I'm very pleased that my speculative story "Dust Devils" has been published by Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment.
Read the story here.
Flyway is a journal of Iowa State University "that explores the many complicated facets of the word environment – whether rural, urban, or suburban; whether built or wild – and all its social and political implications." Flyway "focuses on ecology, science and the environmental imagination" and "on place, on natural and built environments, and on the ways that people interact with their environments."
Local author Neva Bryan is among the poets, essayists, and fiction writers published in the 2018 volume of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers. Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author, served as editorial advisor for the anthology.
This year’s volume features an array of Pushcart writers, several Weatherford Award winners, and the work of two state poet laureates.
Neva Bryan is the author of three novels and a collection of short stories and poems. Nearly fifty of her poems and short stories appear in dozens of literary journals. Her work has also been anthologized in We All Live Downstream: Writings about mountaintop removal, published by Motes Books in 2009.
The Wiley Cash volume of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Shepherd University’s tenth volume of the anthology series, features the poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction of writers across the country and the region. The book is published by Shepherd University and the West Virginia Center for the Book. Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Appalachian Studies Coordinator at Shepherd University and managing editor of the Wiley Cash volume of the anthology, called the book “one of our best anthologies ever.”
Literary editors for the anthology include Brianna Maguire, David O. Hoffman, and Natalie Sypolt, and the contributors come from across the nation. Wiley Cash, editorial advisor for the anthology, was the 2017 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University, and his novel A Land More Kind than Home was the WV Common Read selection by the West Virginia Center for the Book. This tenth volume of the anthology series contains original and previously unpublished work by Cash, as well as an interview and essay on his writing.
The book also has photographic art that will be part of a September anthology celebration event on the Shepherd campus at the Byrd Legislative Center, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
The book can be purchased at Four Seasons Books, the Shepherd University Book Store, Tamarack, Amazon, and other outlets. For information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, SShurbut@shepherd.edu.
I'm honored that my short story "Crash" has been published by Still: The Journal. Here's a link to the story: "Crash."
Still: The Journal was co-founded by author Silas House and poet Marianne Worthington. The journal's mission is to publish the "finest in contemporary literary writing of Central Appalachia, or the Mountain South."
Also from the website: "Our emphasis is on the literature of the Southern Appalachian region, and we are committed to publishing excellent writing that does not rely on clichés and stereotypes. We want to feature writing that exemplifies the many layers and complexities of the region or that is written by an author with a connection to the region."
I am thrilled to have my speculative story “Dust Devils” published in Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment.
Flyway is a journal of Iowa State University “that explores the intersection of human experience and the environment” and “all its social and political implications.”
Here is a link: http://flywayjournal.org/fiction/dust-devils-neva-bryan/
I'm honored to have a short story accepted by Still: The Journal, a literary site founded and edited by Silas House and Marianne Worthington.
I'm not sure when it will be published. February, maybe.
My story "Once You've Been a Fox" appears in Quail Bell Magazine. Read it here.
"Quail Bell Magazine is a multimedia publication that explores the imaginary, the nostalgic, and the otherworldly through the highest quality creative and journalistic content. This includes culture, commentary, original literature, and many oddities."
I'm pleased to announce that one of my flash fiction stories has been published by Pif Magazine. Read "Remodel" here.
An excerpt from “Bobby Boyd’s Bad Eyes.” Inwood Indiana: Reaping (August 2016).
I had to apologize to Izzy for doubting him. Sure enough, that pony could play.
His name was Molasses and that’s what color he was, although his mane was as black as Bobby’s eyes. He stood just outside the back of the house with his head poking through an open window. We sat at a round table pushed up against the wall. When it was Molasses’ turn to play, Bobby would hold the cards up to him and he would nuzzle one to throw down. Every so often Bobby would feed him an apple slice or a baby carrot from a bowl under the table.
Now, a poker-playing pony is an amazing sight, but one that wins the game? I have to say, it was a little humbling. I’d never been a great poker player anyway, so I took it all in stride. Cal, on the other hand, got really mad. He had laid out a full house, sure that he had the winning hand. When Bobby showed the table Molasses’ straight flush, Cal turned as pink as a cat’s tongue. He cussed and shoved his chips across the table. One bounced up and hit the pony on the muzzle.
Bobby came across the table at Cal. The man would have gotten an ass-shining for sure if Izzy and Dennis hadn’t pulled Bobby off him. That kind of put a damper on the whole proceeding, so Dennis and Cal struck out for home. Izzy made as if to go too, but I hung back.
“I’ll bring her home,” Bobby told him.
I could see Izzy wasn’t comfortable leaving me there but I didn’t care. I grinned and waggled my fingers at him. Hit the road, Cuz!
