Forthcoming from Paradisiac Publishing in fall 2018

What do you do when the thing you thought most necessary turns out to be something else?

The narrators of these thirteen sassy, outrageous stories all think they know what they need—and are all surprised, in different ways, to find out what is really important. Whether it’s jumping from a plane, starting a romance or ending one, connecting with one’s children, or running the most powerful country on the planet, their worlds fall apart and then get rebuilt, in surprising and tender ways, on the new discoveries rising from the rubble. Bold, sneaky, sometimes bewildered, and always jumping in feet first, these characters will steal your heart, turn it upside down, shake out all its contents, and give you back what you most need, polished clear and whole. Includes short shorts, short stories, and a novella.

More about Paradisiac Publishing

Table of contents

“The Necessaries” – first published in Oklahoma Review 5.2

Ben told me that the top floor of the Sears Tower moves anywhere from seven to thirteen inches in a good ripping wind.

“Ficus” – first published in District Lit

“It’s true,” the woman said. “I think I’m ready.”

She crossed her legs at the ankle. She touched the handles of her heavy shoulder bag and then patted her knee, like she was putting something into place.

“Tandem” – a favorite in the River Cities’ Reader 2016 Short Story Contest

The jumpmaster hitched the strap around my waist and buckled it. I felt his hand brush my hip. “Tighter,” I said.

“That’s tight,” he said. Brandon said, “Mom.”

“Bay City” – appeared in part in the anthology DOMESTIC (Willow Press, 2017)

The trouble began when Blanche jumped out of the convertible at the first wayside. It was Parker’s fault; neither Simon nor I cared for boiled peanuts, but Parker considered that she needed a North Florida souvenir.

“Smoke Inhalation” – first published in Forword (Cornell University)

You go to the bar because he wants you to; he always wants to go to the bar, it’s one of the few places he can smoke and he knows you dislike it but he smokes anyway, heavily, malevolently, lighting the next Marlboro with the one already clamped between his teeth, while the exhaled smoke curls back toward his mouth, towards those lips that for a while you thought of as belonging to you. His hands are shaking again.


It starts out as a burn across her forearm, a small thing in itself, about two inches long. When I notice she pulls her hand back, hiding it beneath the café table.

“The President in Rome”

 The President of the United States is learning Italian.

“River Bottom” – first published in Fiction Attic

She sat on the deep wooden porch in the chair her grandfather had made, and she rocked.

“Happiness” – first published in The Cerurove 1

At twilight, two heavenly messengers appeared on my doorstep.

“We’ve come to bring you happiness,” they said.

I thought about it. “I’m already happy.”

“This is How to Hold”

This is how to hold a baseball: light and easy, knuckles curving around the sphere, balancing it on your fingertips. Think about your wrist dropping back and snapping forward, your arm a grand arc, the ball hurtling like a small planet straight at the catcher’s face. Don’t think about Billy Johnson, that jerk, scowling from the dugout, got a girl on his team.

“Bedtime Fairy Tale”

–So in the kingdom in the mountains there was this princess—

–No, that’s not how it begins.

“Flight” – first published in Grasslimb 4.1

I admit it’s been a long-awful day for both of us. What did it I guess was the crayons, though the dinosaurs were close to breaking me.

“Welcome to!”

Finalist for the 2015 Novella Contest held by Minerva Rising Press

April 24. So, girls. Have you noticed all the new fashions this spring are in pink? What is this, the 1950s? It frightens me, ladies, it truly does, to see what the hetero world is doing to its women. This is third wave feminism, my friends and followers: we are now free to express our inner pinkdom?

Contact Misty to preorder your copy now!