WELL READ Magazine January 2023

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TheFifthDaughterofThornRanch by JuliaBrewer Fatehadnotsmiledonheryet. Couldsheshootthisman? She’dneverkilledanyonebefore. EmmaRosalesistheheiresstothelargestranchinTexas-The Thorn.Alloftheresponsibilitiesofmanagingamillionacresnow fallintoherfifth-generationhands. AtaskEmmacouldhandlewithhereyesclosed...ifTheThornwas anyordinaryproperty. TheThornishometomanythings.Clear,cloudlessskies.Milesof desertscrubandcraggymountains.Aquietdisruptedonlyby whispersofthewind.Andanancientwebofsecretsthatwon'tlet Emmaoutalivewithoutafight. TheFifthDaughterofThornRanchisafamilysagaaslargeasthe stateofTexas. "TheFifthDaughterofThornRanchbyJuliaDailytakesheroine Emmaandhero,Kai,onanadventurousjourneyacrossavast SouthTexascanvasfilledwithunforgettablecharactersanda storylinethatwillhaveyouturningthepagestoseehoweachscene unfolds.Itisanovelthatcombinesmystery,suspense,adventure, andaromancethatneitherhardshipsnortimecanerasebetween themaincharacters."-DebraHolt,award-winning,multi-published Texasauthorofseriessuchas TheTremaynesofTexas and The LawmenSeries.
"Adignified,passionate,andlayeredtaleinaruggedyet picturesquelandscape...Thisbooktestifiestotherewardsof fightingforenduringconnectionsbetweenfamilymembersand home." -RECOMMENDED,TheUSReviewofBooks “JuliaDailybuildsacaptivatingworldbylettingherimagination leadtheway.Theresult?Auniquestorythat’salittleWildWest,a littleoldMexico,alittleancienthistory,andalotrebellious—inall themostinterestingofways.Whathappenswhenastrong-willed ranchingheiresscrossesalinesheneverknewexisted?An adventurethat’sbiggerthanTexas!” JulieCantrell,NewYork TimesandUSATodaybestsellingauthorof Perennials JuliaBrewerDailyisaTexanwithasouthernaccent.Sheholdsa B.S.inEnglishandaM.S.degreeinEducationfromtheUniversity ofSouthernMississippi.Shewasthefoundingdirectorofthe GreaterBelhavenMarket,aproducers'onlymarketinahistoric neighborhoodinJackson,andevenshadowedMarthaStewart.As theExecutiveDirectoroftheCraftsmen's GuildofMississippi(300artisansfrom19 states)whichoperatestheMississippiCraft Center,shewrotetheirstoriestointroduce themtothepublic.Dailyisanadoptedchild fromamaternityhomehospitalinNew Orleans.Shesearchedandfoundherbirth motherandthroughaDNAtest,herbirth father'sfamily,aswell.Alifelongsoutherner, shenowresidesonaranchinFredericksburg, Texas,withherhusbandEmmersonand LabradorRetrievers,MemphisBelleand TexasStar.

RedClaySuzie by JeffreyDaleLofton

Anovelinspiredbytrueevents

Thecoming-of-agestoryofPhilbet,agay,physically-misshapen boyinruralGeorgia,whobattlesbullying,ignorance,anddisdainas hemakeshiswayinlifeasanoutsider—beforefindingacceptance inunlikelyplaces.

Fueledbytomatosandwichesandgreenmilkshakes,andobsessed withcars,Philbetstruggleswithlifeandloveasagayboyinrural Georgia.He’shappiestwhenhelpingGrandaddydigpotatoesfrom thevegetablegardenthatconnectstheirhouses.ButPhilbet’sworld isshatteredandhisresilienceshakenbyeventsthatcrushhis innocenceandsenseofsecurity;exposehismisshapenchest skillfullyhiddenbehindshirtsMamamakesathome;andconvince himthathe’snotfittobelovedbyKnox,theolderboyheidolizes todistraction.Overtime,Philbetfindsrefugeinunexpectedplaces andinnerstrengthinunexpectedways,leadingtoaresolutioninthe formofaletterfrombeyondthegrave.

“Thisfantasticnovelisstriking,andthestorytellingisstrong.You won’tbeabletoputitdown.AtleastIcouldn’t.” MorganTalty, authorof NightoftheLivingRez

"Youcan'thelpbutrootforPhilbet,theunforgettableheroofJeffrey DaleLofton'sarrestingdebutRedClaySuzie.Iwasmovedbythe insightsandsettingsofthisbookandbythevividdepictionofa uniquechildhoodthatfeelsuniversalinitslonging." Christopher Castellani,authorof LeadingMen

"Ifeleven-year-oldmehadhadabooklikethistoread,whatajoy thatwouldhavebeen.It’sbeautiful.It’simportant.It’sF@#%ing magic.”

PeteCross,AudieandEarphonesAward-Winning AudiobookNarratorandProducer

“RedClaySuzie’sPhilbetLawsonjoinsScoutFinch(ToKilla Mockingbird)andFrankieAddams(TheMemberoftheWedding)in Southernliterature’spantheonofoutsiderchildren.WhilePhilbet findsunlikelyalliesinhissmallworld,othersridiculehissensitive natureanddeformedbody.Philbet’srootsareplantedintheSouth’s inhospitableredclay,buthegrowsup,honesttohistrueself.Read RedClaySuzieandcheeronPhilbet,anewliteraryhero.” Alice LeccesePowers,writerandeditorofthebest-selling InMind series RedClaySuzieWinsAmericanBookFest’sBestBookAwardfor LGBTQ+FictionandRedClaySuzieWinsAmericanBookFest’s BestBookAwardforLGBTQ+Fictionandwasafinalistinthe LiteraryFictioncategory.afinalistintheLiteraryFictioncategory. RedClaySuzieWinsSevenHillsLiteraryPrizeforFictionAwarded bytheTallahasseeWritersAssociation RedClaySuzieNamedaLambdaLiterary“MostAnticipated LGBTQIA+Book” JeffreyDaleLofton hailsfromWarmSprings,Georgia,bestknown forRoosevelt’sLittleWhiteHouse.Hecallsthenation’scapital homenow,whereearlyonhespentmanyanightactingonthestages ofDC’stheatersandperformingartscenters.Heevenscoredafew televisionappearances,includingaSuperBowlhalftimecommercial, whichhisaccountantwisecracked“Isthe finestworkofyourcareer.” Whenhesteppedawayfromactingforother, moretraditionalemployment(muchtohis parents’delightandrelief),healsofocusedon pursuingpost-graduatework,ultimatelybeing awardedMaster’sdegreesinbothPublic AdministrationandLibraryandInformation Science. Today,heisasenioradvisorattheLibraryof Congress,surroundedbybooksandpeople wholovebooks—inshort,paradise.
HELLOREADERS! LETTERFROMTHEEDITOR 9 SCAVENGERHUNT 11 January’sFeaturedAuthor GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 13 HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorge Singleton 23 WATCHTHIS 30 LISTENONWELLREAD’SNEWPODCAST! 36 WhatAreYouReading? TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 39 WELLDONE!Prose,Poetry,andArt WEARELIVINGHISTORYbyT.K.Thorne 59 ABANTERTHATSINGSbyClaireFullerton 65 MILLER’SCAFEbyMikeHilbig 71 SLEEPINGONPAUL’SMATTRESSbyBrendaSuttonRose 77 THECOURAGEOFWAYWARDGIRLSbyPennyKoepsel& ClaireMatturro 89 RAINCANBEAMELANCHOLYTHINGBYJ.B.Hogan 93
PHOTOGRAPHYbyTommyDarinLiskey 97 HELLOPOETS!Anexcitingcollaboration 103 FORTHELOVEOFDOLLY!byMandyHaynes 105 MARKYOURCALENDARS 115 WELCOMETOTHEHOLLEYHOUSE 121 ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 125 MINDYOURPs&QsbyMandyHaynes 133 NETWORKING 139 WHAT’SYOURSTORY? 149 OFFTHEPAGEWITHRIVERJORDAN 151 8 WELLREADMAGAZINE
9 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Join WELLREADMAGAZINE’S goodnewsgroup onFacebooktofindoutmoreabouttheauthors andcontributorsyouseehere.Lotsofgreat extraslikereviews,events,personalstories, thingstocelebrate,andopportunitiestowinfree booksdirectlyfromtheauthorsineachissue! NOWLET’SHAVESOMEFUN! RulesfortheScavengerHunt: Findthisimage somewhereonthefollowingpages: Post WINNER! ina newpost onthe goodnews group. GOODNEWSGROUPFUN 10 WELLREADMAGAZINE
Tagme(MandyHaynes), andyou’ll wina hardcover,personalizedcopyofJuliaBrewer Daily’snewnovelTheFifthDaughterofThorn Ranch! I’llannouncethewinnerinthegoodnewsgroup andconnectyouwithJulia! Allweaskisthatyouleaveanhonestreview andtelleveryoneyourgoodnews. SCAVENGERHUNT 11 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
HowtoPublishedaSelected CollectionofStories You’dthinkthatthehardestpartoffinallyhavinga publishergo“Hey,it’stimeforyourSelectedStories” involvedthethirtyorfortyyearsofcrankingoutstories, gettingafewthousandrejections,somehowplacinga couplehundred,whittlingthosestoriesintocollections, gettingthosecollectionspublished,andsoon.Maybe that’llbethemostdifficultpartforfuturegenerations,but notforsomeonewholivedthroughthehandwriting/ typewriter/eighty-seven-different-computersystemsof mine.Goaheadandsay,“Okay,Boomer.”Tellittopeople atcocktailpartieswhereineveryone’sdrinkingmimosas andsneakingoutbacktovape.Yellitoutthewindow.I Here’sthething.Here’stheplay-by-play.I’mgoingto passupon“revisionisthistory”andgetstraighttothe Truth,ofwhathappened,ofhowmydaywentbackona Thursday. IwalkedintoHubCityBookShop,inSpartanburg, SouthCarolina,whereIlive.Inthebackstoodtheoffices ofHubCityPress,anon-profitpublisher.(They’vemoved intotheirowndigssince,ablockaway.)They’dbeen churningoutgreatbooksforsometime—poetry,essay collections,anthologies,novels,shortstorycollections— andgettingallkindsofpublicityandawards.Ikindof 12 WELLREADMAGAZINE Georgegiveshischaracters avoicewithoutchanging whotheyareorwherethey comefrom…Hedoesn’t waterthemdowntomake themeasiertoswallowSingletonservesthemstraight fromthebottle. GEORGESINGLETON GeorgeSingleton100-Proof InterviewbyMandyHaynes FollowedbyGeorge’sessay, HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionof Stories onpage23
GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOF Interviewingauthorscanbedifficult.Youdon’twantto wastetheauthor’stime,youdon’twanttoborethemby askingquestionsthatthey’vealreadyansweredahundred timesalready,andyouwanttogivereaderssomething morethanwhattheycanreadontheauthor’swebsite(if theyhaveone––Georgedoesn’t). “Interviewing”Georgeisanythingbutdifficult.You don’tinterviewGeorge,youlisten.Heisamasterstorytellerwhohastheabilitytoturnday-to-dayeventsintoa story,andifyoupayattentionyou’llgettheanswersyou wantedwithoutaskingthequestions. Butbeforewegettotheinterview,letmeintroducehim. GeorgeSingletonistheauthorofnineshortstory collections, ThesePeopleAreUs:Stories,TheHalfMammalsofDixie,WhyDogsChaseCars:Talesofa BeleagueredBoyhood,DrowninginGruel,Stray Decorum,BetweenWrecks,Calloustown,StaffPicks,and YouWantMore.Twonovels, Novel and WorkShirtsFor Madmen.Andonenon-fictionthat,perGeorge,isaweird bookonwritingadvicehewroteonadaretitled PepTalks, Warnings,AndScreeds:IndispensableWisdomAnd CautionaryAdviceForWriters. Overtwohundredofhisstorieshaveappearedin GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 13 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
journalssuchasthe AtlanticMonthly,Harper’s,Playboy, GeorgiaReview,TheSouthernReview,CincinnatiReview, TinHouse,Garden&Gun
recipientofaPushcartPrizeandaGuggenheim fellowship.In2013,SingletonacceptedtheJohnC.Cobb EndowedChairintheHumanitiesatWoffordCollege wherehetaughtfictionwritingandediting.Singletonwas inductedintotheFellowshipofSouthernWritersinApril 2015andawardedtheJohnWilliamCorringtonAwardfor LiteraryExcellencein2016. George’swritingisbrilliant,hischaractersarehilarious andheartbreakinglyhonest.They’resouthernstoriesbut
Youwon’tfindanyclichesinGeorge’swriting,because hischaractersaremorethanwordsonapage,they’re
andhedoesn’tglossovertheuglyaspectsthatarestilla
hisprotagonists,thoughverysouthernandnotformally educated,arewaysmarterthanpeoplegivethemcredit. GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 14 WELLREADMAGAZINE
,andelsewhere.Heisthe
theydon’ttakeplaceinrockingchairsonthefrontporch withsassygranniessippin’sweettea,they’renotfocused onOxycontinaddiction,andhisprotagonistsaren’tpoor littlehillbillyboysashamedofwherethey’refromfinally gettingoutoftheholler. Becausethere’smoretousthanthat.
peopleweknow. Georgedoesn’tignorethebigredelephantintheroom
hugepartoftheAmericanSouth.You’llfindthatmostof

Thereareopen-mindedliberalthinkingpeopleinsmall southerntownsandGeorgegivesthemavoicewithout changing whotheyare or wherethey’refrom.He celebratesthegoodanddoesadamnfinejobofpointing outthebadwithoutbeingcondescendingorwatering downthestorieswithfamiliarandsadly––y’allknowit’s true––expected stereotypestomakethemeasierto swallow.No,Georgeservesthemstraightfromthebottle.

He'sthemasteratmakingyoulaughwhenyou’renot sureyoushould,andcausingalumptoforminyourthroat andtearstowellinyoureyeswhenyou’rereadinga phraseordescriptionthat’slaughoutloudfunnybuthurts atthesametime.Let’sfaceit,we’veallhadtimesinour ownliveswhenasenseofhumorwastheonlysensewe couldfind.

Georgesays,“It’slikeSamuelBecketttheIrish playwrightsaid,there’snothingfunnierthanhuman misery.Thatsoundsreallymeanbutthatgoesbackallthe waytoAristotlewiththenotionofcatharsisyouknow whenyougotOedipusstabbinghiseyeballout.Youmay goman,mylifesucks,butatleastIhaven’tkilledmy daddy,hadsexwithmymama,orstabbedmyeyeballout. AndthatgoesbacktowhatBeckettwassaying.Youknow wedon’tmeanto,butwhenweseesomeonesliponthe iceandfalldown,”hechuckles,“welaugh.”

GeorgelivesinSpartanburg,SouthCarolinawithhis

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wife GlendaGuion (anincrediblytalentedartist)andtheir dogCleowhosatatGeorge’sfeetaswetalked.Atone timeGeorgehadelevendogs,allstraysthathadbeen droppedoffandlefttofendforthemselvesbeforefinding theirwaytoGeorge’shouse.Hecannamethemall––Dooley,Hershey,Ann,Mabel,Maggie,Nick,River,Cleo, Lily,Charlie,andMary.

IwasintroducedtoGeorge’swritingthankstoDooley yearsagoatTheSouthernFestivalofBooks.Isawa posterforapanelofauthorstalkingabouttheirstoriesin theanthology LiteraryDogsandTheirSouthCarolina Authors outsideaconferenceroomandslippedintograb oneofthelastavailableseatsrightasGeorgestarted talking.Injustafewminuteseveryonewaslaughingashe describedhowhetriedtoconvincehisneighbor’smotherin-lawthattheskinny,mange-covered,straywasherdog–nothis––towipingawaytearsandhangingoneveryword ashetalkedaboutthetriptothevetwhenDooleyhadto haveemergencysurgery.Ikeptleaningforwardtolook leftandrightdowntheaisleatthefacesintheaudienceto seeiftheyfeltthewayIdid,iftheyknewhowdamnlucky weweretobesittingthere.Thelookstheygavemetold metheyabsolutelydidandthatIwaslatetothegame.The manatmylefttookpityonmeandaskedtoborrowapen. HethendugawrinkledHarrisTeeterreceiptfromhis pocketandwrotealistofSingleton’sbookshethoughtI

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GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes

shouldstartwith.

AfterthatIreadeverythingIcouldgetmyhandson about,andby,Singleton.ItoldGeorgeaboutmyfirst experienceofhearinghimreadliveatTheSouthern FestivalofBooks.

Georgesaid,“SomeofmybestmemoriesarewhenI’m readingashortstoryandpeoplearelaughingandyoucan seetheminutethestoryturnsandthelookontheirfaces arelike,Uh-oh,shouldIhavebeenlaughingthiswhole time?IfIcanpullthatoff,whichIdoabout1/100thsofa timethenI’mhappy.”

“You’rethemasteratit,”Isaidandmeantit.

Georgeanswered,“No,therealmasterisafellanamed LewisNordanwhogrewupinIttaBenaMississippi.He wrote MusicoftheSwamp, WolfWhistle,andlotsofgood stuff.Youshouldlookhimup.”

OfcourseIwroteNordan’snamedownandyoushould too.ThenIaskedGeorgewhathewasupto.Afterwe talkedaboutchasingferalcats,missingpossums,and growingpoppies,hetoldmeabouttwonewbookshe’s workingon.

“ThisonecomingoutinSeptemberiscalled The CuriousLivesofNon-ProfitMartyrs,”helaughed,“nonprofitlikeworkingforUnitedWaynotaprophetlikesome guyinthebible.ThenI’vegotabookofessayscalled Asides comingoutaroundthesametime.It’saboutdogs,

GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 17 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

bars,growingupquestionably,andhangovercures. There’ssomefoodwritinginthere,oneofthoseessays showedupin BestAmericanFoodWriting.”

Hesayshegottheideatopublishabookofessays duringCovidafterhereadareallygoodcollectionby someoneelse.

Georgelaughed,“Isaid,Ineedtogettogetherallthe essaysI’veeverwritten––Iwasdrinkingbourbonatthe time––andputthemtogether.TheproblemisIdon’tsave anything.Zero.Ifoundthreeoftheseessaysonmy computerbutIhadtogoonlineandsearchfortherest.IfI wasluckytheywerepublishedonline,ifnotIhadtoorder themagazine,journal,orbooktheywereinsoIcouldsit therelikeanidiotandretypethem…”Anothergreat Georgelaugh,“Ibettermakesomemoneyoffthisbook becauseIspentsixmilliondollarsgatheringallthe material.”

IaskedGeorgeoutofalltheliteraryjournalshe’sbeen publishedin,whatwastheonehegotthebiggestkickout oftellinghisfriends.

“Iwasreallyhappywitheachofthem.It’sliketreasure hunting,youknow,somedaysyoufindadiamond,some daysarejustrubiesoremeraldsbutitmightbeareally goodrubythatgetsreprinted.Iwasinthismagazine called TheQuarterly editedbyGordanLish.He’sareal famousandsomewhatcontroversialeditor.Heedited

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RaymondCarverandBarryHannahandhe’swellknown forcuttingalotofwork.Iwasreallyhappyaboutthatone ––eventhoughhecutmytenpagestorydowntothree. ButImadetwenty-fivedollarsapagewhichin1988 probablypaidmyrent.Then GeorgiaReview Iwasreally proudofthat.Thenin’92or’93Isoldastoryto Playboy Magazine.Itwasnotadirtystorywhatsoever,didn’teven haveanycusswordsinit––maybeonedamn.Matterof factitwasafamilyvaluestoryaboutacouplewhowere soexcitedaboutthebirthoftheirfirstchild.Theyhada sonogramandthenthemantapedoveritwitharecording of Bonanza.Iwasproudofthat,understandIwasinmy earlythirtieswhatIstillconsideredawhippersnappersoI gotakickoutoftellingmybuddiesfromcollege,Guess who’sgoingtobein PlayboyMagazine––mywordswith allthosenekkidwomen.NowI’malittlebitembarrassed byit.Thenin’99Iwentonatearandhadastoryin AtlanticMonthly,in Harper’s,Zoetrope,and Georgia Review––Ihadsomethinglikeeighteenstoriespublished inacalendaryear.”

Georgelaughed,leanedin,andsaid,“TheoneI’mmost embarrassedabout,that’smaybemoreinteresting.Ihad thisstoryaboutastandupcomedianright,soIwas lookingthroughthismagazineandfoundamagazine called InsideJoke.Ithought,Hey,I’llsendthemmystory aboutthecomedian.Ididandtheytookitalmost

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immediately.Ithought,Damnthatwasfast.Good.And thenwhenitwastimetogetmycontributor’scopyitwas likefortypagesoftypewriterpaperxeroxedwithstaples intheend. InsideJoke wasamagazineputoutfor prisonersintheNewYorkStatepenitentiarysystem.Inthe nextissueIgotfanlettersfromprisonersintheletterto theeditorsectionsaying,ThatstorybythatSingletonboy downinSouthCarolinaisprettyfunny. AnotherembarrassingonewasbackwhenIwashaving allthatgoodluckwith Atlantic,Harper’s andwhatever,I actuallygotaletterfromtheeditorof RedbookMagazine. Amagazinethat’sprimarilyawomen’smagazine.The editorwasDawnRaphaelandshewroteandsaid,Hey, don’tforgetaboutus.Ithought,Man,that'snice.Glenda got Redbook soIlookedthroughitandsawthatthestories werewrittenmainlybywomenwithwomenprotagonists soIwent,OkayIbetterwriteaboutawomanprotagonist. ButtherewerecertainthingsIjustdidn’tknow.ImeanI listentopeople,that’smywholegig––listeningand stealingfrompeople.Anyway,itwasahoneymoonstory aboutthiscouplewhojustgotmarriedandtheguy’s derangedunclewassortofstalkingthem.Therewasaline toldbythewomanthatsaid“ThatnightIwentintothe bathroomandchangedinto––andthenIputin parenthesis––aTeddy,pajamas,bucknaked,chooseoneof these,”Georgelaughed,“becauseIdidn’tknowwhat

GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 20 WELLREADMAGAZINE

she’dsay.TherewasawholelotofthatandIgotrejected prettyquickly.Dawnsentarejectionletterthatsaid, Pleasedon’teverdothisagain.SoIdidn’t.”

Iaskedifhehadanyadviceforwriters. “Myadviceisreadwhat’sbeingpublishednowand readawholebunchofit.Idon’tknowhowmanyexEnglishmajorstrytowriteanovelthinkingitshould soundlikeCharlesDickensorJonathanSwiftor Shakespeare.It’simportanttoknowFaulkner,Flannery O’Connor,andEudoraWeltybutifyouwrotelike Faulknertodayyou’dhaveahardtimegettingpublished.”

IaskedGeorgeiftherewasoneendorsementoutofall thegreatoneshe’sreceivedhewasespeciallyproudof. George’sanswerwasifanyonetakesthetimetowritea blurbhe’sthankful.

Hepickedupacopyofhislatestbookandread, “Singleton’sstoriesarelikeepicspitballsfromthebackof theclassroom,”hestoppedtolaugh,“Ithinkthat’skindof funny.

ThefullblurbbyJonathanMilesfrom Garden&Gun goes"Agreatest-hitsalbumfromawriterwhosestories arelikeepicspitballsfromthebackoftheclass:higharcingandunbearablyfunnyprotestsagainstthe absurditiesofeverydaylife."

Georgeendswith,“Idon’tpaytoomuchattentionto thembecauseIthinkthey’reusuallyalittlebithyperbolic.

GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 21 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
It’snotlike,Ah,I’mgoingtoputthatonmytombstone. OnmytombstoneIwant,Maybeit’samistake…” YoucanfindGeorgeonFacebook here Checkoutthefullinterview/ conversationwithGeorgeonWELL READ’snewYouTubechannel BETWEENTHEPAGES GEORGESINGLETON100-PROOFbyMandyHaynes 22 WELLREADMAGAZINE
HowtoPublishaSelected CollectionofStories GeorgeSingleton You’dthinkthatthehardestpartoffinallyhavinga publishergo“Hey,it’stimeforyour SelectedStories” involvedthethirtyorfortyyearsofcrankingoutstories, gettingafewthousandrejections,somehowplacinga couplehundred,whittlingthosestoriesintocollections, gettingthosecollectionspublished,andsoon.Maybe that’llbethemostdifficultpartforfuturegenerations,but notforsomeonewholivedthroughthehandwriting/ typewriter/eighty-seven-different-computersystemsof mine.Goaheadandsay,“Okay,Boomer.”Tellittopeople atcocktailpartieswhereineveryone’sdrinkingmimosas andsneakingoutbacktovape.Yellitoutthewindow.I wanttheseinstructionstold. Here’sthething.Here’stheplay-by-play.I’mgoingto passupon“revisionisthistory”andgetstraighttothe Truth,ofwhathappened,ofhowmydaywentbackona Thursday. IwalkedintoHubCityBookShop,inSpartanburg, SouthCarolina,whereIlive.Inthebackstoodtheoffices HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorge 23 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorgeSingleton

ofHubCityPress,anon-profitpublisher.(They’vemoved intotheirowndigssince,ablockaway.)They’dbeen churningoutgreatbooksforsometime—poetry,essay collections,anthologies,novels,shortstorycollections— andgettingallkindsofpublicityandawards.Ikindof enviedthewritersgettingbookspublishedoutofHCP,but Ilivedinthissmalltown,andthesewerepeopleIknew, andIneverthoughttosendthemanykindofmanuscript, Selected ornot,foritwouldputallofusinan uncomfortablesituation.Iftheydeclinedamanuscript, theymightthinkI’dbeoneofthosewriterswhosoon thereafterperformedvoodooritualsagainsttheeditor/ publisher/publicist,etcetera.Iftheytookamanuscript,I mightthinktheydidsooutofpity.

Listen,atthispointI’dhadeightcollections:withRiver City,acouplewithAlgonquin,oneatHarcourtwhich earlierboughtpaperbackrightstotheonesatRiverCity andAlgonquinalso,afewwithDzanc,andonewithLSU. Thosecollectionsgotpositivereviewsinthe NewYork TimesBookReview,Newsweek,EntertainmentWeekly,the AtlantaJournalConstitution,etcetera.PapersinSeattle, NewOrleans,Charlotte,Raleigh, USAToday; NPR’s MorningEdition,GardenandGun, even SouthernLiving. Thesewerestoriesthathadbeenpublished,overathirtyplusyearperiod,originally,inthe AtlanticMonthly, Harper’s,Playboy,Esquire, the GeorgiaReview,One Story,Story,Zoetrope,OxfordAmerican,andsoon.A numberhadbeenreprintedin NewStoriesfromthe South—theYear’sBest,andthe Pushcart anthology.So 24 WELLREADMAGAZINE

what?Together,incollections,theyallsoldmaybe18,000 copies.Maybe12,000.Afterreturns?Maybeninety-seven copies.Whywouldanyonewanttodoa SelectedStories, thingsthatnooneinAmericareadsanymore?

Idigress,perusual.Maybethat’swhyeightcollections soldninety-sevencopiesonly.

SoIwalkedin,andIsawMegReid,thehotshotspark plugDirectorofHubCityPress.Shesaid,“Iwanttoset upameetingnextweek.Ihavetogooutoftown,but whenIgetbackIwanttosetupameeting.”

Ithought,ofcourse,“Oh,crap,shewantsmetojudge somekindofcontest.”

HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorgeSingleton 25 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Idon’tlikejudgingcontests.Ifeelbadaboutallthe peoplewhodon’twin.It’snotworthit.Onepersongetsto dancearoundinhisorherkitchenforanhour—probably drinkingmimosasandvaping—andafewhundredwriters go,“Singleton’sanasshole!Whatadick!I’mgladI returnedhislastcollectionofstories!” Maybethey’d’vewonthecontesthadtheynotusedso manyexclamationpoints. Isaid,“What?What?Tellmerightnow.Goddamnit, tellmerightnow,Meg,orit’lldrivemecrazy.” Andthenshesaidallthisstuffabout,“It’sabouttime foryoutohaveaNewandSelected,”andIsaid,“I’lldoa Selected,butnota NewandSelected becauseIain’tgot nothingnewIwanttogiveupyet,”andshesaid, “Whatever.” Isaid,“Okay.Letmethinkaboutit.Letmegetbackto you.”

Idon’tknowwhyIdidn’tsay,“Oh,god,thankyou,” rightoff.Maybeit’sbecauseIneededtogetoutofthere. Didtheyevenhaveabathroomaround?IthoughtImight peemyself.

ThateveningIcalledacouplewriterfriendsand explainedthesituation.Bothofthem—Ishouldmention thatmywriterfriendsandInevertalkaboutwriting,or business.Wedon’twhineaboutwho’sgettingpublished, whoshoweduponOprah’sBookClub,whowonabigtimeaward.Mywriterfriendsallbelieveinthatsayingby HenryJamesabouttheHouseofFictionhavingamillion windows.Wetalkaboutpolitics,gardening,fishing,our familymembers’well-being,dogantics,theBraves,and electriciansand/ormechanicswhodidgoodjobsforus. “Yes.Doit,now,”bothfriendssaid.Oneguy,who’d beenonthe NewYorkTimes BestsellerListandhadabook ofpoemswithHCP,said,“IfIhadabookofstoriesready, I’dgowithHubCityPress,Iswear.” So.Donedeal.Easy-peasy,astheysay.Icalledthenext dayandtoldMeg,“Let’sdothisthing,”orsomethinglike that.

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Here’swheretheHardestPartAboutGettinga Selected Stories PublishedbyanOldPersonbegins.Shesaid,“All right.Pickoutaboutthirtystories,andmailthemtomein anattachment.”Shesaidshewouldreadthemthrough, makesuggestions,offerupanideaaboutarrangement. Imight’vebeensilentforatimeonthephone. Andthen,inwhatprobablysoundedlikeaabuffoon speaking—thinkLenniefrom OfMiceandMen,orForrest

HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorgeSingleton

GumptalkingaboutJenny—Isaid,“Iknowwhatan attachmentis,Meg,butIdon’thaveallthesestoriesinmy computer.”

Ididn’tsay,“It’snotevenclose!”becausethatwould’ve requiredanexclamationpoint.

Lookit:OutofthethirtystoriesIwanted,maybesixor sohadbeenoriginallywrittenonatypewriter,thensent outtomagazineswithanSASE.Anditdidn’tevenmatter: When those storiescameoutincollections,theyendedup beingdifferent,incertainways,thantheoriginals.Throw inthemixhowmyparticularHouseStylesometimes differedfromamagazine’sHouseStyle,andhowa publisher’sHouseStyledifferedfromamagazine’s.Then, becauseofSatan’sinventionof“TrackChanges,”whatI hadinmycomputer,orfloppydrive,ordisk,orthumb drive—ifIhadthem—wasn’tthesameaswhatappeared inthefinalcollectionofstories.

