“The Stones of Sorrow Lake” in The Georgia Review

I haven’t update my website in a while, so I’ll just add some of the things I’ve been doing lately at once.

A short story of mine, “The Stones of Sorrow Lake” came out in the new Georgia Review, and it’s also up on their website.  It’s about a town of people who wear sorrow on their skin in the form of stones. You can read it here: http://garev.uga.edu/spring16/peynado.html

Thank you also to the Editors and Lindsay Tigue, who was kind enough to interview me about the story: http://garev.uga.edu/blog/peynadointerview.html

Recently, I’ve also had pieces come out in EPOCH, Michigan Quarterly Review, Daily Science Fiction, Shenandoah, and the Mid-American Review.  I also received the Dana Award in short fiction, and one of my flash stories will be included as a flashcard in issues of the Sycamore Review as winner of their flashcard contest.

The Michigan Quarterly Review story is perhaps the strangest thing I’ve ever written. Read on for plastic toy soldiers that invade a Caribbean island.

Daily Science Fiction published a strange, tiny story about the Apocalypse and blob aliens. You can read it here.

The EPOCH story was about a group of flying prodigals returning to their island home.  Here’s an excerpt:

“We jackknifed through clouds and dodged large birds. Our parents, those who were still alive, came out to greet us, eyes squinting against the sun and hands on their brows like visors. Some were expecting us. Others were surprised, terrified at the spectacle of millions of their prodigals blotting the sky with our skirts billowing, our shirts starched for the arrival, skidding to rough landings right in front of them. We touched down on the landing strips of our parents’ driveways, denting cars, squashing flowers, rattling windows….”

I’m lucky to be in the company of lots of wonderful writing in these issues, so be sure to pick up copies. Thanks to all the wonderful editors who let my stories grace their pages!


AWP Readings

If you’ll be at AWP and want some entertainment, I will be reading at two events.

The first: the Mid-American Review is reading from their latest issue on Friday from 8-11 at Gallery 13.  I’ll be reading my story about an ambulance stuck in the clouds above New York City. And there will be cake!


The second: Join us for a literary performance to remember at Boneshaker Books! Boneshakers: A Cambridge Writers Workshop Reading will feat. Bianca Stone, Alex Carrigan, Jonah Kruvant, Jessica Piazza, Anca Szilagyi, Micah Dean Hicks, Brenda Peynado, and more. We promise to light up the night!



Triquarterly has been the home of some of my favorite work, so I thought I’d link to some of it here.  It’s amazing that this topnotch journal moved online for free.

I first got to know this wonderful writer through Triquarterly with her heartbreaking scifi story in which the earth’s atoms start fusing: A Bad Year for Apples, by CJ Hauser.  Then I met her in person and she blushed madly while I told her how much I liked her work.

Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni’s Shadow Work.  I love everything I’ve ever read by her.  Her stories are heartbreaking, centered around loss, and they have such depth of poetry to their lines.

Ben Ehnrenreich, The Dream within a Dream.  Strangely affecting surreal story about dreams a couple has together, then separately.

I just read these two poems by Marty McConnell in TriQuarterly that blew me away with their wonderful, funny, heartbreaking commentary on modern life and the emotions we try to communicate to others.  She has a great reading voice, too!  Here and HERE.

Nick Francis Potter

I just met fiction and comic writer Nick Francis Potter, who went to Brown’s innovative MFA program and is currently a PhD student at University of Missouri. We talked about his illustrating and Micah and I writing children’s stories together. It’s so exciting that there are people working in the intersection of various art forms even though we are so often cordoned off from each other. Check out a few of his comics at http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/3-comics or his website at http://nickfrancispotter.tumblr.com/page/4


Indiana Review Volume 35, Number 2

I’m reading the current Indiana Review. I happened upon it after staying in Cincinnati with Linwood Rumney, whose work I’m thrilled to have appear with mine in next week’s issue of Day One, and his wife Jessica Hahn, an amazing poetry-fiction duo I am grateful to have spent time with. On my way out the door with suitcases, Jessica gave me copies of the latest Indiana Review and Missouri Review. I also have a Cincinnati Review in my bag.

On the plane to Houston, I started with IR and am blown away. I’ve never read so many stories that thrilled me at once in a magazine. Out of the realist stories, Shannon Hefferman’s “Purple Plus,” Bess Winter’s “Bad” and DJ Thielke’s “Private Dark” all had endings that stayed with me long after the stories finished. Nick White’s uncanny story about a boy sketching teen siamese twins fascinates and glimmers with sorrow. Then the surreal and magical-real stories just blew me away. Daniel Hornsby’s “Giant Mechanical Unicorn, Piloted by Children” is such a beautiful, sad but hopeful dream about childhood. This one will stick with me as one way to write surrealism while still keeping a recognizable plot and such a core of emotion. Helena Bell’s “The Aliens Made of Glass” is about a nun in a pre-apocalyptic earth with aliens soon to land. The story rather prophetically asks, If God was in a box, would you look inside?

The other fiction in the issue was top notch. If you can pick up a copy or subscribe, you will be blown away.


Rochelle Hurt and Anne Valente

Last Saturday I was wowed by a reading at a neat little art gallery in Cincinnati. Rochelle Hurt read from her new poetry collection, The Rusted City, a brilliant narrative poem sequence with language sharp and gritty that reminds me of Madeline is Sleeping and fairy tales. Anne Valente has a short story collection coming out with Dzanc Books. She read a story about Amelia Earhart and girls who turn into bears–gorgeous and affecting, each sentence powerful. The strength and sorrow in her prose reminds me of Lauren Groff when she writes magical realism. While these two talented writers read, cartoon drawings on the art gallery walls behind them laughed and grimaced and screamed, voicing the audience’s thoughts. The audience was completely bewitched. What a great night for writing!

By Light We Knew Our Names, by Anne Valente

The Rusted City, by Rochelle Hurt

Read more of her work here: