Misty’s award-winning short fiction has appeared in international and national journals both in print and online, and in several anthologies. Her debut collection A LESSON IN MANNERS won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award and was published by Snake Nation Press. Her second collection, THE NECESSARIES, is forthcoming this fall from Paradisiac Publishing.
The ten stories in this haunting and hilarious collection offer a how-to manual for dealing with love, lies, and loneliness. Sam Wesson, an up-and-coming country-western singer, plots to get pregnant without her boyfriend’s consent, while Dacey, already pregnant, confronts her cheating husband over her secret checking account. Andrea rescues a stray dog to avoid facing her complicated human relationships. Sarah, an exotic dancer, longs for employment at a religious theme park, and Amelia dreams of creating impossible bonsai. Whether facing life-threatening illness or life-threatening loss, these characters scheme in humble, funny, sympathetic, and outrageous ways to find an etiquette that will deliver them from disappointment and shield them from crushing grief.
“Urban takes readers on an amazing journey in this exceptional collection of short stories. The author has an uncanny ability to explore relationships, love, and loss in a fresh and original way. These are powerful stories told by a strong voice and written with vivid precision, leaving readers wondering what happens to the characters after their stories end.” —Publisher’s Weekly starred review
“An extraordinary collection that distills the lives of ordinary people—refreshing, compelling, and moving.” —Jacob M. Appel, Judge
“Pandemic,” winner in the River Cities’ Reader Short Fiction Contest 2017
The stainless steel door to my laboratory whispered open. The Director had her heavies with her, the tall Punjabi I’d named Muff and Scruff. The midnight-black car far below had rolled away, armored SUVS before and behind. So you see I was expecting this interruption; it did not take me by surprise.
“The Fitting,” in DOMESTIC (Willow Press, 2017)
My Aunt Nat’s bridal shop stood tucked between a fish fry place and a tourist mini-mart selling T-shirts, surfboards, and rack after rack of bathing suits and sunglasses. I tried prepping Parker to meet my aunt, but apparently chatting on the phone over bust measurements and train lengths had already turned them into old friends.
“Care of the Soul” in Karawane: Or, the Temporary Death of the Bruitist
So you know how sometimes you get this announcement from the universe on who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing, and it’s so loud and clear and “this is what I mean” that you really can’t afford to ignore it? Okay, so maybe not everyone.
“The Last Word” appeared in Talking River 40
“She left me,” Tom says, looking straight ahead. “She walked out. Janie’s gone.”
I reach for a stool and sit down next to him, hard. “What?” I should try to sound more surprised. “When?”
“Sudden Gone” appeared in Moonsick Magazine Issue 2
A girl is walking crooked down a sidewalk, indigo sky, skin itching like a hunger. Think you know this story?
“A Lesson in Manners” collected in Sisters: An Anthology. Eds. Jan Freeman, Emily Wojcik, and Deborah Bull (Paris Press, 2009)
Hysterically funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking, this collection of original and rediscovered short stories, letters, essays, poems, and novel excerpts includes work by an eclectic chorus of famous and emerging writers. Sisters: An Anthology is as complicated and exhilarating as the relationships it reveals. The sisters in Sisters are guardians of memories and secrets; they are sources of love, protection, and comfort as well as rage, jealousy, and searing pain. At last an anthology that captures the pivotal relationship in the lives of so many girls and women throughout history and around the world!
“This fusion of fiction, poetry and memoir bubbles with childhood laughter but also sounds notes of pain and loss.” — Ms. Online
“Someone in the House” in Dos Passos Review 3.1
Something is different: something is not as you left it. The house holds a suggestion, a vibration only, a signal of danger pulsing like waves of cold air. The cold comes from the basement. The waves come from the window, leaning open like a drunk.
“Table for Four” in CAIRN 3
It felt to her sometimes, in the middle of an evening rush like this, that she alone held the secret that animated this little restaurant; she alone had the hawk’s-eye view of its organization, its beating heart, and if she forgot the secret, if the knowledge went from her, everything around her would disappear.
“Saving Grace” in Asphodel 3
Grace has discovered that she is shrinking. She doesn’t know exactly when it began but she can see the effects now when she studies herself in the mirror, which she was never in the habit of doing, even when she was fuller and there was more to her to look at.
“Small Burials” in The Madison Review 25.2
Gary at least is up front about everything. My mother tries to trick me. She says she wants to see where I work. She tells me the group is for her, something about women with digestive disorders, and she wants me to come with her for moral support.