A Conversation with Water~Stone Review

I learned I’d had a story accepted by Water~Stone Review on Aztec Butte, in Canyonlands National Park, on a family vacation. We reached the top after a steep scramble over sandstone. I noticed my cell phone had regained reception and checked messages. (My excuse: a problem securing horseback-riding reservations, and two daughters who really wanted to ride.) An email from Fiction Editor Sheila O’Connor appeared: “I’m delighted to let you know….” I announced the news to my family on the butte-top, surrounded by a vast landscape of red rock. The four of us rejoiced, and then again, when the horseback-riding reservations came through.

WSR CoverSeven months later, after a round of revisions and a chance to proof my pages, Water~Stone Review 20 arrived inside my screen door. My story was planted amid powerful poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Wrapping the writing: a cover photo of red, orange, and gold tissue-paper poppies, Thousands of Poppies, by Kathleen Hawkes and Misha Bolstad. Poppies bled to the cover’s smooth front and back flaps. Poppies bloomed on a bookmark inside. Everything about this literary annual said ‘made with care and respect for the work.’

Months after publication, Water~Stone Review took time to ask me some questions about writing. I had the chance to think about my process and name some writers I’ve found inspiring—one more high that I hope is worth sharing: In the Field, Conversations with our Contributors.

Writing and Connecting

Writers are fortunate in many ways. We need few tools to do our work. Pen and paper, a computer, or even a phone will do. Finding the time, physical space, and mind space to write are bigger challenges. Do we need our own personal websites? I have always wanted my work to speak for itself and my words to be read in the places and publications that accepted them. Teaching writing, and sharing my own writing in MFA workshops and elsewhere, has given me an ever-growing appreciation for the power of connecting with other writers, with readers, and with the broader literary community.

Connections with fellow writers have inspired me to create new work, to try new forms, to revise, to improve, and to teach. I hope this site provides one more way to connect.