Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anthologies: Collecting the Best of the Best – Part 4

Hi everyone!

This week, we’ll take a final look at anthologies. Although I’ve written three cat care books, two of my stories that appeared in anthologies were about dogs.

The first story, “The Silent Guardian” appeared in Haunted Encounters: True Stories of Departed Pets. This non-fiction anthology contains true stories of ghostly encounters with departed pets. The personal accounts explore the bond that exists between animals and humans—in this world and the next.

My story is about a ghost dog that I saw many years ago. As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m more curious about ghosts than afraid of them, and this intelligent apparition was no exception. Here’s a brief excerpt:

The Silent Guardian

…I picked up my book and resumed reading. A few minutes later, I felt the odd “being watched” sensation again. This time it was even stronger. I glanced up and gasped when I saw Robert’s dog, Chrissy, standing in the family room doorway, staring at me.

I shook my head, thinking this was some kind of an optical illusion, or that I had lost my mind. However, the basement room was well lit, and I could see the dog clearly. Common sense told me that Chrissy shouldn’t have been there. He had been put to sleep in May…

The book is available in paperback from Amazon.com. The link is:


Despite the title, my second dog story, “The Gray Ghost” isn’t about a ghost at all. It’s a tender, heart-warming story about a boy, his loyal dog, and coping with loss. “The Gray Ghost” was published in Joyous Publishing’s At Home and Abroad: Prize-Winning Stories, a collection of fifty-three contest-winning writings from 2007. Here’s an excerpt:

The Gray Ghost

Dwight zipped up his thick winter coat and quietly pushed open the screen door. “Come on Shadow, let’s go,” he whispered.

He didn’t want to wake Grandpa or Mom. His mother wouldn’t want him leaving the house to explore, but he couldn’t sleep. He’d slept most of the way here last night while Mom drove from their house in Cleveland to Grandpa’s farm in Kentucky. Mom had said that she couldn’t bear to stay home this weekend because the house held too many memories. He frowned. If Dad were still alive, they’d be home now. Thinking about his father made him sad, and Mom wouldn’t want to see him crying this weekend. After all, it was Thanksgiving.

Dwight broke from his thoughts as Shadow’s warm wet tongue tickled his fingers. He rubbed the dog’s head. No matter what, he still had Shadow. Since Dad’s death two weeks ago, he had slept with the dog curled next to him at night. He cried into Shadow’s short, gray coat when the sadness and sense of loss took over his heart.

He closed the screen door behind him and stood on the porch. The crisp early-morning air tickled his nose. He knew he shouldn’t walk too far from the house. If he did, Mom would fret that he’d exerted himself and baby him, just because he had asthma. Shadow padded next to him, his pink nose sniffing the air…

The book is available in paperback from Amazon.com. The link is:


These two unrelated dog stories show that writers can branch out in many different directions when it comes to short stories and anthologies. I’ve always said, “Write the story that’s in your head, then submit it. You never know who will buy it.” It’s good advice for any writer.

Next week, I’ll be posting my big end-of-the-year issue of my newsletter, Kelli’s Quill.

After that, look for a few changes to the blog in 2011!

Until next time,


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