New Publication!

Quick word of yet more good news! My short story “New Skin”—an odd tale about a flirtatious, middle-aged fortuneteller and her lonely, sunburned daughter—has just been accepted for publication with Menacing Hedge, a truly weird (and weirdly great!) fiction magazine. Look for it this January!


Here’s just a quick taste of the story to come…

New Skin

By K.C. Mead-Brewer

Mom spent her summers drinking lemonade-tea cocktails on the front porch, smiling provocatively at fathers hurrying off to work or coming home late, and telling other peoples’ fortunes. Madame Peachy, they called her. Only, she didn’t read palms or crystal balls or tea leaves the way other witches did. My mom only ever saw the cosmos spelled out in piles of peeled sunburn skins. …

Tetons & Yellowstone 2014 316

Notable Essays of 2014 – Congratulations!

Good news!

William Bradley’s essay, “Marked,” published by Cleaver Magazine, has just been named a “Notable Essay of 2014” by Best American Essays.

Congratulations, William Bradley! And a special thanks also to Cleaver‘s terrific Editor-in-Chief Karen Rile — her vision and hard work allow works like Bradley’s to find the audiences they so deserve.


Autumn Reads!


Let’s bring in autumn with a big Cleaver Magazine THWACK! —Except quietly. People are trying to read, guys! Issue No. 11 is out—so let’s see what’s on the thwackin’ table.

***Full disclosure, I’m an Editor-at-Large with Cleaver, and am incredibly proud to be so given its talented staff, dedication to including emerging writers/artists in each issue, and its combination of traditional and nontraditional forms of storytelling.

I recommend giving the entire issue a read, but here are just a few of my personal favorites:

by Kirsten Aguilar

(creative nonfiction; emerging writer)

The day we went to see the baby, it rained. One of those rains that dumps and then is done, leaves you soaked but not shivering. The family lived on the same road as Celia and worked a plot of land that now, in the spring, burst up in stocks of corn. The father of the baby sat on the porch and waved us in despite our dripping clothes and mud-caked shoes. I cannot remember now where we were coming from or whether we’d planned the visit, but I do know that it was evening and Celia had her camera and inside the little house, two boys sat on stools eating rice and fish with their fingers. …

by Claire Rudy Foster

(short story)

That morning there was an email from Paul. Gemma clicked on it without thinking. Her coffee mug steamed at her elbow, too hot to drink. She forced her eyes to focus on the tiny electronic letters.Legal issues, he wrote. Looks like it’s back to jail, do not pass go. I’ll try to be out by summer break so we can meet again in the usual place. She had to read it twice, slowly. Then she slammed the laptop shut, as though extinguishing a flame. …

Works on Paper and Beyond

by Paula Rivera

(visual art)

by Laura Tanenbaum

(short story)

I decided to ask for the manual scan, so I was listening to this woman telling me to spread my legs, where she was going to put her hands, and I laughed because it seemed like porn. Not really like porn, of course, just like the way I imagined porn would be when I was a prim pre-internet teenager who’d never seen porn, right down to the crap lighting I somehow knew was something you were supposed to know about porn. The word banal came to mind. …

by Joe Baumann

(short story)

The bus crash devastated everyone.

That morning, Jane Philban looked out the kitchen window and tsked at the thunderheads perched above the trees. Her son bounced on the balls of his feet behind her, telling her it didn’t matter because the field trip was to the bowling alley and the bowling alley had a roof. …

by Caitlin McGill

(flash fiction; emerging writer)

Saria rocked in her chair on the porch, wondering how the trees kept still on such fierce nights. The house had grown so quiet since her mother’s boyfriend left—since she told her mother what he’d done—that it seemed like…

Today in Literature

Welcome to our premiere installment of Today in Literature!


September 15th through literary history…

  • Agatha Christie, acclaimed and beloved mystery writer, was born on this day in 1890, Torquay, UK
  • Robert Penn Warren, writer, critic, and poetry consultant to the U.S. Library of Congress, died on this day in 1989
  • Robert Benchley, writer and editor, was born on this day in 1889, Worcester, Massachusetts (famous also for darkly funny quotes like: “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.”)
  • Arthur Henry Hallam, poet and essayist, died on this day in 1883 at the tender age of twenty-two, and is now best remembered thanks to Alfred Lord Tennyson eulogizing him in his In Memoriam
  • Claude McKay, author, poet, and generally fascinating contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, was born on this day in 1890
  • James Fenimore Cooper, author (probably most famous for The Last of the Mohicans), was born on this day in 1789

My Favorite Writing Tips, Part I

Artists often get tons of advice from all over the place, from people who might know what they’re talking about and from plenty of others who don’t. This can make it difficult to wade through everything to what’s actually useful.

