writing

Bonus Stories! (With Lightning & Rivers) 

I have a couple offerings for you today, two stories: a video and a podcast. They’re both magical and odd, and they’re from my debut flash fiction chapbook, NOW, THAT’S A TRICK, which is currently available for preorder from Finishing Line Press. (!!)

First, the video. Hello! 🖖🏼 This is the title story, ”Now, That’s a Trick,” from my chapbook. It was first published in Zizzle Literary last year. (In this video, you may also notice evidence of the indoor mosquito that was haunting me. (Summertime.))

Now, the podcast. Maybe you could use a 15-minute break to listen to a story about love and river men. Yes? These have been awful days in the news. Claim some downtime and listen to a story. The newest podcast mini-episode from Plume: A Writer’s Podcast (my amazing crew! 💜) features my story, ”If the River Men Take You” (first published in Annalemma).

Listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1204304/10853586-season-3-episode-4-plume-story-time-if-the-river-men-take-you-by-dawn-sperber

(You can learn more about what we’re all doing with the writing community at Plume: A Writer’s Companion, here.)

I hope you enjoy these story offerings, and if you’re inspired to buy my chapbook, I’d just love it. My advance sales period (which determines my royalties rate) ends on July 1, so it would be awesome if you ordered your copy of NOW, THAT’S A TRICK by then, though preorders will still be available after that date. Chapbooks are scheduled to ship August 26.

I hope your days are full of good stories, and your goals are supported! ❤️⚡️

~ Dawn

A Potent Reflection & a Magical Book for You ⚡️

At my mom’s house, I see her thoughts in what’s in the room and where it’s placed. It helps me feel closer to her. It’s healing to be surrounded by her evidence and decisions and her mind reflected in all of these details. The tangibility feels like a blessing during this confusing loss, while I try to understand her absence and this pivot to my life’s trajectory. I love seeing the big ceramic S on the kitchen counter next to her tea supplies, her crystal bowl full of Stevia packets, her pile of neatly folded linen dish towels with quaint patterns.

The main place to sit in the house is on her blue-and-white checkered couch, so while I sit here, I can imagine her seated countless days in that spot over the past almost-30 years, and imagine her taking so many naps with different sleeping bags and blankets, tucked in cozy with the TV on (maybe playing Out of Africa again or a British murder mystery).

In front of the couch, there’s a framed picture that hangs in the wall’s inset area that it fits perfectly, making the theme for the room. The frame holds an Impressionist print of two women reading a large book, sitting by a window, and the colors are pinks and maroon and emerald and moss green, and the light is shining through the window, and it totally shows my mom‘s vibe. My mom had another large framed print with three young girls looking down at a large open book, and one of them looked a lot like me, and I looked a lot like her when we were both young.

I love how she encouraged reading and learning in all of these subtle and overt ways. Now that I’ve become a person who’s devoted her entire life towards writing and words, I can really see my mom’s influence and encouragement and what a blessing that has been on me, and I love looking forward as I sit on this checkered couch and gaze at those two women reading the book by the window, and how one has her hand up to her chest like she is overtaken.

⚡️❤️⚡️

#findingauthentichealingrituals

⚡️❤️⚡️

It’s almost my birthday, and my birthday wish is that you buy my debut fiction chapbook, NOW, THAT’S A TRICK — available for preorder now. My preorder sales determine my royalty percentage, so if you want a copy, this is the perfect time to order yours! This chapbook of magical realism stories will ship August 26.

Thank you, and I hope your dreams are supported too.

⚡️❤️⚡️



Plume Season 2 Finale

This year, I’ve been grateful to share support and inspiration with the wonderful Plume writing community. Our Season 2 Finale episode is a group reading, “A Plume Collage of Voices,” consisting of featured writers, roundtable panelists, and community members, which turned out beautifully. Check out the authentic, skillful writing gathered in this episode of Plume: A Writer’s Podcast, including short works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I contributed my flash sci-fi story, “Inoculation,” published earlier this year in Daily Science Fiction. I really love the wide range of short works in this reading.

“A Plume Collage of Voices” features work by these excellent writers (pictured above, left to right): Samantha Tetangco, Melanie Unruh, Dawn Sperber, Cynthia Sylvester, Cynthia Patton, Elsa Valmadiano, Jameela Fay Dallis, Brenna Gomez, Cassie McClure, Arlaina Ash, Julia Halprin Jackson, Rhea Ramakrishnan, Nari Kirk, Suzanne Richardson, and Marlena Chertock.

You can find the episode on your favorite podcast app under Plume: A Writer’s Podcast, or listen here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1204304/9598434-season-2-episode-14-a-plume-collage-of-voices. Learn more about Plume: A Writer’s Companion at plumeforwriters.org

Wishing you good stories!

~Dawn

Plume: A Writer’s Companion

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Have you heard about Plume yet? It’s a writer subscription service based in New Mexico that sends out monthly packages full of creative inspiration and encouragement to women writers. You should see their lovely packages and boxes, full of little surprises and treats. I’m the featured writer for December, and there are still a couple days left to place your order by November 30.

Interested? You can read an interview I did with them, here.

Go to Plume’s website to learn more about them, their inspiring mission, and how to order your December subscription! It’s a beautiful way to nurture your creative spirit.

New story!

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Just now, my story “Ravenous Mermaids” arrived in Bourbon Penn, Issue 17. (!!) You can find the whole story here.

“Ravenous mermaids have migrated from the deep sea and into the local ponds and waterways where the local children play,” says the issue’s intro.

Ultimately, it’s a story about healing, in its own way — by way of ravenous, lovely mermaids with shark teeth; and wild wolves; and the mythology of our lives.

Bourbon Penn 17 looks like a wonderful issue. I’m psyched to be in it, and I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories there. Looking for a journey? Dive into my “Ravenous Mermaids,” if you dare.

Watch yourself, mind.

I Find You in the Timing

I was thinking of something else when I realized, O, was I hanging out with my dad last night in my dream? And then it seemed like his presence was recent, that connection we shared.

What was he saying?, I tried to recall.

The chorus of the song playing cut in then, and the timing was perfect enough to feel choreographed:

“And I can only say

that I have hoped for you

safety from fears and darkness.

Are you feeling better

than before?”

It sounded like him at his best. The song is called “You Are the Light.”
I keep listening to it.

Mes Merize

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Praying mantis on the screen outside my window, languorously cleaning herself — licking elbows to wipe around and across her ruby eyes, swiveling her triangular head — completely mesmerizes me, puts me in a spell as I observe for I don’t know how long, and then she tilts her head back to face me and we just watch each other. She tracks my movements in 20 degree shifts of her neck’s angle, and finally lifts a folded arm to lick her elbow and slowly, carefully continue preening the top of her head.