My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

Behind three-starred glass, we swirl pinot while my shade approaches the crowded intersection. Mousy hair, thin-soled Keds. A backpack, frayed, beats an awkward tempo as she scans facades and faces. Awaits the signal forward. On green, she crosses to me. Presses palms to mine, reflected.   I want to rush into the twilight. To console her. …

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Once upon a time… A good little girl waits patiently for her fairy godmother to return the voice her father stole then buried, unmarked, in the woods surrounding their condo. In this version, they forget about her and she dies. Or, They remember her, but they sell her voice and keep the money. Then she …

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The venetian blind Lady Liberty at the heart of “Bring Me Your Yearning” actually existed. In 1986, two days before the 100th anniversary of  New York’s original Statue, she mysteriously appeared overnight in the middle of the Susquehanna River near my childhood home of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, seven miles north of the state’s capital. Her origins …

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Writers are nosy creatures. We eavesdrop. We people watch. We collect other people’s stories like sea glass, shiny bits of treasure we hoard then barter with the muses. The inspiration for The Nail Club is one such gem. Years ago, my nail tech B. shared that one of her most difficult clients at her former …

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“The Daffodils” began a few years ago as an assignment for an online creative writing class through Gotham Writers Workshop. The details are vague, but I remember a map of a fictional town and instructions to write a story of no more than 750 words, which then and now is very difficult for me. In …

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Richard Norris Brooke’s 1881 painting “A Pastoral Visit” depicts an African American family at table with their pastor and is, according to the National Gallery of Art website, his “most celebrated [rendering of] everyday life.” It was also the subject of a Story A Day May prompt and the inspiration for my short story, “Ask …

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