Queenie Lives: A Short Story Success

Short stories are a new frontier for me. They require special skills that novel-length works don’t necessarily, and I am still working on my “craft” in this area. So, drumroll please, I am thrilled to announce that I have placed a short story in the online literary journal Smoky Quartz.

The publication of Two Kinds of People, as the story is entitled, is special to me not only because it is my first short story to be published. It’s also special because it allows my character Queenie to live on in print. Let me explain.

I had to cut down my work-in-progress novel, tentatively titled Beautiful and Terrible Things, due to length. Some of the scenes to “hit the cutting room floor” centered around Sunny, a biracial, nonbinary and very Zen person, and her friendship with Queenie, a homeless woman. Sunny is one of the novel’s six main characters, so she made the cut obviously.

But Queenie was reduced to a bit role. I believe her story is important, and am so grateful that the Monadnock Writers’ Group, publishers of Smoky Quartz, agreed.

Their exact words in an email to me were: “We all love Queenie; we’re honored that her story will appear in our journal.”

I can’t tell you too much about the story without giving away the twist, but I can say it touches on timely topics including homelessness and police violence.

Two Kinds of People will be published in the journal’s Fall issue, which comes out in late November.

(The flower image in this post is from the Spring 2021 issue of Smoky Quartz, and was taken by Maxwell Irwin.)

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