Iunderstandfullyhowitmight’vesounded braggadociouswhenIlistedoffthoseaforementioned publishers,magazines,andjournals—andthatnoone’s readinguptothispoint—butitwastoshowhowstories thinorthickenfrom ChicagoManualofStyle stirring. Iblame,really,the ChicagoManualofStyle. I’lljumpaheadandsayhowMegsaid,“Okay.Well. Huh.Iguesswecangetyourbooks,ripoutthepages,and scanthem.”

IshouldmentionthatsomewhereinbetweenIhadsaid, “I’llbewillingto re-type allthirtystories,”whichwas true.Andwhichmight’vebeenaquickerresolution,asit 27 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

endedup.So,this“scanning”panaceasoundedlikeagreat ideatome. Shew—thatwouldkeepmefromhavingtodo morework.

You’dthinkthatwithallthetechnologicaladvances we’vemadeoverthelastthirtyyears—notonlywith computers,butwithinventionslikethatAlexathing,and carsthatknowhowtostopwhenanobstacleapproaches, andsecuritydoorbells,anddog-chips—“scanning” would’vebeenconquered.Notso.

Megsentmethefirstofabout,oh,whatendedupbeing forty,draftsof YouWantMore:SelectedStories.

Sometimeswholepassageswentmissing,oratleastlines. “Pom-poms”showedupas“porn-porns”(whichIthought aboutkeeping).Therewasa“Porneranian”inastory.

Periodsbecamesemi-colons.Commasbecame semicolons.Blankspacesbetweenwordsbecamesemicolons.Iknow—andI’mofthe“maybeuseonesemicolon perbook,ifany”tribe—deep-downthatthere’ssomekind ofSemi-colonAppreciationSocietythatcolluded,much likecertainsenatorshopingthey’dnevergetmentionedin anon-goinginvestigation.

But,also,semi-colonsbecamecommas,orperiods.

Toomanyhyphensbecameem-dashes.Em-dashes becamehyphens.Isweartogodthatsomewhereinthat newmanuscripttheword“her”became“hen.”The statement“Iloveher”showedupas“Ilovehen.”Nothing againstpoultry,butitjustdidn’tfitwithawhitemanand blackwomaninSouthCarolina,inlove,wonderingwhat todowithwhattheyforesawasaformidableproblemin

28 WELLREADMAGAZINE

theirfuture.

ThelowercaseletterObecamethelowercaseletterA. Vice-versa.LowercaseI’sbecameuppercaseI’s.Double quotemarksbecamesingleandsinglequotesbecame double.Lsbecame1s.

Throwinacopyeditorhiredoutfromnot-herewho changedthingslike“Iwantonlytodrink”to“Iwantto drinkonly…”ornotknowingthat“y’all”isspelledthusly, not“ya’ll.”

Onandon.So.Insummary,asanyfirst-yearcollege studenttakinganEnglish101classmightunderstand, save everything.Oncethestorycomesoutinabook,goback andre-type exactly howthatstorycameoutfinally.Spend moretimere-typingthestoriesthanyouwouldwriting new stories,sendingthemouttomagazineswhoseeditors mightwanttoputthoughtsinquotationmarks(wrong,I think),orthoughtsinitalics(wrong,too)andoneswho don’t(right).Keepsaidstoriesinafolder.Everytimeyour computerdies,makesureyouhaveadisk,athumbdrive, aCloud,awhatever-the-fuck’s-next.

Orjustwrite,becausespendingallthistimeon technologicalworrying—intheend,really—mightcut youroutputby,say,99%.Orninety-ninepercent.Or99 percent.Orninety-nine%.

HowtoPublishaSelectedCollectionofStoriesbyGeorgeSingleton 29 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
WATCHTHIS 30 WELLREADMAGAZINE HITPLAY Avisitwith GEORGESINGLETON January2007 WoffordCollegeInterm “CornbreadandSushi” Partone “TheFleaMarket” WatsonVideoProductions DaveEzell-guitartheme

GeorgeSingleton SouthernVoices2020

HooverPublicLibrary

WATCHTHIS 31 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
HITPLAY
33 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 Thesestoriesbearthein�uenceof FlanneryO'ConnorandRaymondCarver,at othertimesLewisNordanandDonald Barthelme,andtouchonthemysteriesof childhood,thecomplexitiesofhuman relationships,andtheabsurdityof everydaylife,itsinexorabledefeatsand smalltriumphs.Assembledhereforthe very�rsttime,YouWantMoreshowcases thebodyofwork,hilariousandincisive, thathascementedGeorgeSingleton's placeamongtheSouth'sgreatestliving writers. YouWantMore:SelectedStories ofGeorgeSingleton GeorgeSingleton
SUBSCRIBETOWELLREAD’SNEWYOUTUBECHANNEL! 34 WELLREADMAGAZINE
BETWEENTHEPAGES-INTERVIEWS,READINGS,ANDMORE 35 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
LISTENONWELLREAD’SNEWPODCAST! 36 WELLREADMAGAZINE
BETWEENTHEPAGES-INTERVIEWS,READINGS,ANDMORE 37 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
OurStorybyRickPalumbo Iwasatworkanddecidedtotakea shortbreak.Justtenminutesoff myfeetwasallIneeded.Isat alonewithamedium-sizedcupof water.Ronunexpectedlystopped tograbaquicksipofwaterfrom histhermos. "Howareyoudoing,Ron?"I asked. "Betterthanadogwithtwotails", heresponded,withahugegrin. Ichuckled.Hecouldbringasmiletoanyone'sface-always readywithaquickwitandfunnyeuphemism.Everyone lovesRon. Irespondedwithaquestion,knowinghewasanavid bowler,"How'sthebowlinggoing?" "Thisseasonisn'tasgood",heexplained."I'mhavinga toughtimegettingintoagroove.LastyearIaveraged better." "You'llgetthere",Isaidconfidently."You'rejustonalittle down-cycle.Thingswillgetbetter." ThetenminutebreakIcarvedoutwasoversoIdiscarded mypapercupandwentbacktowork. WHATAREYOUREADING? 38 WELLREADMAGAZINE

Ron'sbowlingscoresdidn'timprove.TheyandRon worsenedwithtime.Ihonestlydidn'thaveconcerns.Ron alwaysfocusedonothers-alwayswentoutofhiswayto help.Ifiguredhejustneededsomerest.Heprobablywas over-doingit,Iconcluded,withwork,bowlingleague, coachinghiskidsandhelpingeveryoneandanyonein need.ButRonwaseventuallydiagnosedwithALS (amyotrophiclateralsclerosis),morecommonlyknownas LouGehrig'sdiseaseintheUnitedStates.Forthosenot familiar,it'snotsomethinganyone"getsover".Withtime hediedduetotheawfuldisease.Anentirecommunityof friendsandneighbors,alongwithworkassociatesfeltthe painoflosinghim.Andtoamuchgreaterextent,hiswife andchildrenfeltenormousloss.TothisdayImisshim andwishIcouldhavedonemore. IthasnowbeenafewyearsandIjustgotnewsofa collegefriendbeingdiagnosedwithALS.Itrulyhatethis disease.

Thepurposeofmybookistohelp increaseunderstandingofsubmarine service,provideenjoyablereadingand also,unapologetically,toraisemoney
TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 39 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Sonow,formypart,Iwroteabookandamdonating incomefromsalesofittotheALSAssociation.
forALS.Pleaseenjoymybookand thankyouinadvance.
40 WELLREADMAGAZINE “LibertyBiscuitisavaluable bookfordifficulttimes.Kipisa warmandpoeticnarratorwho workswithingenuitytoprotect theanimalssheloves,whileher hopeandperseverancearealso testedbyagenerations-old familywound.” — Whitney Sanderson,authoroftheHorse DiariesSeriesandtheUnique UnicornSeries LibertyBiscuit MelanieSueBowles

DeathbyGreed byAbigail Keam

Josiahisworkinginherhoneybee yardwhenshehearsacommotion comingfromherhorsepasture.She rushestowardtheuproarandcomes uponahuge,enragedTexas Longhornbull.Themassivebeastis angrilysnorting,pawingtheturf,and threateningaprizedThoroughbred stallion,Comanche.Josiahmaynothavemuchknowledge ofcattle,butsherealizessnorting,pawing,andlowering theheadaresignstogetoutoftheLonghorn'sway!

Gettingthebulltocalmdownisnosmalltaskandinthe end,Josiahhasabustedfenceandabarndoorrippedoff itshinges.OncetheLonghornissecure,Josiahhurriesto notifythebull’sowneronlytodiscoverthemanisdead andlyinginapoolofhisownblood.

Thepolicenaturallyassumethebullisresponsibleforthe owner’sdeath,butJosiahhasherdoubts.Sheisconvinced foulplayisinvolvedandworkstosavetheTexas Longhornfrombeing“putdown.”Willshesolvethe murderandsavetheLonghornintime?

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"AbigailKeamwriteswithvisionandunderstanding. Keamleavesthereaderyearningformore." -Midwest BookReview AbigailKeam isanaward-winningandAmazonbestsellingauthorwhowritestheJosiahReynoldsMystery SeriesaboutaSouthernbeekeeperturnedamateurfemale sleuth.Besideslovinghistory,Kentuckybourbonand chocolate,Abigailloveshoneybeesandformanyyears madeherlivingbysellinghoneyatafarmers’market.She isanaward-winningbeekeeperwhohaswonmanyhoney awardsattheKentuckyStateFairincludingtheBarbara HornAward,whichisgiventobeekeeperswhoratea perfect100inahoneycompetition.

Astrongsupporteroffarmers’marketsandlocalfood economy,MissAbigailhastakenherknowledgeof beekeepingtocreateafictionalbeekeepingprotagonist, JosiahReynolds,whosolves mysteriesintheBluegrass.While MissAbigail’snovelsarefor enjoyment,shediscussesthe importanceofalocalsustainable foodeconomyandlandmanagement forhoneybeesandothercreatures.

ShecurrentlylivesontheKentucky Riverinametalhousewithher husbandandvariouscritters. Shestillhashoneybees.

TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 43 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
BonesofHolly:ASarah BoothDelaneyMystery by CarolynHaines BonesofHollyisthenextnovel fromCarolynHainesintheseries thatKirkusReviewscharacterizes as"StephaniePlummeetstheYaYaSisterhood"featuringsassy SouthernprivateinvestigatorSarah BoothDelaney. SarahBoothandTinkie,alongwithbabyMaylin,arein BaySt.Louis,MississippiforChristmasthisyear,as judgesfortheannuallibrarytreedecoratingcontest. TheothertwojudgesarewritersSandraO'DayandJanet Malone.They'rebestsellingMississippiauthors,butbitter competitors.Infact,thefeudbetweenthemisthestuffof legends.Foryears,they'vebrawled,theirsales skyrocketingwitheachcatfight.Sandra'smostrecenttrue crimebookdocumentsthe1920srum-runningeraofAl Capone,whobuiltamansioninBSLandadistribution networkforhisliquor.Janet'sbook,scheduledtobe publishedinJanuary,isafictionalaccountofthesame material--whichonlyheightenstheirbitterrivalry. TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 44 WELLREADMAGAZINE
“Followinginthemagnificent footstepsofCarsonMcCullersand HarperLee,RobertGwaltney createsawonderfulsnapshotofthe friendshipthatformsbetween AnaleiseandEttaMae,twoelevenyear-oldgirlsin‘50’ssmalltown Georgia.Hisproseisbothprecise andlyrical,andthelovelinessof childhoodandtheirfriendshipisshadowedbyasenseof mysteryandforeboding.ThereisnosoundinEnglishthan thatofSouthernspeech:thereispoetryineveryinflection, ineverynuance.Thisisabooktoloveandremember,and everybookclubinAmericawouldbewisetosnapitup.” –RobertGoolrick,#1NewYorkTimesbestsellingauthor “ThegothicbeautyofarelentlessGeorgiasummeris broughttolifethroughGwaltney’sdeliberatedetailsand exquisiteimagery,whileallthewhileevillurksbeneath thesurface;fromwhereorwhatthereaderdoesnotknow butisasconvincedbyGwaltney’sexpertstorytellingashe is.” –ZoeFishman,bestsellingauthorof InvisibleAir and GeorgiaAuthoroftheYear2020 TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 45 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
TheCicadaTree by Robert Gwaltney
“Generousandbighearted,Gauthierhas storiestotelland worthwhileadviceto share.”—WallyLamb, authorof IKnowThis MuchisTrue SavedbyaSong:TheArtand HealingPowerofSongwriting MaryGauthier
SavedbyaSong: TheArtand HealingPower of Songwriting by Mary Gauthier TheArtandHealing Powerof Songwritingby MaryGauthier Partmemoir,partphilosophyofart,andpartnutsand boltsofsongwriting, SavedbyaSong isadiscussionof theartandhealingpowerofsongsandsongwriting. TheAssociatedPressnamedMaryGauthieroneofthe bestsongwritersofhergeneration.Heralbum Rifles& RosaryBeads wasnominatedforaGrammyawardfor BestFolkAlbumandRecordoftheYearbytheAmericana MusicAssociation.Hersongshavebeenrecordedby dozensofartists,includingBoyGeorge,BlakeShelton, TimMcGraw,BettyeLavette,KathyMattea,AmyHelm andCandiStaton. SavedbyaSong isherfirstbook.She livesinNashville. TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 48 WELLREADMAGAZINE
BeginAgain by Kimberly EllenDredger Imagineyourselfasayoungwidow, leavingthehomeyoucametoasa bride.Imaginedepending—withall yourheart—onyourdog,your mother-in-law,andacouplenew friends.Now...imagineyourself losingthemall. BeginAgain,setinthebeautifulmountainvalleysof westernMontana,isanovelofloss,healing,love,and growth.Ninemonthsintoherwidowhood,MontanaJune McPhersonexperiencesshockingdangers,newlove, friendship,disillusionment,andmoresadness.Howcan she,aftermonthsoffeelingabandoned,conquerherown griefandfeartobecomeconfidentenoughtoembodyher husband'slastwordstoher:"MontanaJune,Begin Again?” Ifyouenjoyed"ShelterMe"byJulietteFay,you'lllove BeginAgain. TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 49 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
51 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 “ReadingMandyHaynes’scollectionofshort stories,SharpasaSerpent’sTooth,takesme onajourneydownredclaybackroadstothe gothicSouthwhereFlanneryO’Connorrides shotgunandwhispersinmyear.Haynes takesherfictionintoaworldIlove–aSouthof conmen,snakehandlers,andindividualswith unse�lingcourage.Shebringsfreshinsight intocharactersI’vemetandplacesI’vevisited inreallifeandinfiction.There’snobe�er journey–highlyrecommended.” USATodaybestsellingauthorCarolyn Haines,2010HarperLeeDistinguished WriterAwardwinner SharpasaSerpent'sToothEvaandOtherStories MandyHaynes
"RiverJordanisaholytruth-
Aunionsoldierwhodeserted,ascaredgirlinan abandoned,antebellumhome,agravediggerlookingfora wife,sevensisterswhowillkilltoprotecteachother,a stake-outatarundownhotel,aSpanishpriesttryingtosave hispeoplefromtheSpanishflu,ayounggirlsneakingoff withanencyclopediasalesman,anoldwomanaimingto useherlastbullet.awomanframedformurderonAll SaintsDay,aone-eyedoutcastwholivesdownbytheriver. ThecharactersinSugarBabyandOtherStoriesareinfused bydesire,touchedbylove,andseekingretributionand redemptionateveryturn.SugarBabyisstorytellingofthe highestorder,pluckingupthereaderandtransportingthem toaworldofmystery,spirituality,violence,love,and everythinginbetween. TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 52 WELLREADMAGAZINE
SugarBabyandOther Stories by RiverJordan
tellerwhocanmakeeventhebad thingsinlifeseemassweetas sugar.ThestoriesinSugarBaby andOtherStoriesareasrealas lifeitself,butthelanguageRiver usestocoatthepainissomething fromanotherworld.Writer, storyteller,hearthealer.River Jordanissimplythebest." Wiley Cash,author, TheLastBallad

WalkingtheWrongWay Home by MandyHaynes

WalkingTheWrongWayHome takesyouinsidethe extraordinarylivesofordinary people.Wherehiddensecretsare broughttolightandburnedwith pastregretsinbrushpilesinthe mountainsofEastTennesseeor usedtosetfiretothemass producedtallandskinniestaking overEastNashville.Betweenthepagesyou'llmeetPenny, aneighty-sevenyearoldwidowwhosleepsinherred shoes,Jimmy,aquietautomechanicwhosememoriesare neversilent,Jewelayounggirlwhoseesbeauty everywhere,eventhoughshe'slostalmosteverything,and Willie,athirteen-year-oldwhofaceshisworstfearsonly tofindoutthatthetruthisscarierthananyhaintorghost storyhe'severimagined.There'sElmaandRoy,acouple who'vebeenmarriedforoverfortyyears.Elmarealizeson hersixty-thirdbirthdaythatit'snottoolatetoliveherlife, butittakesRoytwoweekstonotice.Spanningnearly twentydecades,thestrugglesandvictoriesthese charactersfacearetimelessastheyallworktowardsthe samegoal.Aplacetofeelsafe,aplacetocallhome.

TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 53 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
TheHitMan'sWife by Joy RossDavis ThefirsttimeJodieMarshall meetsRussellMorgan,hehasa gunpointedatherhead.Inatwist offate,Russellclaimsherashis onetruelove.Andeventhough Jodieloveshim,sheasksherself onequestion.HowcanIleta governmenthitmantakeovermy life?Willsheallowitorwillshe closethedooronhimforever? “Thisbook.It’sgoingtoplaywithyou.Hard.Andyouare goingtobesogladyoumakeittotheothersideofthis terrificride.Thetwistissuperb,thestorytellingischilling, thetalentJoyRossDavisdisplaysisoutstanding.” Five StarReaderReview “ARomanticThrillerbyauthor,JoyRossDavis.Thisis mythirdbookbyJoyRossDavis,andIhavetosaysheis anincrediblestoryteller,andonewhoknowsjustwhatit takestobuildastorythatleavesthereaderabsorbed withinitspages! TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 54 WELLREADMAGAZINE

Wordbyword,chapterbychapter,Iwasleftonmytoes, thenontheedgeofmyseat,andultimatelyfeeling breathless!Thisauthor'screativeflairledmeonajourney ofthethrillingandthespirited,byallowingmeamost intriguingescape~oneIhadbeencraving,andoneIknew Ms.Ross-Daviswoulddeliveronastoherauthentic,and believableprose.

THEHITMAN'SWIFE,withitsfast-paced,nervesparkingelementsofdangerandadventure,lendsitselfto bone-chillingsuspenseandtheunimaginable,aswellas theshimmerofromancethatradiatesthroughout,witha storythatburneditswayintomyheartandsoul,andstill remainsthere…” DeniseBirtofWildsageBookBlog “Agovernmentsanctionedhitsquad,acharismaticleader withapenchantforbrassknucklesjustice,admittedly againsttheworstoftheworstchildrapistsandmurderers. Awifeandachild,thewifeherselfavictimofthese heinouscrimes,andnowstruggling withPTSDanddoubtsaboutherself andherloving,devotedhusband. Astoryofredemption,forgiveness, andrevenge,wrappedneatlyintothis short,sharpreadthatistruly deservingofafive starthriller.” FiveStarReader Review

TOADDTOYOURTBRLIST 55 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
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SailAway(9bookseries) by VioletHowe, JudyKeim, PatriciaSands, Jessie Newton, SarahElizabethBromke, KayBra�, TammyGrace, EvBishop
57 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 Setsailtonewadventuresandescapes witheightbest-sellingauthorsinthe excitingnewSailAwayseries! Packyourbagsandgetreadytosetsail onavarietyofcruiseships...allwithout leavinghome!Experiencethewaves,the wind,andthecallofthebirdsintheSail Awayserieswithasneakpeekofthe SailAwaySeriesinthisprologue novella.Eachbestsellingauthorwill takeyouonaseaadventurefilledwith friendship,healing,someromance,and alltheheartfeltstorytellingyoucrave.
WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories 58 WELLREADMAGAZINE

WeAreLivingHistory

T.K.Thorne

Wearelivinghistory.

WEARELIVINGHISTORYbyT.K.Thorne 59 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
In1958,thejanitoratTempleBeth-ElinBirmingham, Alabamadiscoveredasatchelinthebuilding’swindow wellwithafuserunningfromit.Fifty-foursticksof dynamitewereinthatbag.Thefusehadburnedoutwithin aminuteofignitingit.Nooneknowswhathappened, perhapsanearlymorningrainorafaultinthefuseitself. Itwasapivotalmomentintime.Thecrimewasnever solved,buttheperpetratorsweremostlylikelyaNaziinspiredorganizationcalledtheNationalStatesRights PartyheadquarteredinBirmingham.TheyhatedBlacks andCatholicsandJews. Today,theincidentsofhatecrimesagainstJewsand Jewishinstitutionsarerisingatfrighteningrates.Along withotheractivities,liketheattemptedarmedinsurrection ofourgovernment,itischillingandfeelslikeitcouldbe 1958oreventhe1930swhenpowerfulmeninthiscountry echoedHitler’spoisonoussentimentstowardJews,men likeHenryFord,thecarmanufacturemagnate;Charles Lindbergh,thecountry’sfamous“goldenboy;”andFather Coughlin,acatholicpriestwiththousandsoflistenerson

WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories

hisradioshow.

Havingacommonenemyoftenbindspeopletogether. Thus,thecitizensofGermanycoalescedwhenJewswere targetedas“theenemy.”Butthatworksbothways.

Sixty-fouryearsaftertheattemptedbombingofBethEl,thesynagogueisworkingonacivilrightsexhibit aboutlookingtothefuturebyexaminingthepast.Iwas askedtobeaspeakeratthelauncheventbecauseIwrote thisbook—BehindtheMagicCurtain:Secrets,Spies,and UnsungWhiteAlliesofBirmingham’sCivilRightsDays.

Ittookeightyearstocomplete.WhileIwaswritingit,I thought—Willanyonebeinterestedinthisorwillitjustbe anothertomeforthehistorians’bookshelves,ifthat?Butit hadbecomealaboroflove,soIlaboredon.

Iwokefromthe“coma”ofwritingtofindmybook relevant.Thatwasnotnecessarilyagoodthingbutwas whyIwasspeakingatBeth-El’sevent.

Forthemostpart,theWhitecommunityhaswelcomed thebook’srevelationsaboutwhathappenedbehindthe scenes(orbehindthecurtain)inacitythatchangedthe world—storiesofsecretmissionscarriedoutbythepolice andsheriff’sdepartments,aswellaslittle-knowndeedsof civilrights’alliesinthecitybrandedwithimagesof“dogs andfirehoses”usedagainstchildren,animagesearedinto thenation’sconsciousness.

ItriedtohonortheMovementaswellandweavemy storiesintothecontextofthedayandtheeffortsofthose seekinglongoverdueequalrightsandjustice.ButI’vehad littlefeedbackfromtheBlackcommunity.AfterIspokeat 60 WELLREADMAGAZINE

Beth-El,however,adiminutive,elderlyBlackwoman approachedmeandaskedmetosignhercopyof Behind theMagicCurtain,whichshehadbroughttotheevent.

Idid,ofcourse,andshetoldmeshehadbeenayoung childduringthecivilrightseraandherparentshadbeen veryinvolvedintheboycottsof1962and1963.Shealso toldmeshehadenjoyedthebookandhowmuchitmeant toreadconfirmationofthingswhisperedinherhomeand communitywhenshewasyoung,thingsshehadnever knownweretrueornot.Itcompletedacircleforher.

Itwasasmallinteraction,lastingonlyafewmomentsin thechaosaftertheevent,butitmeantalottome.Shehad probablygivenlittlethoughtasachildthatshewasliving apivotalmomentinhistory.Nordidthosewhowentto prayatTempleBeth-Elonemorning,orthosewho listenedtoFatherCoughlin,HenryFord,andCharles Lindberghspewsupremistviewsthateventuallyembraced genocide.

Wearelivinginapivotalmoment.Itwillbewritten about(andalreadyhas)andonedaywewillbetheones whosay,Iwasthere.Whatarewegoingtotellfuture generationsaboutwhatwedid...orwhatwedidn’tdo?

WEARELIVINGHISTORYbyT.K.Thorne 61 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
T.K.Thorne wantedtomakefirstcontactwithaliens. Whenthatdidn’tworkout,shebecameapoliceofficer. Althoughmostpeopleshemetwerehuman,somewere quitestrange….Retiringasaprecinctcaptain,shewrites fulltime.Herbooksincludetwoaward-winninghistorical novelsaboutwomenmentionedonlybrieflyinthebible (Noah’s Wife and AngelsattheGate;)twononfictioncivil rightseraworks(LastChanceforJustice:How InvestigatorsUncoveredNewEvidenceConvictingthe BirminghamChurchBombers and BehindtheMagic Curtain:Secrets,Spies,andUnsungWhiteAlliesof Birmingham’sCivilRightsDays);adallywithmurderand magicintheMagicCityStoriestrilogy(HouseofRose, HouseofStone, and HouseofIron);andaYAscience fiction, Snowdancers,whereshefinallygottomeetreal aliens.Whennotwriting,herhobbiesincludepainting, martialarts,herhorses,gardening,andtraveling. Right:aphotoofauthorandthereadermentionedin T.K.’sessaytakenafterthesigning WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories 62 WELLREADMAGAZINE
WEARELIVINGHISTORYbyT.K.Thorne 63 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories 64 WELLREADMAGAZINE

ABanterThatSings

ClaireFullerton

ThestreetsofGalwayweregraythatnight.Everywhere Ilooked,graybuildings,graysidewalks,grayskybeneath amistfloatinginfromtheAtlantic,hoveringominously andimprintingcoronasonthesidewalkfromtheinterior lightofpubsstillopeninthemidnighthour.

OurfootstepsechoedaswewalkedfromTheKings HeadtothehackneyofficeonDominicStreet,acrossthe streetfromTaylor’s,whichwasKieran’sfavoritepub. KieranusedTaylor’sashispersonaloffice.Manywerethe nightshesummonedDarrenandShannonandmeto Taylor’stotalkbusinessbecauseKieranneversawtheline betweenworkandplay.Wereitanyothernight,thefour ofuswouldhavegoneintoTaylor’s;wewouldhavesailed throughthedoorinKieran’swake,followinghis bouncing,proprietaryswaggerashemadehiswaytothe backsectiondesignatedforIrishtraditionalmusicians.But theeveninghadbeenexhaustedatTheKingsHead.Itwas pasttimetocallitanight,andIhadtogethometo Inverin.

ABANTERTHATSINGSbyClaireFullerton 65 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories

Iwasstandingonthesidewalkwhenthehackneydriver broughthistwo-doorHondaaround.Ibidgoodnighttothe threeofthemandgotinthefrontseatforwhatwouldbea thirty-minuterideupthecoastroad.You’dthinkthe memoryIretainofthatnightwouldcenterontheactivity inTheKingsHead.Closetoonehundredpeoplehad turnedoutforTheGalwayMusicCentre’sinaugural showcaseoflocalmusicians,whichthefourofushad spentanentiremonthorchestratingonbehalfofthenonprofitbusinesswe’dstarted.ButasIrelandhasahabitof makingartofthecontrary,whatstandsinmymemoryis thehackneyridehome.

Itwasn’toftenIhadcausetomakethejourneyfrom GalwaytoInverinatnight,butwhenIdid,itwasaneerie experience.Thetotaldarknessonthetwo-laneroad,how themoonilluminatedtheseainshiftinghuesofblack, cobalt,andsilver;thelonesomestretchoftreeless landscapebeneaththeabsenceofsoundmadethejourney surrealasIwatchedforsignpostsguidingmehome.Itwas agradualchangeofconsciousnessasIlefttheenergyof GalwayCityandcreptintothebleaksolitudeofInverin. WheneverItookahackney,there’dbeaconversationwith thedrivertofillinasilencetoofraughtwithpossibilities, butthentravellingwithastrangerinthedarkofnight tendstocreateatacitalliance.

Onthisnight,thehackneydriverwasalocalnamed MichaelConnolly,andIadmitIstarteditallbecauseI’m uneasywithweightedpauses.Ihaveanervoushabitof fillingingapswhenIthinkthere’stoomuchdeadair.

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“Areyoufromaroundhere?”IaskedMichaelConnolly, whowasraven-hairedandblue-eyedandlookedtobein hisearlythirties.Tallandlithewithgracefulhandsresting looselyonthesteeringwheel,itseemedhe’dcutthrough thiscoastalswathofConnemarasomanytimesthatthe carnolongerrequiredhisguidance.

“Iam,yeah.Bornandraisedjustuptheroad,butI’ve donemeshareoftravelling.”HisConnemaraaccentgot underthevowels,rolledtoasingingpitch,andendedeach sentenceinamannerthatleftmeexpectingmore.“You’re anAmerican,yeah?”hecontinued,inthatwaytheIrish haveoflettingyouknownothingslipsbythem.

“Yes,”Isaid.“I’mfromMemphis,Tennessee,butI’ve spentthelastfewyearsinLosAngeles.”

“LosAngeles,”MichaelConnollysaid,repeatingthe nameasifheweresorrytohearofmytroubles.Ican’tsay Iblamedhim.Hewassorelaxedwithhimself,sobrighteyedandopenthathelackedtherequisitewarymannerit takestogetbyinaplacewhereallthatglittersisn’tgold.

Igavehimasidewaysglance.“HaveyoubeentoLos Angeles?”

“OhGod,yeah,”hesaid.“Livedtheretwoyears,soI did,andthatwasenoughforme.Myideaofheavenis IrelandwithLosAngelesweather,”hesaid.“Myideaof hellisLosAngeleswithIrishweather.”

Itwasaseamlesslydeliveredlinewithsuchperfect timingthatitleftmespeechless.Fivemonthsonthewest coastofIreland,andIstillhadn’tloosenedmygriponthe thrillofIrishbanter.Ifoundallexchangesfascinatingand

ABANTERTHATSINGSbyClaireFullerton 67 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

wouldstudythedistinctivephrasingofthemusicaldialect inthevainhopeI’dbeabletomasteritoneday.

BecausetheIrishhaveaneffectonaperson.They’reso goodatbeingthemselvesthatitmakesanoutsiderwantto becomeoneofthem,toshedalldissimilaritiesanddrift intothateasywayoftheirs,wheretheartof communicationisabanterthatsings.

ClaireFullerton isthemultiple,award-winning, traditionallypublishedauthoroffournovelsandone novella.Shehasrecentlycompletedherfifthnovel.Claire livesinMalibu,Californiawithherhusbandandthree Germanshepherds.

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ABANTERTHATSINGSbyClaireFullerton 69 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
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MikeHilbig

Miller’sCafe
MILLER’SCAFEbyMikeHilbig 71 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
I’mnottryingtogettoosentimental,butI’msinging alongtoAlisonwithoutrealizingitwhenDadandIstroll throughthedoorsinamatchinggaitandhearthejukebox playing.Heasks,whoisthisagain? TheBestElvis,Isay,reallytheonlyone. Hesays,Idon’tknowaboutthat,laughsandpointsat theadvertisementforanImpossibleBurgerasiftosay,as if. Then,heshrugshisshoulders,whichmakesmethink aboutcarbonfootprintsandmyaddictiontodeath.I considerthepossibilitiesandgetmyusual,aBlueCheese Burgerwithbaconandslicedjalapeños.Hegoeswiththe MushroomandSwiss.Wedecidetosplitoneorderof onionringsandoneoffries.Heasksthecashierifthey haveDietDr.Pepperandshesaysno.Hetellshertotell Mr.MillerthatthisisTexas,thensettlesforaDietPepsi andpullsmoneyfromhiswallet.Icanseehimstruggleto countbutnotwanttoadmitit.Hewipeshishandacross hisbrowandpartiallydislodgesthehathe’swearing,

WELLDONE!Essays,Memoirs,andTrueStories

whichcoversthegiganticfishhookshapedscarthatcurves aroundtheentirelengthoftheleftsideofhisheadand stopsjustabovetheear.Itlooksbetterthanitdidjust threedaysagowhenIlastvisitedhim.

Infact,onthewaytotherestauranthetoldme,It’sbeen twoweekstodaysincethesurgery.

Iwasdrivinghiscarforhimsincehe’snotallowedto anymore.Iturnedthewheelandsaid,Feelslikeayear.

Hestaredintentlyoutthepassenger-sidewindowand mumbled,Feelssurreal.

Ithoughtofthejokehealwaystells—howmany surrealistsdoesittaketoscrewinalight-bulb:fish—but mydadactuallypreferredgorillasinclownmakeup,it’s hismostfrequentacrylictrope.Whilewewereeating,I suggestedhestartanewpainting.He'sbeencomplaining thatMomwon’tlethimdoanything,thatshe’safraidhe’ll keelover.

Iask,Whataboutthatselfportraityoutalkedaboutin thehospital,theonewithyourmissingparts?

Hewipestheketchupheshouldn’tbeeatingfromhis mustacheandsquintshiseyes.Thefocuslooksphysically taxing,butasidefromthegolf-ballsizedbraintumorthey justremovedfromhishead,hewasonceakidneydonor, heoncehadsurgerytoremoveatornACLandcartilage fromhisknee,andhealsohadhistonsilsandappendix bothtakenoutwhenhewasakid.Hesays,Yeah,I 72 WELLREADMAGAZINE

should.

Histonedoesn’tsoundtoocommittal.Iwonderifit’s becausehe’salreadyseenthedeclineofhishandwriting anddoesn’twanttowitnessthedemiseofhisbrushstrokes oncanvasiftheurgetoself-expresshasn’treachedthe tippingpointyet.

HowamIsupposedtoknowhowitfeelsanyway?I’m notapainterandI’mnottheonewithcancer.I’mjustthe sonwhokeepstryingtothinkofhimdifferentlybutalso can’thelpbutmakeitaboutmyself,whatI’mlosingand whatIneverreceivedthatIthoughtIwanted,orthatI thoughtIneeded,orthatIjustthoughtaboutbecauseI thinktoomuch,ornotenough,certainlyit’snottheright amount,nottherightqualityofinteriority.Likenomatter howmuchIhopeandhopeandhope,Ican’tstop sentencinghimtodeath,theoptimismturningtoan opulenceofworryingaboutthestatistics,calculatinghis odds.IsthiswhatitisthatFreudmeant,howwebuytime bybettingonanuncertainfuturewithadwindlingstackof chipscashedinfromamoreorlessvaluablepast?

Yet,herehestillis,tappinghisfingersonthetabletopas hecrumplesthepaperthatonceheldhisburger,talking aboutthenaphe’lltakewhenhegetshome.Wegetupand makeourwaythroughtheexit.Asthebelldingsoverhead, Ihearthecashiersay,Takecarenow.

Hervoiceechoesbothominouslyanddirectlywhenwe

MILLER’SCAFEbyMikeHilbig 73 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

reachourfrontrowspotandDadnodstothedisabled parkingplacardhangingfromtherearview,saying,It’s permanent,youknow. AndIagree.

MikeHilbig livesinHouston,TXwithhispartnerLeslie andhisdogGinger.HeteachesEnglishandCreative WritingatUH-DowntownandatLoneStarCollege.His firstbook, JudgmentDay&OtherWhiteLies,was publishedbyMadvillePublishinginFeb.of2022.This storyisdedicatedtohisdadGary,whosadlypassedaway fromGlioblastomaonJanuary10th,2021.

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MILLER’SCAFEbyMikeHilbig 75 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Above:“WDKong”byGerardHilbig,June2011
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SleepingOnPaul’sMattress

BrendaSuttonRose

Frommycrouchingpositionunderthehouse,Iwatcha hearsebackintotheyardandstoprightshortofthefront porch.It’slateintheday,andthesunisbleedingred acrosstheskyforasfarasIcansee.Fourmenwithfleshy facesclimboutofthehearse.Theystraightentheirtiesand flipimaginaryhairsfromtheirdarksuits.Theylooklike whitesugarfrostingonashit-pileifyouaskme.Youcan’t dressuppovertylikeours.No,youcan’tcolorourhouse anythingbutuglynomatterhowmanypolishedshoes walkupitsdecayingsteps.

AsAugustbreathesthegod-awfulstenchofthe outhouseupthenosesofthefuneralattendants,theyscowl andexchangeglances.Oneofthemenbreathesfromhis mouthandexhalesthroughhisnose,tryingtofilterthe odor.Anotherstiflesagag,hismouthandthroatmoving spasticallyasifhe’dneversmelledshitbefore.IfPaul couldseethesehighfalutinmenwiththeirnostrils

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puckeredup,lugginghiscoffinfromadeluxeblackcar spiffedupwithcurtainsinthewindows,he’dscreamwith laughteruntilithurtlikehell.

Bythetimethemenheavethecasketfromthehearse, sweatdripsasconstantasaleakyfaucetdowntheirfaces andnecks.HeatsmotherstheSouthinthesummerand, downhere,wesweatlikeabunchofsinnerswiththe hottestseatsinhellforthreeorfourmonthsoftheyear. Eventheairleakswithhumidity.IfIdidn’tknowbetter, I’dswearGeorgiawasnothingbutagiantpressurecooker. Theymoveinunison,theirfeetshufflinginrhythmover dirtandrocks,aimingforthesteps.Iwatchandcount theirpaces.Therottingporch-stepsmoanandsaginpain undertheirweight,butthewoodholds.Beforewemoved inthispieceofshitwecallhomehadbeenusedasapack houseforcuredtobacco,and,untilyesterday,anicotine scentloomedineverycorner.Today,theroomsreekwith thesweetnessofdecay.Ismellitfromdownhere.A mixtureofdecayandshitwiththefaintesthintof unansweredprayerstakingupresidenceinmynose.

Theusherstakeexactlythirty-threestepsmovingthe coffinfromthehearsetothefrontdoor,buttheypant, tryingtoremainuprightandappearunaffectedbytheheat andtheweighttheycarry.Theywouldn’tlastanhour workingbesidePaulandmeinthetobaccofields.

Throughthegapsbetweenthefloorboards,Icouldsee

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straightupthepreacher’swife’sdressifIwantedto.If Paulwerestillaliveanddownherewithme,I’dbe strainingtoseewhatcolorpantiesshechosetowearoutto ourshackandsearchingforpubichairpokingfromthe elasticaroundthecrotch.I’vegotnostomachforitnow, though.Theacheinmygroinhasmoveduptomyheart. AllIwantismybrotherwithhishairshiningcopperand blondunderthesummersun.Iwanttoinhalehisfamiliar earthyscentandtouchhiscallousedhands.Buthe’slying deadinthepineboxthat’sjustarrivedspecialdelivery fromthefuneralhome.Blewhisownbrainsoutwhilethe restofuswereoutinthefieldsworking.Myoldmansent himhometorefillthewaterjugandhenevercameback. Stuckthebarrelinhismouthandsqueezedthetrigger whilesittingonthebedweshared.Theoldmandragged themattressoutbehindthehouseyesterdayandtoldmeto cleanit.Saidwecouldn’tthrowitawaybecausewedon’t havethemoneytobuyanotherone.Iwashedthatbloodsoakedmattressuntilmyhandswereraw,sore,and shriveled,butPaul’sbloodstainsremained.Youcan’t imaginewhatit’sliketowatchyourtwinbrother’sblood streaminglikewaterthroughyourhands,knowingit’sthe lastofhimyou’lleversee.Icountedintothethousands whileIscrubbed.Twice,Ilostcountandhadtostartover atthenumberone.Themattressisleanedagainsttheback fence,drying.Iexpectit’llbegoodanddrybytomorrow

SLEEPINGONPAUL’SMATTRESSbyBrendaSuttonRose 79 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

nightiftheweatherholds.

TheBaptistpreacher,whoneverlaideyesonuswhite trashuntilyesterday,hearsthemenfromthefuneralhome arriveandmovestothedoorwhilemyoldmansitsina chairinthecornerwithhisheadinhishands,mostlikely dreamingofadrink,andMamastandslikeazombieinthe oppositecornerwaitingforthedeadbodyofherson,the oldestbytenminutes.Allfouroftheattendants,soaked andsteamingfromtheworkoutofcarryingthecoffinup thesteps,arewaitingforsomebodytoholdthedooropen andletthemin.Thepreachertakeshissweettimegetting tothedoor,andthen,likeamanwithahollowhead,he invitesthewiltedmeninside.“Won’tyoupleasecome in?”

Ofcourse,they’recomingin—they’vegotadeadbody todeliver.

Thisscreamstuckinsidemythroatisgrowingbythe minute.Ifitkeepsswelling,it’llchokemedead.Iknowas wellasIknowmyownnamethatifGodplayedfairit wouldbemyoldmaninthatpinebox.Butnothing’sfair inlife.Notadamnthing.Itshouldhavebeenhimwho swallowedthebarrelofthatgun.Ofcourse,he’dhaveto ownaconsciencetodothat.Ifheeverhadone,he strangleditinwhiskybeforeIwasborn.IfIeverfindmy oldmandeadlikeIfoundPaul,don’tyoubelievefora secondthatI’llwastemytearscryingoverhim.Hellno.

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I’llcramhisintoxicatedbodyinacoffinandtossasmany whiskybottlesasIcanfindontopofhim.ThenI’llpoura pintoverhiscorpseandstufftheemptybottleneckinhis mouthlikeapacifier.Marinatetheoldmaninhisown whiskybeforeweburyhim.ButIdon’twastemytime wishingforthesefantasiestocometrue.Ilearnedalong timeagothatwishesarenothingbutweedsofhopeand hopegrowsoutofwhisky-soakedlies.

Icrawlonmykneesinthedirt,followingthecoffin throughthegapsinthefloors.Somebodyhasmovedthe couchacrosstheroom.Theyreplaceitwithadollyon casterswheretheyplacethecoffin.It’saboutwaisthigh. MymamamoansandItrynottohearher.Stopit!Stopit! Stopit!Shutup,Mama!Shutup!

Thenumberscome,swallowingmewhole.Icount, chantingnumbers,fillingmythoughtswithnumerals becausethat’swhatyoulearntodowhenyouroldman beatsyouwithastrapuntilbloodseepsthroughyourskin; that’swhatyoulearntodowhenhecomeshomewithhis breathreekingofwhiskyandthedevilflappingonhis back;that’swhatyoulearntodowhenyourmama’s colorblindtothepurplebruisesonherboys’bodiesand thescarscarvedintheiryounghearts.Andthat’slikely whatmymama’sdoingasshewatchesthemenfromthe funeralhomedeliverher13-year-oldsoninacoffin.Ibet she’sbleedingdigits,maybeinmultiples:two,four,six,

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eight,ten,andonandon,buryingherselfinacemeteryof numbers,diggingthatgravedeeperanddeeper.

Iwatchfamilyandfolksfromthecommunityarrive carryingdishesoffood,asifanybodyinthisdumpfeels likeeatingredvelvetcakeandfriedchicken.We’vegot fourroomsinthispathetichouse,andmybrotherblewhis headoffinoneofthem—nobodyinhisrightmindwill wanttositatourtable,biteintoourfoodandtasteour misery.

Ascardoorsslam,Icountthefootstepsoflegsmoving towardthehouse.Sofar,myoldmanhasn’thitthebottle, butIdoubthe’llbeabletoholdoutmuchlonger.Ifhe stayssoberallnightandthroughthefuneraltomorrow,it willbeamiracle.Andwesureashelldon’tgetmany miraclesouthere.Foronceinhislife,theoldmancan claimagoodreasontodilutehismemorieswithalcohol. Hiseyes,darkandhardasnailsinacoffin,areparched andthirsty,andhishandstremblewithurgency.Itwon’t belong.Lordknowsitwon’tbelong.

ForasfarbackasIcanremember,I’vebeensubmerged innumeralslikeadrunktryingtoswimhiswaythrough lifeinsideamoonshinestill.Whenmyfatherswaggers throughthedoorwithabottleofliquorinhishands,his lethaleyesslashingeverythinginhispath,numbersbleed fromme.Icountsilentlywhenhewhipsmewithastrap, tallyingtheslapstomylegs,latertotalingthemarkson

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mybody.IcountwhenIwalk,countingmysteps,keeping scorewitharhythm,myspeechlesstonguemarchingto thebeatofasteadydrum:a-one-and-a-two-and-a-threeand-a-four-and-a-five-and-a-six.Ican’tstopcounting;I triedafewtimes,butthenumbersgushfromme,oozing likeawoundthatwon’tstopbleeding.I’macontinuous hemorrhageofnumbers.

MeandmyoldmanscrapedPaul’sbrainsfromthe wallsyesterdayandwashedthebloodandgorefromthe headboard.Hesaiditwasourplacetodoit.Thepreacher toldmyoldmanthathe’dfindsomegoodChristian membersofthechurchtocleantheroomforus,buthe saidno;we’ddoit.Thesheriffsaidhe’dhiresomebodyto doit.Theoldmanrefused;itwasourresponsibility.AsI cleanedmyidenticalbrother’sbrainsfromthebedroom,I countedthebeatsofmyheart,poundinglikeasavage druminsidemychest.Theyearis1954,andIcounted 1,954beats.Talkaboutcoincidences.

Paulwantedtobesomethingwhenhegrewup,buthe didn’tknowwhat.Youcan’tplanforthefuturewhen you’relivinginabattlefield,andtheenemyisyourown deadbeatfatherwhoseloveforliquorisonlyoneofthe mostlethalthingsabouthim.He’dkillhisownwifeand childrenforadrink.SomemightthinkI’mpaddingthe truth,butslipintomyscarredskinandtrydreamingunder theweightofamanwhowon’tletyouspeakanopinion

SLEEPINGONPAUL’SMATTRESSbyBrendaSuttonRose 83 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

bornfromyourownhead—amanwhobeatshischildren toapulpforslammingadooranddragshiswifetothe bedroomwhenhecomeshomedrunk—andseehowmuch time’sleftfordecidingwhatyouwanttobewhenyou growup.Shit.Allyouknowisyouwanttobefree.You throballthewaydowntoyourboneswiththedesireto wakeupwithoutfearanddreadknottedtightinyourbelly. Youlongtosleepafullnightwithoutnightmares screamingatyou.That’sallyouknow.Likeaprisonerof war,youspendeveryminutecountingdowntofreedom. Youmightnotbelievethis,butPaullovedpoetry. Maybeyouthinkapoorwhiteboyhasnoreverencefor mattersoftheheart,butItellyouthatpovertyisthe motherwhogavebirthtothewordsofpoets.Paulidolized WaltWhitman.HelikedKeatsandFrostandsomeofthe others,too,butheflat-outworshippedWhitman.You shouldhaveheardhimrecite,“OhCaptain!MyCaptain!” Hedidn’tjustquoteit;thewordscriedfromhistongue anddroppedlikesaltytearsaroundhim.Icanhearhim still:“Mycaptaindoesnotanswer,hislipsarepaleand still.Myfatherdoesnotfeelmyarm,hehasnopulsenor will.”

