Lovely Chaos…The Writing!

Want to see what I’ve written?

Click the links to preview and/or purchase the four anthologies where my short stories appear. Buy one, two, three, or collect all four!

Of course, I’ll be adding new writing as it’s available, because collecting is the most fun when it’s a challenge to keep up! =)

“A Splash of Red”

Two hawks, a woman, and a child perform a complex and threatening dance…

My short story “A Splash of Red” appears in the inaugural edition of the World Unknown Review. It’s a lyrical and surreal story with autobiographical elements.

The hawk wheels in the hopeful sky, vivid with sharp menace, feathers brighter than the changing leaves. The little girl circles me in a smaller echo of the great bird’s motion, its shadow covering her as it spirals, down and down and down again –

“I can protect myself!”  She spits her words into the frost-silvered air, and her words cut deeper than the gust of wind that rattles the dry leaves.  Her chin and eyes are fierce, even though she shivers in her thin red dress.
 
“You fell out of a tree,” I say, but my voice shivers, too.

Opening paragraphs of “A Splash of Red” by Shan Jeniah Burton

“Monday Morning Coffee”

A chance encounter at a train station arouses mysteries and new awareness…

“Monday Morning Coffee” is a story that had been with me for a decade before it took the form seen in World Unknown Review, Volume II. It’s an exploration of assumption, and awakening to new possibilities.

“Squeezing onto the edge of the bench furthest from the track, I’m glad for my warm, blanket-like cloak that makes the metal and the cold air tolerable, if not comfortable.   Another winter morning where I spurn the warmth of my bed to face the emptiness of my tiny little office, and my solitary work. I juggle my oversized purse and my latte in its lidded plastic mug as I try to settle next to a woman whose stiff body language says that she doesn’t want me here.

Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings I’ve ordered the same large caramel hazelnut double-shot soymilk latte from a chain of apathetic coffee-shop girls, interchangeable links with only appearance distinguishing one from another. My mind muzzily plays with images of coffee beans and the daily grind while I watch the writhing mass of humanity, all seeking warmth, but not connection. Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings, now, I’ve come to this plastic-walled little shelter, carrying the same cheap blue plastic travel mug to await my train.  It’s painful, almost, this combination of random touch and absence, the shuffling and low-grade babbling that says nothing.  Body brushes against body; no real contact is made.”

 -Opening paragraphs of “Monday Morning Coffee” by Shan Jeniah Burton

“Being Colette”

An encounter between lovers on a stormy winter night may be more than it seems…

My Pushcart Prize nominated story, “Being Colette,” began with a friend’s Facebook status update, and moved through several lives before taking on the form it possesses in Dark and Bitter, the inaugural anthology from the 518 Publishing Company.

“Lightning flares brightness and shadow around the room. Colette’s shriek outdoes the thunder that shakes the cabin to its stone foundation a second later. I hop back just in time to keep the log I was about to feed the fire from landing on my big toe, and spin to check on her, my heartbeat echoing the thunder.

She’s hugging the quilt tight, her hands fisted in the patchwork fabric. Her eyes are wide, fixed on mine, and she’s shaking. She looks more like a terrified little girl than a twenty-four-year-old career woman.

“Are you all right?” I want to go to her side, but something keeps my feet planted. “Are you c-cold, C-Colette?” Why am I stammering, when the fire is hot at my back?”

  Opening paragraphs of “Being Colette” by Shan Jeniah Burton

“Storm at Song Glass Cabin”

An artist weathers a storm, but her memories prove a more formidable force…

The criteria for Exploits in the Adirondacks, the excellent sophomore anthology from the 518  Publishing Company, was to set the story in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. From there, a news story of a shed made of glass and recent events in my own life combined to create “Storm at Song Glass Cabin”, a colorful and lyrical personal journey.

“I peer through intricately arranged silver, pearl, blue, and green. I love the way the rest of the world goes vague and muted when seen through stained glass. It’s what first brought me to this art, and what keeps me coming back.

There are too many empty spaces in the framework, too many places where I can see straight through to my studio window. I keep my focus on the symbol I’m creating, and the rays of color radiating outward from it.”

 Opening paragraphs of “Storm at Song Glass Cabin”, by Shan Jeniah Burton.

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