New Science Fiction Stories! (By me!)

Taipei Writers Group

In April you’ll be able to read two freshly published stories by yours truly. The first, The Ties That Bind, is a story about a Martian colonist coming to terms with her family background before leaving for her new home. You can read it (and nine other awesome science fiction shorts!) in Plan 559 from Outer Space, only $1.99 on kindle, and soon to be available in paperback.

My second story, Daddy Who, will be available on April 3rd, both on kindle and paperback, published in the Spring Quarterly of Mad Scientist Journal. This story is told by Anna Beth Wilson, a college student who time travels to learn the identity of her sperm donor father.

I guess my theme for the Spring is family and making peace with one’s roots, which also, ironically, is one of the themes of my current novel in progress. Happy…

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A Trip to Flannery O’Connor’s Andalusia Farm

Taipei Writers Group

After losing my cat in January, I decided to forfeit my much anticipated month of writing for three weeks of being spoiled rotten and loved on at home. I have to admit, while my writing and reading schedule (especially for grad school) took a major hit, the trip was worth it. One reason was this girl right here: 10334342_10206454339702946_316464755028394174_n-2

Oh my goodness. Some things are so worth the sacrifice.

She is a true Georgia girl, let me tell you. All sass.

And speaking of Georgia girls; while I was home, I decided to take advantage of being less than an hour away from Andalusia Farm, once home of Georgia’s own Flannery O’Connor. Despite having lived in Milledgeville years before (and driving next to this farm almost daily), I had never visited….and had never read O’Connor until a grad school course last year. I was so enthralled by her short stories, this…

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Carl Sagan on Books and Magic

Taipei Writers Group

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

[Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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Writing a Memory

Taipei Writers Group

“If a story is in you, it has got to come out.” -William Faulkner

Sometimes for me a story begins with a memory. At times it’s something full and itself a story, but more commonly it’s a flash of something from my past, an image that replays itself until I’ve incorporated it into my writing.

My contest winning story, Still Breathing, began this way. In my interview with The Muffin, I talk about how the flash piece began as a memory of an elk being skinned, something I’d witnessed while living in Montana as a pre-teen. This graphic memory replayed itself in my mind until it finally came out as part of the story I had been hoping to write after being inspired by the organization Truckers against Trafficking.

There are other images replaying in my mind now. In one, a bunny runs out from beneath a merry-go-round…

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Writing for Therapy

Taipei Writers Group

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” –Graham Greene

Recently, while dealing with the fast approaching death of my cat, Thor, I was once again reminded of the benefits of writing as therapy. In the days before his death, I wrote him a letter, reflecting on his four short years, and what he had come to mean to me just by being present through so many trials and triumphs. In the end, when letting a dear friend read the very personal story, she pointed out that the letter wasn’t just to Thor, but also to myself.

Recently, The New York Times posted an article entitled, “Writing Your Way To Happiness.” In it, psychology professor James Pennebaker, speaking on his work…

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A Taste of Success

Taipei Writers Group

My flash fiction story, Still Breathing, recently won first place in the WOW! Women on Writing quarterly flash fiction contest! You can read it here, and on January 13th, you can read my interview about the story on The Muffin! -Ellyna Ford Phelps/ L.L. Phelps

P.S.

While the above is short and sweet, allow me to take a moment to confess something. When I found out I’d placed first, I was at work, and nearly fainted in the office. I still don’t think I’ve quite wrapped my mind around it. A special thanks to the writing group for their fantastic critiques on the first draft of the story!

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Free Kindle Book (with stories by yours truly)

Taipei Writers Group

Right now you can download Five59 publishing’s latest anthology, Winter Tales, free on kindle. This lovely, holiday collection of 15 stories includes two shorts by me, one under each of my pseudonyms! It’s an honor to work with these fantastic writers! Merry Christmas!

http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Tales-Lynne-Cantwell-ebook/dp/B00Q9L5U54/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

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Taiwan Tales Now Available!

Taipei Writers Group

Don’t miss out! Taiwan Tales, the first of Taipei Writers Group’s anthologies via Lone Wolf Press, is now available on amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Taiwan-Tales-Country-Multicultural-Perspective-ebook/dp/B00QGDHM8I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417612456&sr=8-1&keywords=taiwan+tales

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Diagnose Your Character!

Taipei Writers Group

I recently “discovered” an interesting read in my Amazon WishList: How To Diagnose Your Character: Using Psychology To Create an In-Depth Character by Joshua Hoyt. While I can’t remember who it was that recommended this book to me, I will now be recommending it to all my writing friends as well.

Hoyt gives an excellent overview of psychology, with examples and writing exercises to help apply different theories and facts to fictional characters to make them more rounded and believable. While the psychology was a review for me as a once-upon-a-time psychology major, it helped me put to words the things I was trying to say about some of my more complex characters, and helped me to develop some of the ones I was struggling to “diagnose.”

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