I've been slow to write short stories, but for a reason that's been a gift. In August, I became an editor for Owl's Nest Publishers. Owl's Nest is based in Madison, Wisconsin, not far from where I live in Iowa.
I recently met with Karin, the owner. We chatted in the Barnes and Noble café, and I brought along one of Karin's books, Son of the Deep, so my daughter, Shannon, could have an author-signed copy. Karin wrote to her, "All our lives are stories."*
It's for the love of stories and for the lives interwoven with them that I'm thrilled to write, edit, and be a part of the Owl's Nest team. Owl's Nest is committed to producing good books for families, and says, "Our vision is to make space for the in-between stories—the stories about the magical years connecting childhood and adulthood." I've linked their website below. Check out their new and upcoming books for older kids and teens.
In the meantime, I completed a short story about Salva, a bilingual middle schooler. Her inner struggles manifest as she tags along with her older brother on a summer day, and readers will cheer for Salva, especially when she encounters a magical surprise. This story was a writing-prompt challenge with my friends at the GCD Writers' Guild. I labored to put together 3,000 words—writing a novel is like running a marathon—but I viewed this story as training for a 5K. If I'm to be an editor, I need to stay in shape as a writer.
Other recent writing projects include an interview with an editor I know from the GCD Writers' Guild. Benjamin has edited and published several articles I've written for Gospel-Centered Discipleship. You can click on the link further below to see how we collaborated. He explains the mystery of article pitching. Soon after, I pitched an article idea of my own to an online publication!
I also spent hours writing a book review that stretched both my organizational skills and theological thinking. My review on Amazon received four helpful votes. Book reviews can be viewed as a thank-you note to the author for their time spent.
Lastly, I'll end with a haiku I wrote and submitted to the annual University of Iowa writing contest. Haiku poems are only three lines with a limited 5,7,5 syllable-count. I prefer haiku over solving Wordle puzzles.
Words clichéd can spurn
Concrete sidewalks, only yours
To trod and discern
It's cliché to say, "A picture is worth a thousand words," so instead of commenting on the image, I hope you'll discern how the above photo ties into my very short poem. I took this picture while vacationing in Alabama.
If you'd like to read something longer, here's my recent article published by friends at GCD which stemmed from visiting the Gulf Coast in Alabama. https://gcdiscipleship.com/article-feed/undersea-refuge-and-strength?rq=friesen
Owl's Nest Publishers: https://www.owlsnestpublishers.com/#/
Article-pitching interview: https://gcdiscipleship.com/article-feed/article-publishing-truths-and-a-lie-an-interview-with-benjamin-vrbicek?rq=friesen
Book review for Trevin Wax: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1TQVEXVNSM00T/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=151400500X
* Updated paragraph 11/14/22