I watched the jeep’s taillights disappear into the darkness, then stood on the porch listening to the crickets. The sound washed over me, followed by a tidal wave of despair. For a moment, I felt the urge to run up the long, rocky driveway. I changed my mind, Izzy, I wanted to shout.
Shotgun Honey has published my flash fiction piece "Bomb Diggity."
It's a little different from my usual work. Warning: If you're easily offended, this is not for you. If you enjoy quirky fiction, proceed.
Shotgun Honey publishes very short crime stories and calls itself Fiction with a Kick.
I'm kinda over the moon right now!
I just learned that one of my short stories will be published in a magazine that has featured the work of STEPHEN KING and RAMSEY CAMPBELL, my two favorite horror authors.
This award-winning magazine, which has been around since the sixties, has published other well-known horror and fantasy heavy hitters I admire. :)
I believe the publication date will be October, but don't have any other details to share right now.
Thank you to The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature for publishing my short story “Sparks and Vinegar.” You can read the entire story here.
The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature started publishing fine literature more than two decades ago. In its earliest incarnation it was known as the Eastern North Carolina Literary Journal. Today The Dead Mule is owned and operated by Robert and Valerie MacEwan.
Origin of its name: No good Southern fiction is complete without a dead mule. This phrase was inspired by comments from Harley Dartt and Jerry Mills.
“It wasn’t the coyote in the back of the Ranchero. The cop saw me tossing carpet tacks onto the road. He didn’t see the coyote until he pulled us over.”
I shook my head, but my thoughts didn’t get any clearer. I massaged one temple as I asked my brother, “Did you say coyote?”
“Yeah. Jed and me were up on one of those old strip jobs, just driving around. It ran out in front of us. He nicked it with the front bumper. We thought it was dead at first, but when we saw it breathing, I tied it up in the back of the truck with some baling twine and duct tape.”
I didn’t know what to question first. Why was Sawyer throwing carpet tacks in the road? Why kidnap a coyote? What were they doing at an abandoned surface mine? Actually, I was pretty sure the answer to that last one was drinking.
From “Spooky Action at a Distance.” Jimson Weed, vol. XXXV, new series vol. 19, no. 1 (Spring 2016).
“You are a beautiful tragedy. My grievous angel. Here, hold my eye.”
That's the first line of THICKER THAN WATER, my short story that appears on the Fried Chicken and Coffee blogazine.
You can read the entire story by clicking here.
I'm pleased to announce that my short story "Bobby Boyd's Bad Eyes" is published online and in print at Inwood Indiana Press.
The print version is still at press, but the online version is live: http://inwoodindiana.com/bobby-boyds-bad-eyes-neva-bryan/
"The sun woke me up slashing the walls with its bright yellow blades. I studied on the dust motes floating in the air for a while, then I got up and went to the bedroom. I saw right away it was a done deal. That’s when I called the police and told them to come on up to Pawpaw Ridge."
From "The Devil's Better Half." Floyd County Moonshine, (February 2009).
When he cocked his head at me and grinned, I saw a slight gap between his two front teeth. As he smiled, his eyes darkened from coffee-and-cream to pure black liquid. His hair was the color of my Granny’s apple butter; I thought how sweet it would be to free it from its tight ponytail and watch it tumble down around me. Just looking at him made me hungry.
from "Sawmill Boys.” Appalachian Heritage, vol. 34, no. 4 (Fall 2006).
I wasn’t wild about winter on Pawpaw Ridge. If ever there’s been a godforsaken place, it’s that mountain in the middle of February. The trees was slick and black and they pinched the empty air like they was mad. The snow was not white up there, but blue. It seemed unnatural to look out on that blue snow with the sun grinning down on it not doing a bit of good. And the wind was all the time blowing. That was what got to me the most.
I was always running to the door or the window to see who was tapping. Like to drove me crazy. Royce was used to the air creeping around the house, poking every corner with its invisible fingers.
From “The Devil’s Better Half.” Floyd County Moonshine, (February 2009).
A sawmill boy can take a 4X4 between the eyes that’ll lay him out flat on his ass and then get back up to finish his workday. They all wear a strange cologne of diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid, and cigarette smoke. Sawdust trails them like breadcrumbs for the lost. They’re lean, with knotty arms and hard faces, but their eyes are dreamy.
from "Sawmill Boys.” Appalachian Heritage, vol. 34, no. 4 (Fall 2006).
Sometimes he woke me up in the middle of the night. "Dance with me."
Ignoring my protests, he whirled me around the room, singing along to the music. Most of the time he played Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, or Janis Joplin. "The Three Graces," he called them. He sang "God Bless the Child" to the mound in my belly. I loved him most in those moments.
Other times I hated him.
From "Hard Lesson." Jimson Weed, vol. XXXIV, new series vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2015).
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