Pauldidn’ttellmehisplans.IfI’dknownhewasgoing tokillhimself,I’dhavetoldhimtoturnthegunonme too.Don’tleavemeinthishellwithnowayout.ButPaul didn’tconfidethedetailsofhisescapetome.Hemapped

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outaplanandmadeadashforitwithoutevenlooking backatme,histwinbrother,hismirrorimage.Heripped myheartoutbytherootsandleftmescreamingonthe battlefield.Goddamnhim.Goddamnhim.

Onenight,notlongago,IaskedPaulifhisheadbulged withnumberslikemine.Hetoldmeofcourseitdid.“We camefromthesamewombonthesamedaywiththesame parentsandweresplitfromthesameegg.Ofcoursewe bothhavenumbersrunningthroughourheads,Peter.” Untilthen,IthoughtIwastheonlyonecountingtosleep withasteadylullabyofnumbers.Ilivebythebeatofthe digitsinmyhead.IfIcleanoutthenumbers,Idon’tknow whatghostsImightfindhidingthere.I’mtooyellowto openthatbox.Maybethat’swhatPauldid.Maybehe stoppedcounting,andthedemonsofthefutureroseup fromthatgraveyardinhismind,screamingfromevery corner.Godknows,hedidn’twanttoturnoutlikeourold man.

Mosquitoesbuzzaroundmyears,warninglikea rattlesnakerightbeforetheydrillintomyfleshandfeast onmyblood.Icounteightmosquitoessquattingonmy armsandlegs,andthere’smoreswarmingaroundmy head.Ican’tfeelthembitingme.Nothingpenetratesme otherthanthisachepoundingoutnumbersinmyhead.

Thatcoffinholdsnotonlymybrother,buthislaughter andhisangerandhistearsandhismemoriesandhislove

SLEEPINGONPAUL’SMATTRESSbyBrendaSuttonRose 85 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
ofpoetryandhisvoiceandallthenumbersthatoncefilled hishead.Howcanasimplepinecoffinholdsomuch withoutsplittingwideopen?Itoverflowswithalifelived, andtomorrowwe’regoingtoputitinaholeandcoverit withdirt.Andmyoldmanwillgobacktodrinkingifhe’s notalreadydrunkbythen,andmymamawillgobackto hercolorblindlieofalife,andI’llcountandcountand count. Bytomorrownight,themattressshouldbedry.I’vegot tobelievethenumberswon’tletmedown. BrendaSuttonRoseisavisualartistandwriter.Her poetry,essays,andshortstorieshaveappearedin FlycatcherMagazine,Mobius:JournalofSocial Change,MontuckyReview,Flycatcher,MuddyRiver PoetryReview,DeadMuleSchoolofSouthern Literature,GinoskoLiteraryMagazine, andnumerous otheronlineandprintjournals.Hernovel DogwoodBlues earnedheraGeorgiaAuthoroftheYearnominationin 2015.ShewasnominatedforaPushcartPrizeinFictionin 2018forhershortstory“Samuel’sWife.”Brendais currentlyworkingonhersecondnovelandacollectionof shortstories.Herwebsiteis www.authorbrendasuttonrose.com. WELLDONE!Fiction 86 WELLREADMAGAZINE
SLEEPINGONPAUL’SMATTRESSbyBrendaSuttonRose 87 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
GhostinThisHouse-paintingbyBrendaSuttonRose
WELLDONE!Poetry 88 WELLREADMAGAZINE

TheCourageofWaywardGirls

PennyKoepselandClaireMatturro

Weborderedvibrantpinkwithbrightorange whilepaintingpeacesymbolsonposterboards inartclassandcastofftheteacher’sreprimand thatthosecolorsclashedbecausepeacesymbols lookbraverwithDayglofluorescent.

Weranthroughwoodsindime-storeflip-flopsand fringedcutoffs,sunburnedandfastastheboys welaterraceddowndarkeningalleywaysfearless onbananabikeswhileignoringcommandstoact likeyoungladiesbecausewherewasthefuninthat?

Wesnuckoutofhighfootballgamestorisk hitchhikingdowntownatnightbecause anythingwasbetterthanwatchingthosedamn jockscrashtheirthickbodiesintoeachother whilecheerleadersleaptinanelyovernothing.

89 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 THECOURAGEOFWAYWARDGIRLSPennyKoepsel&ClaireMatturro

WesmelledlikeWinstonsandweed andsometimesthatJovanMuskwhich weshopliftedonadarebutneverliked asmuchaspatchoulioilandincense smokethatlingeredinourlonghair.

WerodeEasy-Riderstyleonthebacksof rebuiltHarleystojointhepeacemarches withmenchanting“hellno,wewon’tgo” andwrappedwetbandanasonourfaces infrontofpoliceloadingteargascanisters.

Wegrewupboldinourunnerving faithinstreetsweneverfoundonmaps andfeltthefirstpricklesofageonskin madetenderbytheloosegravel weskiddedthroughratherthanturnaround.

Wereveledgiddyandheadstronginthefull plentyofyouthheedlessthattheshinysharp piecesoftheruleswebrokewouldbecome acollageofclashingcolorsbravelydisplayedon abeigewallinahousewhereolderpeoplelive.

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PennyKoepsel and ClaireMatturro areco-authorsofthe novel WaywardGirls (RedAdeptPublishing2021),a psychologicalthriller.KoepselisapsychologistinTexas andMatturroisaformerlawyerinFlorida.Bothhave poetryandshortstoriespublishedinvariousjournals. Above:aphototakenataboardingschoolreunionwhere ClaireandPennyoverseveralglassesofwineandsharing ideasdecidedtowrite“WaywardGirls.” 91 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 THECOURAGEOFWAYWARDGIRLSPennyKoepsel&ClaireMatturro
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RainCanBeaMelancholyThing J.B.Hogan

Raincanbeamelancholything, fallingsoftlyonanemptydirtlot whereahomeoncestood, listeningtoitunderametalroof, soundsteady,repetitive,familiar, fallinglightlyondarkleaves inacold,emptypark.

Raincanbeamelancholything, fallinggentlyinyourmemory ofwhy,andwhen,andwho, mistsoffloatingpast ridingonhintsofwind.

Raincanbeamelancholything, blockingsight,darkeningnight–darkandempty–savetherain, rainfallingsteadilydown.

RAINCANBEAMELANCHOLYTHINGBYJ.B.Hogan 93 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

J.B.Hogan haspublishedover300storiesandpoemsand elevenbooks,includingBarHarbor,BountyRiders,Time andTimeAgain,MexicanSkies,TinHollow,Living BehindTime,LosingCotton,TheRubicon,Fallen,The Apostate,andAngelsintheOzarks(nonfiction,local professionalbaseballhistory).HelivesinFayetteville, Arkansas.

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TommyDarinLiskey spentnearlyadecadeworkingasa journalistinVenezuela,ArgentinaandBrazil.Heisa graduateoftheUniversityofSouthernMississippi.His poetry,fictionandnon-fictionhasappearedin TheRed TruckReview,DeepSouth,DriftwoodPress,and Heartwood amongothers.Besidesthe CultivatingProject, hisnarrativeanddocumentaryphotographyhasbeen publishedin TheMuseumofAmericanaandMidwestern Gothic,amongothers.Hehaspublishedthenovella-length shortstorycollection, ThisSideofTheRiver,and collaboratedwiththepoetKellyBelmonteforpoetryphotographybook, Transit.Hehasanothercollectionin theworkscalled HardDelta.HelivesintheAmerican DeepSouth.

PoetryonDemandpage63 BazarDeLibrospage64 DrummerGirlpage75 Silverwingspage66 PHOTOGRAPHYbyTommyDarinLiskey 101 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
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25HottestAuthors,Artists,andAdvocatesof2023 is lookingforTHEHottestPoetof2023andthey’veasked WELLREADMagazineforhelp. ThegrandprizewinnerwillbepublishedMarch2023in theirannualmagazinethatwillbeavailableforpurchase inprintanddigitalform, 25HottestAuthors,Artists,and Advocatesof2023, andpromotedthroughouttheyear.The winnerwillalsohaveapodcastinterviewandanarticle writtenabouttheminLadiesLiteraryEntertainment. Finalistswillhavetheopportunitytobepublishedin futureissuesofWELLREADMagazine. Submissionguidelines: Contributorsshouldincludeonlyonepoemper submission.Allworkmustbetyped(preferablyin12 point,TimesNewRoman),andsingle-spaced(not includingstanzabreaks).Includethetitleofyourworkon yourmanuscript.Pleasesendthesubmissionasan attachment,useHOTTESTPOETOF23inthesubject line,andincludeashortfirstpersonbiointhebodyofthe email. Toenterthecompetition,sendyoursubmissionto wellreadsubmissions@gmail.comnolaterthanFebruary 28th. HELLOPOETS!Anexcitingcollaboration 103 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
104 WELLREADMAGAZINE DustinBrookshire&JulieE.Bloemeke editorsof LetMeSayThis:ADollyParton PoetryAnthology FortheLoveof Dolly! MandyHaynes
YoubothsharehowmuchDollymeanstoyou.Dustin, inyourbeautifulintroduction,andJulieinyournote fromtheeditor.Howmanystorieslikethatdidyou hearfromauthorswhentheyweresubmittingtheir poemsforconsideration? Wedidnotspeakwithcontributorsdirectly,butthepoems themselveshavesomeamazingtalestotell.Wegetalittle bitofthePorterWagonershow,aBroadwaycrush,some Rock&RollHallofFame,andafewgoodolemountain stories.WetraveltoParis,SanFernando,andmusic-laden houseparties,callinBillyJoelandSoulTrain,and speculateonDolly’sroleaslifecoach.Dollyistherefor biscuits,thigh-highboots,andJolenecocktails,allwhile leadingDollywoodparadesandcalmlyguidingusinour3 FORTHELOVEOFDOLLY!byMandyHaynes 105 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
LetMeSayThis:ADollyPartonPoetryAnthology isa collectionofpoetrybyfifty-fourtalentedwritersthat explainswhyDollyPartoniseverybody’sfavoritehuman. ItwillbeavailableforpurchaseonJanuary19th -which happenstobeDolly’sbirthday-andIcan’twaittogetmy handsonit! Whilewewait,Ithoughtitwouldbefuntolearnalittle bitaboutthestorybehindthisfantasticcollection.I reachedouttoDustinBrookshireandJulieBloemeke,two Dollyfansandthemastermindsbehindtheanthology,to askafewquestions.Enjoy!

FortheLoveofDolly!

amgrief.

IfyouhadtochooseONESONGofDolly’sthatyou feltwaswrittenforyou,whatwouldtheybe?

Dustin: Thisisahardquestion,almostcrueltolimitme toonesong,butI’llplayalong.Oneofmyconstant favorites–the#1spotonmyDollyfavoriteslistrotates dependingontheday–is“ShatteredImage,”theversion onherHalo&Hornsalbum.I'mfarfromperfect,butI ain'tallbad.Ithurtsmemorethanitmakesmemad.You gatheryourstonesbystoopin'solow.Thenshattermy imagewiththestonesyouthrow.Ifyouliveinaglass housedon'tthrowstones.”It’ssongwritinggenius!

Julie: “DumbBlonde!”Actually,whatresonateschanges bytheday;IcouldhardlyclaimthatanyofDolly’ssongs arewrittenjustforme.ButthepowerofDolly’slyrics causeme–allofus,really–toapprehendthemindifferent waysdependingonourstatesofbeing,whichispartofher mastery.“TheSeeker”isbothprayerandapleafor guidancedependingonhowyouseeit;in“HereYou ComeAgain,”thereisareclamationand/oranadmission coupledwithsurrender.In“ThereWasJesus”--herduet withZachWilliamsthatmostrecentlyhelpedmenavigate adarkchapter–thereisareminderofperseverance–a blessinginthebrokenpieces–andanemphaticpromiseof continuedspiritualpresence.Andofcoursethereis“The GrassisBlue”withitsrhetoricalflipsasasymbolof healingandheartbreak,anditsstellarbluegrass

106 WELLREADMAGAZINE

complexity. IlovetoplayagamewithmyfriendsImadeupcalled, PlaytheSaddestSongYouKnow.Ifyoursongmakes theotherplayerstearupyouwin.Dolly’s Downfrom Dover winseverytime.It’ssopowerful.I’masucker forsadsongs,stories,andpoems.Ifyouhadtochoose onepoemfromtheanthologythatwillbreakmyheart (inagoodwayofcourse),whichonewoulditbe?

Dustin: Duringthesubmissionperiodthereweresomany instancesofJulieandIcallingoneanother,startingthe callwith,Girl.Didyoureadthispoemyetbecausedamn? ThisisalsoahardquestiontoanswerbecauseIloveevery poemintheanthology.It’sananthologyofdamngood Dollypoems.ChadFrame’s“TheIntimateBiography” mademelaughoutloudandgiveanextended Awwwwwwwwww.Itwasoneoftheanthologypoems thatIhadtoreadtomypartner.

Julie: Ohindeed–thewaysthatDustinandIexperienced aweandtearsoversomanyDolly-passionatepoems crossingthethreshold!Thereareanumberinthe anthologythatraisepraise,breakyourheart,andputon theirdancingshoesdespitethedepthsofsorrow.DavidMatthewBarnes’“WalkingtoKmarttoBuyaDolly PartonAlbum”transformsmeeverytime–itstender honesty,itsharrowingdips,thewayitweavesDollyinto self-discoveryandshows–throughaction–suchpure admissionsofloveandvulnerability.

107 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
FortheLoveofDolly!ByMandyHaynes
Dustin,tellusaboutyouronlinepoetryjournal Limp Wrist andwhenyouandJulieknewthaty’allhadto puttogetherananthologyofpoemstohonorDolly? LimpWrist isanonlinepoetryjournalwithqueer sensibilitythatpromotesLGBTQIA+poets,non-binary poets,andtheirallies.Wecelebrated LimpWrist’s second anniversaryinOctober2022.Yearthreebringsexcitement aswehavePulitzerPrizewinnerDianeSeussasthefinal judgeforthe2023GlitterBombAward,willlauncha poetrycontestforLGBTQIA+highschoolseniors,and we’responsoringtheLimpWristLGBTQIA+Scholarship attheHudsonValleyWritersCenter.(Weencourage readerstocheckoutvirtualclassofferingsbyHudson ValleyWritersCenter!) CuratingtheDollyissueof LimpWristtogetherwasso muchfun.Werealizedweneededtoproduceananthology beforeweevenfinishedtheissue.Andthenwehadto keepournewsasurprise–whichwasexcruciatingattimes. We’regratefulthatMadvillePublishingsaidyestoour inquirybecauseMadvillewasthepublisherwewantedto workwithonthisDollyversejourney. Howlongdidittaketogatherandchoosethepoems youselectedfortheanthology? WeputoutourcallforsubmissionsonDolly’s76th birthday,January19,2022,whenwerevealedthatwe FortheLoveofDolly! 108 WELLREADMAGAZINE

wouldbeco-editingananthology.Weagreedearlyonthat wewouldreadsubmissionsoutloud,onthephone, together.Theexperienceofthatenergywasunparalleled–weweremovedbyhowmuchDollyfansshoweduswith theirwork,anditledtoalotofdiscussionaboutthe anthology’strajectory.Wecelebratedoverpoems together,satinawe,weptsometimes,butwerealways takenbythededicationthatsomanypoetsputintotheir submissions.Itwasdifficulttoturndownstrongworkthat didnotnecessarilydovetailwithourvisionforthebook, butwehopeanyonethatsubmittedknowsthatwewere honoredtoreadtheirtakesonDolly.Welaidoutthebook inlatesummerandfinalizeditinlatefall;wehopereaders experiencewhatwedidinbringingthischorusofvoices togetherandthattheyalsodotheseeminglyimpossible–fallevenmoreinlovewithDolly.

