Stories always have been more than just entertainment—they allow us to share our experiences and make sense of our lives. Whether they’re classic literary novels, modern vignettes on a blog, or folk tales around a campfire, stories help us to build stronger cultural ties. They give us insight into different perspectives, shape our view of the world present and past, and inspire us to dream of what it could be. They invite us to explore faraway places and give us the opportunity to meet new friends, both in fiction and in real life.

The stories on this website are part of my contribution to our society’s collective journey of self-discovery in an era of tremendous and often unsettling changes. They’re meant to address issues that we face in today’s world, as well as how we frame these issues in our minds. Those listed below are stand-alone stories; I also have a Multi-part Stories page for longer stories that were originally posted in installments.

 

Fashion Statements. Connie, a middle-aged New York mom, feels uncomfortable when her sister tells her it’s about time to get rid of those lines on her face—after all, one can’t be too careful when there are so many younger women looking to steal husbands.

A Good Son. Nearly a half-century has passed since Ella Mae’s cousin said unkind things about her son. Even though Ella Mae realizes there’s no sense holding a grudge, the memory still bothers her, even at Christmastime.

Grand Adventures.  When their children grew up and moved away, Rupert and Helen sold the family farm. Rupert knows that many people would be glad to have a quiet, comfortable life in retirement; but it just doesn’t feel right to him.

Summer Distractions. A fairy-tale rendering of a storyteller’s heroic quest to bring her characters to life, and of the distractions she encounters along the way.

Aurora, With Love. Doing work with love (1 Corinthians 16:14) isn’t always easy. Working at a McDonald’s just off the highway, Aurora feels that life is passing her by. She wakes up before dawn to go to work, while her truck-driver husband is on the road, and imagines stepping into the life of her mythical namesake.

Consider the Lilies: Sunrise. Lily has owned a coffee shop across the street from a city park for many years, but now—after breast cancer caused her to reflect more on her life—she has decided to follow her dreams and start a new career working on a cruise ship.

Consider the Lilies: Reverence. Julie has been working for the park district as an assistant groundskeeper since she finished high school. She loves the work, although it meant having to move away from the farm where she grew up.

Consider the Lilies: Serendipity. Divorced and miserable after losing her middle-management job in the recession and not finding other work, Serra is painting the daylilies in the city park when a chance encounter leads to unexpected possibilities.

Peaches and Snow. An oil worker brings his Alaskan Native bride and her mother to visit with his family in Texas for a week. (This is a challenge story written from a prompt contributed by Noelle Vignola.)

Seasonal Surprise. Waking up on a cold, rainy Saturday in October after dreaming about evil corn stalks sprouting from a dish of candy corn, Irene just wants to relax on the couch with a romance novel and a cup of coffee, but of course it’s not that easy! (Carolyn at Nuggets of Gold gave me the prompt for this story.)

Not in Indiana Anymore. Spending the winter in a Florida cabin, Ronda and her cocker spaniel Trevor must contend with another story prompt helpfully contributed by Carolyn—a hurricane, a chameleon, and a surprisingly troublesome bowl of jellybeans.

BLUBRD. Does anybody really buy a new car for Christmas like in those holiday commercials? Marcy doesn’t believe it, after years of pinching pennies during the recession. This story was written from a prompt provided by Elesia Ashkenazy.