOUND and read TROUBLE RIDES A FAST HORSE, as well as short stories by fellow writers Diana Lloyd, Diana Stout, Jae Nel, K. D. Norris, Lisa Campeau, Martin L Shoemaker, Natalia Baird and Patricia Kiyono. The book is not only full of great short stories, but your purchase will help raise money for our writer’s group, which helps us pay for inspiring speakers, keeps our web site going, helps us sponsor contests for new writers and a host of other events that help both published and unpublished writers. That in turn helps us keep publishing books for our readers to enjoy.

       I also belong to the Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America, and we also hold fund-raisers to help raise money for the same reasons, including a yearly Retreat from Harsh Reality, a program that inspires both writers and readers. Please visit both the Grand Rapids Romance Writers Group and Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America online to learn more about both groups. MMRWA’s Retreat this year will be held via Zoom, but it will be interesting and informative and worth attending.

       For some great summer reading, please purchase LOST AND FOUND, and be sure to look into the benefits of belonging to GRRWG and/or MMRWA.

          And happy spring! The weather is finally turning beautiful! I will be spending the summer with final edits to my sixth OUTLAW HEARTS story – BLAZE OF GLORY and I will also be working on a WWII story and a new contemporary! No short stories are planned anytime soon. I have some big, big stories in mind!




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