Horses, Coyotes, and Finding Your Readers

Posted on 12 September 2011

My short story “Return to Stillbrook Farm,” which will appear in Living Arrangements, will be published in the next issue of the journal Three Coyotes. The issue is tentatively scheduled to be released in mid November.

“Return to Stillbrook Farm” surrounds a young woman who returns to her family’s equestrian facility after her mother’s death. The story originated as a handful of writing exercises I worked on during a 2007 workshop at the beautiful Chautauqua Institution. It was a fairly fast-paced workshop; we were given an assignment in the afternoon, were tasked to write several pages of a scene that night, and then critiqued those scenes the next day.  At the time, when I was facing the blank page, I often thought, “This is never, ever going to work.” Yet, miraculously — and doesn’t writing often work this way? — I was able to create something out of nothing and ended up with a few scenes I actually liked. Some of those scenes even remain in the completed work today.

Back in 2007, when I workshopped my first scene in Chautauqua, some people loved it while others — the writers who tended to prefer action/adventure or war stories — were less enthralled. That was when the instructor reminded us that not everyone was going to fall in love with every type of writing. “You have to find your readers,” she said.

That’s what I hope for myself and for you, too: that we all find our readers.

Where are your readers hiding?

p.s. I will actually have some updates regarding Living Arrangements very soon. My blog mojo has been a little run down lately, so I’m reluctant to blurt out everything in one post.

Photo: rjones0856

6 responses to Horses, Coyotes, and Finding Your Readers

  • Downith says:

    Where are my readers hiding? I don’t know, but I sure hope I find them.

    And I will be one of your readers when Living Arrangements finally comes out!

  • Felicity says:

    Look forward to you getting your blog mojo back!



  • Averil Dean says:

    What readers?

    (Very excited for news of your book. I’d be jealous of all your successes but I’m just so damn happy for you, Brunhilde. Please let it go to your head so I can smite you as I should.)

  • lisahgolden says:

    Wherever they might be hiding, I hope my work will draw them out. Okay that’s me trying to be positive.

    I’m very excited about the release about Living Arrangements, but I’m prepared to be patient for information.

  • LOVE this peek inside your book. I was already looking forward to it, but this story sold me.

    Not hiding, over here. I’m waiting right out front, with anticipation.

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