Interview with Haunted Waters Press

Usually, I’m the one conducting the interviews. But recently, the tables were turned and I had a chance to answer some questions for Haunted Waters Press. You can find the interview at hauntedwaterspress.com.

I was honored to find out that I had won Round 1 of HWP’s Penny Fiction Competition. I have no doubt that they received all kinds of wonderful submissions, so that fact that mine somehow stood out and was chosen is really exciting. The winning story will be featured in the 2016 issue of From the Depths.

Thank you, Haunted Waters Press. And thank you, readers, for following along on my writing adventures. Cheers!

 

Love is in the Air: Destination Weddings

It’s proposal season! Whether your engagement started during the winter holidays or your proposal is planned for Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect time of year to start thinking about the big day. If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding but would like to explore options that don’t involve getting sand between your toes, check out these unique destination-wedding ideas in the Southwestern U.S. You can find my round-up of fantastic knot-tying spots at USNews.com’s travel section:

4 Under-the-Radar Wedding Destinations in the Southwest

New Fiction in Boston Literary Magazine

I’m so proud to see my flash fiction story, “She Visits,” in the Winter 2015 issue of Boston Literary Magazine:

http://bostonliterarymagazine.com/win15quick.html

While the story as a whole is rather surreal, it was born from the most mundane, everyday experiences. Seeing it published has reminded me that inspiration can come from any source.

Hope you enjoy the story!

 

Join Us for a Reading at the Vegas Valley Book Festival

Join me and other local writers at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on October 17, 2015. We’ll be participating in a reading in the Poetry Courtyard on Saturday morning from 10:15-10:30 a.m.

Thank you to Helen: A Literary Magazine for inviting me!

Watch this snazzy YouTube video to learn more about the event:

Why flash fiction should be on your radar

Flash fiction may be short, but it packs a powerful punch, both in terms of its content and its power to help boost your writing portfolio. Whether you are an experienced author or are looking to break into the fiction-writing world, it’s time to consider submitting your flash fiction for publication.

Although flash fiction can be challenging to write, it is more manageable to edit and polish thanks to its short length. This makes the process of completing stories and submitting them to fiction markets much faster compared to longer-form writing. The more submissions you’re able to send out, the greater your chances of getting a story published. Plus, seeing those acceptance emails in your inbox will help keep you motivated.

Additionally, that one perfect sentence that you loved, but that never turned into a complete story, doesn’t have to spend its life relegated to an obscure document folder on your computer. Instead, it can be submitted to ultra-flash markets like Nanoism, Seven by Twenty, or Cuento, all of which publish Twitter-length fiction of 140 characters or less. Another fun venue for microscopic fiction is Nailpolish Stories, which publishes works of exactly 25 words whose titles are based on nail polish colors. (I’ve been fortunate to have my work published by these ultra-flash markets. Stop by my portfolio to see more.)

Despite its constraining, brief format, there are a myriad flash fiction publications that represent a broad range of genres. Writers working in the romance genre can consider submitting to Romance Flash, which seeks previously unpublished works of romantic fiction under 1,000 words. Or, perhaps you’re in love with crafting science fiction. Check out Flash Fiction Online, which Science Fiction Writers of America (SWFA) recognizes as a professional market. Authors focused on literary, non-genre fiction can send their stories to NANO Fiction, which seeks new works of 300 words or less. (Of course, you’ll want to be sure to check out each publication’s submission guidelines before sending in your work.)

Another compelling reason to give flash fiction a try is that it appeals to today’s readers. In our social-media obsessed, quick-paced society, flash fiction is gaining popularity, and new markets seem to be popping up every day. Thanks in part to its brevity, the format allows you to reach readers that might otherwise miss your lengthier work.

Are you ready to start your flash-fiction writing journey? Be sure to begin by carefully reading submission guidelines and checking out a few past issues before you submit your work. And don’t forget to discover new flash fiction publications by stopping by the market listings at The Grinder or the subscription-based Duotrope.

Hiking to the Top of Exploration Peak

Exploration Peak, Las Vegas
The view from Exploration Peak, Las Vegas | Image by Sarah Vernetti

Even though I’ve lived in Las Vegas for almost four years, I’m still so fascinated by its sweeping vistas. Thanks to the rather stark desert landscape, catching a glimpse of the Strip from miles away isn’t uncommon.

One of the great views of the Las Vegas Valley can be found at Exploration Peak Park, located in a suburban area along Buffalo Drive, just south of Blue Diamond Road. In addition to a large playground with unique Western-themed play structures and a splash pad, Exploration Peak Park also offers a short trail that takes visitors to the top of–you guessed it–Exploration Peak. From here, the views of the valley are impressive; you’ll see everything from suburban neighborhoods to desert to mountain ranges to the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

Exploration Peak Park, Las Vegas
Looking down on Exploration Park | Image by Sarah Vernetti

The trail is unpaved and fairly steep, so watch your footing as you hike. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a nice observation patio from which to enjoy the views.

Exploration Peak trail, Las Vegas
The trail | Image by Sarah Vernetti

Even though this trail won’t take you far from civilization, the typical desert-hiking rules apply: bring plenty of drinking water, wear sunscreen, and be sure you’ve looked at a map or have your phone handy in case you get lost.

Exploration Peak Park is located at 9700 S. Buffalo Dr.

Exploration Peak, Las Vegas
Watch your step | Image by Sarah Vernetti

Postcard: Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle, Arizona
Montezuma Castle National Monument | Image by Sarah Vernetti

Built by the Sinagua people approximately 900 years ago, this historic structure now serves as an example of early cliff dwellings in the American Southwest.

Pros: Montezuma Castle can be viewed from a short, easy-to-navigate trail, which makes this a quick visit for those who are short on time or are traveling with small children. Also, because Montezuma Castle is located along the route from Sedona to Phoenix, this is a convenient stop for those road-tripping through Arizona.

Cons: There was a time when visitors to the park could actually climb up and explore the cliff dwellings, but that is no longer the case for safety and conservation reasons. The current restrictions are totally understandable, but it’s hard not to look up at the castle and think about how cool it would be to actually see it up close.

Have you visited Montezuma Castle? What did you think?