And so, as we start coming around to NaNoWriMo time again, I thought I’d post a fresh shortlist of some of my favorite (actually useful) tips and ideas:

1. From Vonnegut’s classic 8 rules for writing short stories: “Start as close to the end as possible.” —This encompasses so many excellent style pointers for both novels and short stories: don’t waste the reader’s time, more writing doesn’t equal more complexity/intrigue, world-building and character-building shouldn’t be different from plot advancement, and so on and so on.

2. From Drew Chial’s post, “Why Every Story Needs Its Own Pit of Snakes”: “The second act demands sacrifices.” This is an essential storytelling tenet: the rising action of a story must lead to an Act II sacrifice; it’s the moment where all sins culminate to push the hero to its lowest point, where a beloved secondary character bites it, where the hero loses (even if only temporarily) that which is held most dear. Of course, this often requires more sacrifice on part of the author than the story’s hero, as may be evidenced by the countless stories that end toothless and unsatisfying thanks to the hero’s climb being all too easy.

3. From Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing: “Zest. Gusto.” Bam!

4. From Stephen King’s On Writing: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” —A special note on this one: definitely be reading in whatever genre it is that you’re writing; don’t be afraid that someone will influence you and your voice—embrace it! I promise you, you’re not going to end up writing in their voice. Rather, you’ll simply be learning the tricks of the trade from peers and professionals while also learning how to make those tricks uniquely your own.

5. From Margaret Atwood: “The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read.” —Writing with an audience in mind is often a useful trick, but it can just as often be useful to imagine that the audience is you and you alone, or a perfect stranger, or a very specific, very faraway, and very scandalous (and thus difficult to scandalize) person.

Happy Writing!

Blogger Recognition Award – Huzzah!

First, let me extend a hearty Thank You to Eve Messenger of Eve Messenger’s OtherWORDly Endeavors for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award. You are too kind and I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my blog so far. If you enjoy YA lit, fantasy, or just plain great quirky humor, definitely check out Eve’s blog.

blogger recognition

Blogger Recognition Award Rules

  • Tell the world why you started blogging
  • Give advice/tips to new bloggers
  • Share the picture above
  • Nominate other blogs and let them know how awesome you think they are.
  • Share the link to Edge of Night for the original post.


Why I Blog

I started blogging mainly to help get myself through unfocused moments or times of writer’s block/avoidance during the week. I’ve also come to love blogging, however, for the ways it helps me connect with a larger community of writers and artists. I love the solitude and escape that my profession lends me day after day, but it is also a joy to get to meet and talk with other artists, learn from them, be inspired by them, and so forth.

Advice/Tips to New Bloggers

First, I completely agree with Eve’s No. 1 piece of advice: “Read lots of other people’s blogs and be brave about leaving comments, even if they seem lame.” Leaving comments is not only a great way to better connect with others in the blogging world, but also to boost up someone else. No matter how short or simple the comment, for me, seeing that someone else took the time to leave a comment on my blog–took the time to actually read and consider my post–always, always brightens my day. It’s happened more than once that a friendly comment on my blog has helped lift me up after I’ve received a rejection letter from a literary magazine or made me feel more confident about returning to a short story that’s been giving me a hard time.

Above all, be a generous reader! Be the reader that Writer You wants to have. And be a generous writer–be gracious, thoughtful, and sincere.

Alright, and onward to the main event: K.C.’s Blogger Recognition Award winners:

  • Musings on a Literary Journey – I am a big fan of author Nicole Dennis-Benn. Not only is she just a fascinating person in her own right, but her fiction is terrific as well. (She’s had more than one story nominated for a Pushcart Prize.) Definitely give her blog and other work a look! (Then maybe another look ;-))
  • Nights of Passion – While I’m really not much of a romance reader at all, I find I often love the voices, updates, and thoughts provided here by the writing team of Nights of Passion
  • Dirt Artful – I know what you’re going to say. Hey, you can’t just recommend a blog because of all its cute guinea pig photos! But I’m here to tell you that Yes, oh yes, I can. But I like Dirt Artful for many reasons beyond her awesome guinea pigs. A scientist, an artist, a Guinea Pig Ranger — this is a blog for everyone who wants a glimpse into an adventurous, fascinating life.

Meet Buffalo, Mascot Extraordinaire

Meet Buffalo, the new official mascot of my current novel-in-progress.20150811_100013

My writers group recently decided that, along with our writing goals, we would also set up a carrot system for ourselves to remind us that, even though we may be tragically unpaid for extended periods of time, this doesn’t mean that we aren’t working full time or that our work is somehow unworthy of pay/recognition.

One of my goals is to make sure that, on top of my regular gigs and novel writing, I produce and submit at least one new short story per month. My carrot? Every month I get a new story written and submitted on time, I get to treat myself to a new houseplant. :-)

Buffalo, I’m proud to carry you over the threshold in celebration of a goal well-met.

What kinds of goals do you set for yourself as a writer and/or reader? Do you use a carrot system? If so, what kinds of rewards do you prefer?

A strange journey through the worlds of writing and publishing


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