Thecoverisgorgeousandperfectforthecollection. Tellushowyouchosethatimageandwhattheprocess waslike. Thankyou!Weshareyoursentiment.Originally,wehad plansforusingDollyprintingpressart–however,that visiondidnotcometofruition.Atthetime,wewere reallycrestfallen,butwecouldnothaveknownthatwe hadaDollyangelonourshouldersallalong.Wecould hardlybelievethekindnessofDolly’steamwhenwe receivedtheapprovaltouseFranStrine’sphotograph.
FortheLoveofDolly!ByMandyHaynes 109 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
We’realsoextremelygratefultoTeamDollyforallowing
arrived,weeachrankedourtopthreefavorites independently.Notsurprisingly,webothselectedtwoof thesameimages,whichisonparforourexperienceasLet MeSayThisco-editors.Ittookaboutanhourandthirty minutesforustotalkthroughthephotographsandreacha decision.However,we’llconfessthatprobablythirty minutesofthatwasusfan-girlingoutovertheselection, andoftheincrediblegenerosityofDollyandherteam. IloveKimDavisandMadvillePublishing’sincredible catalogofbooks.Whatagreatteam!Howdidy’all meet? OurfriendsandfellowpoetsCollinKelleyandKaren Headedited MotherMaryComestoMe:APopculture Anthology,whichwaspublishedbyMadville.(Juliehasa poemintheanthology!)CollinandKarenwereso complimentaryofKimandMadvillePublishing,sothat ledustoputtingMadvilleonour#1spotforpublishers. We’velearnedalotfromworkingwithKimandMadville, andwe’resoappreciativeoftheirbeliefinthisanthology fromthedaywepitchedtheidea.Additionally,their enthusiasmandlovefortheprojectwasabrightbeaconat everyturn.TocallinDollyhere,thatlevelofattentive excitementandjoyisarareandgentlething,andwecould notbemoregrateful. FortheLoveofDolly! 110 WELLREADMAGAZINE
ustoreviewseveralphotographsforthecover.Whenthey

FortheLoveofDolly!ByMandyHaynes

HowcanreaderssupportLetMeSayThis?

Readerscanasktheirlocallibrariesandbookstoresto carryLetMeSayThis.Thebestfinancialoption–especiallyforbookstores–istoorderdirectlythrough MadvillePublishing.Orderingacopyofthisbookalso doesalittlegoodinthisworldbecausewe’redonatingour annualeditorroyaltiestoDollyParton’sImagination Library.

Also,ifreadershavealocalbookstoretheyadore,weare opentoschedulingreadingsandQ&Aeventsbothin personandviaZoom.Wearealsohappytospeakto classesorparticipateininterviews.Youcancontactusvia emailatletmesaythisanthology@gmail.com.Wecan’t waittohearfromyou!

IfyouareateacherandwanttoimplementLetMeSay Thisintoyourcurriculum,wewelcomethattoo.Every poemintheanthologyisauniquetakeonhowto implementpopcultureinpoetry.Theanthologyalso spotlightsafewforms–villanelle,ghazal,sonnet,anda fewprosepoems,tonameafew–thatwouldbegreatfora formsclass.

Andofcourse,theanthologyisanidealgiftforDolly fans.Andwearealwaysexcitedtohearwhenreaders havepurchasedcopiestodonateaswell.

HowcanreadersstaycurrentonLetMeSayThis

111 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
happenings? Definitelygiveusafollowonsocialmediatostayabreast ofupcomingevents.LetMeSayThisisonTwitter (@_LetMeSayThis_),Instagram (@LetMeSayThisAnthology),HIVE(@LetMeSayThis), andFacebook(@LetMeSayThisAnthology). Wealsoencourageanyonewritingabouttheanthologyon socialmediatousethehashtags#DollyPoemsand #LetMeSayThisAnthology.Readerscanalsosavethislink www.linktr.ee/letmesaythisanthology. 112 WELLREADMAGAZINE
113 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
DustinBrookshire(he/him)afinalistforthe2021Scotti MerrillAward,isthefounder/editorofLimpWrist,curator oftheWild&PreciousLifeSeries(aZoom-basedpoetry readingseries),programdirectorforReadingQueer,and foundingchapterpresidentoftheSouthFloridaPoets.He istheauthorofthreechapbooks:NeverPickedFirstfor Playtime(HarborEditions,2023),LoveMostofYouToo (HarborEditions,2021)andToTheOneWhoRapedMe (SiblingRivalryPress,2012).Visithimonlineat www.dustinbrookshire.com. JulieE.Bloemeke(she/her)isthe2021GeorgiaAuthorof theYearFinalistforPoetry.Herdebutfull-length collectionSlidetoUnlock(SiblingRivalryPress,2020) wasalsochosenasa2021BookAllGeorgiansShould Read.Winnerofthe2022ThirdCoastPoetryPrizeanda finalistforthe2020FischerPrize,herworkhasappeared innumerousanthologiesandpublicationsincluding Writer’sChronicle,PrairieSchooner,CortlandReview, GulfCoast,EcoTheoReview,andothers.Anassociate editorforSouthCarolinaReviewandaVirginiaCenterfor theCreativeArtsfellow,sheisalsoafreelancewriterand editor.Visitheronlineatwww.jebloemeke.com FortheLoveofDolly!ByMandyHaynes
114 WELLREADMAGAZINE MARKYOURCALENDARS! ThespottofindupcomingAuthorEvents, WritingRetreats,andWorkshopsNearYou
MARKYOURCALENDARS 115 DECEMBER2022ISSUENO.22 MARKYOURCALENDARS JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
ThespottofindupcomingAuthorEvents, WritingRetreats,andWorkshopsNearYou
MARKYOURCALENDARS!
ANovelIdea:AFive-PartNovelWritingSerieswith
YouluckySarasotians!! Theseeventsarefree-joinCooper Levey-Baker,BrianPetkash,andguestsbyclickingthelinksbelow toregisteronline. 3-4p.m.Monday,November14,2022 3-4p.m.Monday,December12,2022 -writingcharacters 3-4p.m.Monday,January9,2023 -writingplot 3-4p.m.Monday,February6,2023 -revising 3-4p.m.Monday,March6,2023 -submittingyourwork SelbyPublicLibrary-JackJ.GeldbartAuditorium 1331FirstStreet Sarasota,FL34236 MARKYOURCALENDARS 116 WELLREADMAGAZINE
CooperLevey-BakerandBrianPetkash Fromplanningtopublishing,thisserieswilltakeyouthroughallthe essentialsyouneedtohelpturnyourbookideaintoareality. Localauthors BrianPetkash and CooperLevey-Baker willexplore thefundamentalsofstorytellingfromcraftingyoursetting, characters,andplot,torevisingyourworkandsubmittingyour manuscriptforpublication. Thisseriesisopentoallages,levels,andgenresofwriters,aswell asthoseinterestedinlearningmoreaboutthecraftofnovelwriting. Drop-intoone,orallpartsofthisdynamicseries.
BriangrewupinCleveland,Ohio,afocal pointofmuchofhiswriting(andmuch ofhissportsheartache).Aformerhigh schoolliteratureandcreative writingteacher,helivesin TampawithhispartnerCeleste andworksasamarketing professionalinboththegame andcomicbookindustries. BrianholdsanMFAinCreative WritingfromUniversityofTampa.Hisworkhasappearedin ElPortal,BridgeEightLiteraryMagazine,Southword,and MidwesternGothic. MistakesbytheLake, hiscollectionofstoriespublishedby MadvillePublishing,isoutnow. CooperLevey-Bakerisawriterand journalist.Hisfictionhasappearedin theSierraNevadaReview andBurrowPress'sFantastic Floridasseries,andhis journalismhaswonmultiple awardsfromtheFlorida MagazineAssociationand theFloridaSocietyfor ProfessionalJournalism. DeadFishWind ishisfirstnovel. MARKYOURCALENDARS 117 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
MARKYOURCALENDARS 118 WELLREADMAGAZINE
MARKYOURCALENDARS 119 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 Authors,Bookstores,Libraries, BookClubs,andWritingGroups Ifyouhaveanupcomingeventyou’d liketopromote,sendanemailto wellreadmagazine@gmail.com
HELLOWRITERS! 120 WELLREADMAGAZINE
Brewton,Alabamaisatownknownforeccentric charactersandextremelytalentedfolks.It’sagreat placetovisittofuelyourcreativemuse.TheHolley HouseBedandBreakfast,withitsowninterestinghistory, istheperfectplacetostay.
halls,livedintheserooms,andcookedinthiskitchen. EverybabyduringWWIIthatwasn'tdeliveredathomein thesurroundingarea,wasdeliveredhere-thepost-war boomkeptthenurseryfull.Oncethehospitalclosedand Dr.A.F.Holleymovedintoprivatepracticeinthe1950's, HolleyHousewasrepurposedasanapartmentbuildingfor nearlythirtyyears.Afteranextensiveremodelin1988,
WELCOMETOTHEHOLLEYHOUSE 121 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Originallybuiltin1906bytheLovelacefamilyasa weddinggifttoMr.Lovelace'sdaughterandherhusband. In1936,itwaspurchasedbyDr.A.F.Holleyandbecame knownastheHolleyHospital,thefirsthospitalin EscambiaCounty.SevengenerationsoftheHolleyand Henleyfamilieshaveplayedinthisyard,walkedthese
LenisHolleyopenedHolleyHouseasaretirementhome.
CurrentlyownedandoperatedbyDr.andMrs.Holley's daughter,DeborahGeorge,HolleyHousehasundergonea fouryearrenovationinvolvinglotsofblood,sweat,and tears.Fromfloorjoiststoroof,theentirehousehasbeen remodeledandisnowknownforitsbeautifulsuitesand delicioushome-cookedmeals. WELCOMETOTHEHOLLEYHOUSE 122 WELLREADMAGAZINE
Deborah’sdaughter,HollyHartShirley,hasalways wantedtobringwriter’sandthecreativecommunity surroundingtheB&Btogether.Asawriterwho’s workingonherfirstnovel,Holleyknowsthevalueofwell plannedwritingworkshops.Especiallythoseauthorswho areworkingonthelaststagesoftheirmanuscriptsand needaboosttohelpthemstayontrackandfinishthe work.Sheandhermotheralsohavetheperfectplacefor writerstostaythatincludesacomfortablemeeting/event space… Wehavesomeexcitingnews!Deborahand HollyarecollaboratingwithMandyHaynes andWELLREADtohostaWriter’sRetreat inthefallof2023! Theretreatwillconsistofpanelsledbytalentedauthors coveringimportanttopics.Therewillbeplentyoffree timeforparticipantstowriteontheirown,sharetheir progress,enjoyeachotherscompany,andDeborah’s home-cooking. Staytuned!HollyandIwillbesharingfunstories, importantinformation,anddetailsabouttheupcoming Writer’sRetreatinfutureissuesof WELLREADMagazine. UntilthencheckouteverythingHolleyHousehastooffer WELLREAD&HOLLEYHOUSE-FALLWRITER’SRETREAT 123 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
124 WELLREADMAGAZINE

ANNIEINTRODUCES

DeborahGoodrichRoyce

TheauthorschoseneachmonthareauthorsthatIbelieve wereborntoshine!LetmeintroduceyoutoDeborah GoodrichRoyce. YouwillnotbeabletoputDeborahGoodrichRoyce's literarythrillersdownonceyoustartreading!Allofher storiesarethrillingandmovingatthesametime.Her novel“RubyFalls”wontheZibbyAwardforBestPlot Twistin2021and“FindingMrs.Ford”washailedby Forbes,BookRiot,andGoodMorningAmerica's"bestof" listsin2019.Hernewest,ReefRoad,willbepublishedon January10,2023.

Theyareall5Starreads.Theyfeelsopersonal,you wonderifthereisanytruthbehindthem.Thestorybehind “ReefRoad”isactuallytakenfromatruecrimethathit closetohomeforDeborahandI’mlookingforwardto readingherinterviewsoncethebookisreleasedtolearn more.That’sanotherthingIenjoyaboutreadingher books,besidesthetwistsandhersuperbwriting,is learningmoreaboutthestoriesbehindeachone.

ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 125 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Tosayhercoversaregorgeousisanunderstatement. DeborahGoodrichRoyceisoneofthemosttalented, interesting,andkindestpeopleI’veevermet.Youinstantly makeafriendonceyougettoknowher.Andwhatan interestinglifeshe’sled.Beforeshebecameabest-selling author,Deborahhasbeenanactress,filmeditor,andheld variousjobsfromscriptwritingtoholdingseatson variousboards,liketheNewYorkBotanicalGardens. ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 126 WELLREADMAGAZINE
Deborahandherhusbandenjoyrestoringhistoricand extravagantbuildings.Therearehotels,abookstoreand evenatheatre.TheOceanHouseHotelinRhodeIsland remindsmeofTheGreatGatsby.IhopeIgettoseeitin persononeday. DeborahGoodrichRoycehassomanyelaboratethings goingonatonce,Idon’tknowhowshedoesitall. DeborahandIwillbehavingaliveinterviewwithauthor KimberlyBellewhenmybook,Annie’sSongDandelions,Dogs,andDreamsisreleasedinMarchatThe WriteReview.Ihopeyou’llbeabletojoinus. ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 127 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
IusetheProustInterviewmodeltolearnmoreabout authorsIintroducebeyondmytypicalinterviewquestions andwhatwelearnisalwaysfunandfascinating.Enjoy Deborah’sanswersbelow: 1.Whatisyourideaofperfecthappiness? Myideaofperfecthappinessisahotcupofcoffeeanda quietplacetositandwatchthesunrise. 2.Whatisyourgreatestextravagance? Iamindulgingmyselfmorethesedayswithexperiences andlesswiththings.Werecentlytookalargefamilygroup toNormandyanditwasspectacular. 3.Whatisyourcurrentstateofmind? Iaminacontemplativestateofmindlately.Christmasis coming.Thenewyearisaroundthecorner.Decemberisa monthinwhichIreflectuponbothpastandfuture. 4.Whenandwherewereyouhappiest? Iamhappiestnow.Older.Ihopesomewhatwiser.Being moremyselfthanIhaveeverbeenanddoingmoreof whatreallymeanssomethingtome. ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 128 WELLREADMAGAZINE
5.Whichtalentwouldyoumostliketohave?
thepiano. 6.Ifyoucouldchangeonethingaboutyourself,what woulditbe? IfIcouldchangeonethingaboutmyself—andthisis somethingIactivelyworkonthroughmeditation,yoga, exercise—Iwouldbelessanxious! 7.Wherewouldyoumostliketolive? Iamluckytohavelivedinsomeinterestingplaces…from NewYorktoLosAngelestoParis.IfIcouldhaveone moreplacetolive,Iwouldloveittobeinthecountryside ofNormandyorEngland. 8.Whatisyourmosttreasuredpossession? Havingsurvivedarobbery,Ihavelearnedthatonecan livewithoutthosemosttreasuredpossessions.Thatsaid,I wouldhavetovoteformycomputer.Itisthevehicleby whichIamabletoexpressmyselfthroughmywriting. 9.Whatdoyoumostvalueinyourfriends? Ideeplyvaluemyfriends’intelligence,humor,and ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 129 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
IfIwerenotabletowrite,Iwouldlovetobeabletoplay
kindness.Thosearethethreeessentials. 10.Howwouldyouliketodie? IwouldliketodieatpeaceandwiththeknowledgethatI amembarkingonthenextjourney. Pre-Orderyour copyof“Reef Road”here. ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 130 WELLREADMAGAZINE
AnnieMcDonnell TheWriteReview Authorof Annie’sSong:Dandelions,Dreams&Dogs, BookReviewer,AuthorInterviewer,Teacher,Speaker, Writer,AuthorConsultant,Co-Admin.AtWorldofthe WriteReviewBookClub,Blogger,Authoronlineevent planner. ANNIE’SANTICSWITHANNIEMCDONNELL 131 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
SOCIALMEDIAETIQUETTE101 132 WELLREADMAGAZINE
MindYourPsandQs SocialMediaEtiquette101 MandyHaynes Asauthorsweknowthebestwaytomakeconnectionsis byhavingasocialmediapresence.Buttherearesomany unspokenrulesofsocialmediaetiquetteitcanbe overwhelming.Here’salistofdosanddon'tstohelpget youstartedorgetyoubackontrackifyou’vefound yourselfstuckinarut. DO engagewithotherauthors.Sayhi,liketheirposts(but onlyifyoureallydo–nooneiskeepingscoreifyou don’t),leaveacomment.Ifyou’vereadtheirbooklet themknow.Ifyoulovetheircover,tellthem.Be supportive. DON’T expectanythinginreturn–anddon’tusetheir posttoturnitintoaself-promotion.Ifyouconsistently supportothers,theywillsupportyouwhenit’syourturn. DO mixbusinessandpleasure.Readersliketoknow aboutyourpets,yourhobbies,yourhometown–youdon’t wantyourpoststojustbeaboutyourwritingorasking peopletobuyyourbook. DON’T getmixingbusinessandpleasureconfusedwith mixingbusinessand complaining.Don’tcomplainabout yourbills,yourbrokendreams,oryourexes…. MINDYOURPs&QsbyMandyHaynes 133 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6

DO encourage“conversation”.

DON’T beajerk.Forexample,ifsomeonetagsyouina postyoudon’twanttobeinremoveyourselforsenda privatemessage.Don’tmakeapubliccommentwiththe intenttoembarrassorshamethepersonwhotaggedyou. Especially ifit’ssomeonewho’sbeensupportiveofyour posts/page/etcinthepast.

DON’T commentonapostorsharewithoutreadingit completely.Whatmightseemlikeapositivepostatthe beginning,couldendwithpassiveaggressivesnark.You don’twanttoputyourstampofapprovalonsomething youdon’tagreewithaccidentally. DO interactwithyourfollowers.Thankthemforbeing there–askthemforrecommendations,advice,and absolutelyasktoseetheirpets.Behonestandbuild connectionsonlinejustlikeyouwouldinperson.

DON’T beneedy–don’tconstantlyaskyourfollowersto shareorlikeyourpageeveryday. DO handlecriticismgracefully.

DON’T beaspammer–ifagroupsaysyoucanselfpromoteonFriday’sonly,youself-promoteonFridays only.ReadtherulesandtheAboutSectionsonthepages.

Complainingandwhiningaredefinitebuzzkills.
DO varyyourcontent.Mixyourwrittenpostswith graphics,videos,funnymemes,andphotos.Giveyour followersareasontosmile.
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Ifyou’renotsure,PManadministrator.

DO watchyourgrammarandspelling.Ofcourseweall havetheoccasionaltypobutpayattention.Especiallyif you’repromotingafellowauthor.Double,no-triple check-author’snamesandtitlesofbooks.

MINDYOURPs&QsbyMandyHaynes 135 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
DON’T obsessaboutthenumbers.It’snotacompetition–it’ssupposedtobefun.Smallernumbersoffollowerswho actuallyengagewithyouarebetterthananumberoflarge followerswhodon’t. Shouldyoufindyourselfthecenterofsomeone’sdrama, donotrespondtopostsorcomments.Anoverreaction couldgoviralandanyandallembarrassingcomments willbeforeveronrecord. Personally,youneverwantto alienatereadersormakeotherauthors(yoursupport system)feeluncomfortable. Legally,internetharassment anddefamationmaybesubjectedto criminalsanctions underharassmentlawaswellascivillawpenaltiesunder harassmentanddefamationlaws. It’simportanttokeep screenshotsofthefalsestatementsandaccusationsmade againstyou (thestatueoflimitationstofilechargesvaries fromoneyeartothreeyears) toprotectyourselfifthe cyberbullyingcausesharmtoyouoryourbusiness.For authorsthiscouldbeadropinbooksales,adecreasein yoursocialmediafollowers,orriseinbookreturns-so payattentionandkeepdetailedreports. Butmostimportantly ignorethedrama andkeepyour socialmedia“space”asafeandsupportiveplacetohave fun!
SUBSCRIBETOWELLREAD’SNEWYOUTUBECHANNEL! 136 WELLREADMAGAZINE
BETWEENTHEPAGES-INTERVIEWS,READINGS,ANDMORE 137 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
PatConroyLiteraryCenter Beaufort,SC29902 601BladenStreet ThursdaythroughSundaynoon-4:00p.m. Othertimesavailablebyappointment NETWORKING 138 WELLREADMAGAZINE
NETWORKING 139 DECEMBER2022ISSUENO.22
ThePerfectWriter’s
NETWORKING 140 WELLREADMAGAZINE
Getaway
Doc'sHideawayisjust that-it'swhereDoctor Holleywouldhideout whenhedidn'twantto seepatientsoranyone else.Offthesideofthe housewithadoor headingouttothe MagnoliaStage,Doc's Hideawayisaperfect roomforsomeonewho wantstositoutsidein themorningandenjoy thestartoftheday. Thereisaprivate entrancefortravelers andaluxuriousqueen bed. Ifyou'reintownforaneventatHolleyHouse,Doc's Hideawayisonedoorawayfromalloftheaction.This coastalthemedqueensuitehasaspaciousbathroomanda flip-downantiquedesk-youwillfeellikeyouareona tropicalvacation.Theheartpinefloorsareoriginaltothe housefrom1903.It'sashortwalktobreakfast-downthe corridorfromthediningroom. Hemingwaywouldhavelovedthisroomandsowillyou! NETWORKING 141 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
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NETWORKING 143 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6 Clickheretosubscribetoour mailinglistandnevermissa singeissue! Followusonsocialmedia VisitouronlineBookShopandsupport IndependentBookstores
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Readingperiodforpublication inApril,May,andJuneissuesof WELLREAD startsFebruary1st . Clickhereformoreinformation 145 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
NETWORKING 146 WELLREADMAGAZINE
NETWORKING 147 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Ifyouhaveastoryyou’dlike toshareintheWELLREAD Magazine,I’dlovetohearit. Readersthatincludesyou! 148 WELLREADMAGAZINE
I’mlookingforpetstofeatureonourIfOurPets CouldTalkpage,AuthorsInterviewingAuthors, andwouldlovetoshineaspotlightonyour favoriteIndependentBookstores,BookSellers, Libraries,andLibrarians. Sendordersforpages,stories, aswellasanyquestionsabout themagazine,to wellreadmagazine@gmail.com WHAT’SYOURSTORY? 149 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
Amonthlycolumnthattakesusoff thepageandintothelifeof RiverJordan 150 WELLREADMAGAZINE OFFTHEPAGE

HappyNewYear

HerewegoblazingintoaNewYear.Readyornot. Inspiredortired.Thecalendarpageturnsandfindsus walkingoutthedaysofourlives.Wecouldsayit’snobig deal.Justanotherday,anotherhour,acolorlesschange.A numberofnosignificance.ButIforonehaveneverfelt thatway.JustasEasterholdsthehopeofresurrectionand embodiesSpring,theturningofthecalendartothefirst, crispdayofanewyear.ThatlongcleanslatefeelslikeI amstandingonamountainlookingattheviewfaroffover themountains,downahundredroads,outtoahorizonthat defiesmewithitsmajestyofmystery.

NomatterwhatIplan,nomattermylife’sgoalsor interruptions,themostamazingthingisthatthemystery oftimeitself,oftheunfoldingdays,thepeoplewemay meet,theoldfriendswepurposetosee–allofitwillbe preciousinsomewaybutthethingwecancertainlycount onisthattherewillbesurprises.SomethingforwhichI havenotalwaysbeenthankful.Thesurpriseofaflattire,a leakingroof,asickchild.

NewsontheHomefrontorforeignlandsthatarenot

RiverJordanisThePowerofStory….
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madeupofthesurpriseswewouldlikebuttheopposite. Theycarryworryandbadtidings.

Here’satinycalmingnoteregardingthosesurprises’ unknowntousonthisNewYearDay–whatevercomes, whateverhappens–westillhaveeachother.

Therewillstillbethesurpriseofkindnesses unexpected.Theonesthatcomealongatunexpected places,inunexpectednotes.

Kindwordsfromfamilyandfriendsandtheonesthat alwaysbringtearstomyeyes-thatkindnessfroma strangerinthemiddleofamomentwhereitlookslikeno helporhopeisaroundthecorner.

Ican’talwaysbesomeone’shelpbutIcanpurposein myheartthisyeartobewillingtoparticipateinthegreat, divine,danceofbeinghumaninaworldthatneedsmore peopletappingintothatplacethatmakesusgreat.

DoIhavealistlongerthanmylegofthingsIwantto achievethisyear?Yes.Travelsabroadandathome. Languagestolearn.Bookstowrite.Memoriestomake. ButifthereisjustonespecialresolutionIcouldmakethat wouldnotfocusonmebutonotherpeopleitwouldbeto laymyhandonmyheartandinapeacefulmomentagree tobepresentinmylifeinallthesmall,mundanemoments whereIamwalkingthroughmydays,wherepausingand sayingonekindwordtoastrangercouldmakea differenceintheirday.

Onecompliment.Onedollar.Onehelpinghand. Becausehere’sthething–weareallpartofanever evolving,changingstorythatisbeingwritteneverydayof

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ourlivesandourstoriesareconnectedtoeveryhuman beingthatpassesusonthestreet,inacar,ashop,the WaffleHouse. Wearepartofthegreatcacophonyofhumanexistence, averitableorchestraofhumanityandifwepull,way,way, waybackandlookatthispreciousplanetit’splaintosee ourproblemsaresmallerthanweimagine,ourheartsare somuchlargerthanweknow,andwehavethecapacityto lovegreatthings,newthingsintobeing. Mayweallfullyembracethedivinityofthismiracleof ourvery,existencein2023andcelebrateourmoments together. 153 JANUARY2023ISSUENO.6
RiverJordan isanauthor,speaker,teacherandradiohost. Asasouthernerwithaglobalperspectivesheisa passionateadvocateforthepowerofstory. River'swritingcareerbeganasaplaywrightandshespent overtenyearswritinganddirecting.Sheisthebest-selling authoroffournovelsandathreespiritualmemoirs.Asa critically-acclaimedauthorherworkhasbeenmost frequentlycastinthecompanyofsuchwritersasFlannery O'Conner,WilliamFaulkner,andHarperLee. ClickheretohearRiverreadanexcerptfromherbook, ConfessionsofaChristianMystic 154 WELLREADMAGAZINE
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AboutMadvillePublishing: MadvillePublishingwasfoundedbyKimberlyDavisin2018. ThepressgrewoutofDavis’richrelationshipswithintheliterary community.Madvillewasincorporatedasanonprofitin2019in theStateofTexas,andattainedfederalnonprofit501(c)3statusas ofJune,2020. We’renotanacademicpress,butwehaveanonymousreviewers readeverysubmittedmanuscript.Ourreviewersholdadvanced degreesinliteratureandcreativewriting. MissionStatement: ThemissionofMadvillePublishingistoproduce,publish,and marketliteraryworksofthehighestqualitythatreflectthe diversityofthemodernEnglish-speakingworld.Weseekto publishpoetry,fiction,andcreativenonfictionbynotableand emergingauthorswhodisplaydiversityinethnicity,gender,age, andworldview,andwhoseworkexhibitsthefullrangeofthis diversity.Ourgoalistodiscoverandshowcaseworksthatmight otherwisebeoverlooked,toprovideopportunityforvoicesthat mightotherwisebeunheard. Diversity,Equity&InclusionStatementofPurpose: MadvillePublishingaffirmsandsupportstheimportanceof diversityinrace,religion,age,gender,andsexualorientation.
Ourpublishingprogramactivelyseekstoincludeauthorsand otherwritersandpoetsrepresentingthewidestpossible representationofalltheseperspectives. Whatwelike: Welovelanguage,dialect,andregionalisms.Weyearntoknow otherculturesandotherworlds.Frompoets’philosophiesand introspections,toessayistsexaminationsoftheworldandallits foiblestoimaginaryworlds,ourauthorsdealinsnapshotsof time,sliversofmemory,andflashesofinspiration.Englishisour firstlanguage,butweadorecodeswitchingandidiomsfrom aroundtheworld.Wepublishpoetry,fiction,andnonfictionthat straddlesborders.Whileourauthorsgenerallyhailfromthe English-speakingacademiccommunity,ouraudienceextends beyondthenarrowconfinesoftheacademyintothepopular market,particularlywithregardtoourfiction,wherewehavea tendencytostrayintoadventurous,fantastic,anddystopian realities.Acautionhere,becausethereisanarttosubtlydepicting regionalismsinliterature,wereadallsuchdialogwithacritical eye. Donatetoday MadvillePublishingisa501(c)(3)charitable corporation.Assuch,itisnonprofit,andholdsitselftothehighest standardasaliterarypublisheroffiction,nonfiction,andpoetry. Madvilleisonlyabletopublishasteadystreamofqualitybooks withthehelpofdonationsfromdedicatedreaderswhobelievein supportingliterarytalentwhereveritspringsup.
SubmissionsGuidelines: Weareatinypublisher,andonlyacceptbetween12and24manuscripts peryear.Wepublishlargelyunagentedwork,andwerunseveral competitionsperyear,includingacoupleofanthologies.Whenwehave anyopensubmissionperiods,youwillfindalltheinformationonour submissionspage.(usethebuttonbelow) submissions AllmanuscriptspublishedbyMadvillePublishingundergoarigorous vettingprocessbeforetheyareacceptedforpublication.Whilewedonot acceptunsolicitedmanuscripts,wedoacceptqueriesbyemailandwe alsosometimessolicitmanuscriptsfromthoseauthorswhoseworkfits ourcatalog.Wesendpromisingmanuscriptsoutforreviewtopublished authorsandprofessionaleditorswhowritereviewers’reportsdetailing theworks’strengthsandweaknessesbeforewedecidewhetherornotto offeranauthoracontract. BoardofDirectors Madville Publishing Staff EmotionalSupportTeam