15 Amazing Stories to Read by Women When You Need a Break from the Festivities


Those who read this blog regularly know how much I enjoy sharing other writers writing. I try to do that from time to time. Lately, I’ve read some astounding stories via poetry, flash fiction, and essay that I want to share with you. They’re all pretty short and only take a few seconds to a few minutes to read but, oh, such power in these words! I’ve added a snippet to each selection to give you an idea of the wonderment in store when you click over. These stories are great for taking a slice of quiet time from all the brouhaha called the holidays that’s about to begin. Enjoy! 🎄

On the Charm Bracelet of Life, Dying is the Shape of Driftwood” in Moria by Kelli Russel Agodon.

Because prayer is flotation device, I kept talking
to god. I sacrificed my body because
that’s what anxiety does — Lent as starvation:
what won’t kill you but make you thinner.

Fish Love” by Bryanna Licciardi in The Mantle.

How often is love nothing
more than fish love,
which is to say
people devour what it is
they love in you.

Where I Come From” by Sara Pirkle Hughes in Deep South Magazine.

When someone dies,
all the proper neighbors
produce sweet potato pies.

“The Poem I Call My Life” by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko in Writing in a Woman’s Voice.

Tonight I am learning
to move through
slow syllables of ancient dark
like blood without a blueprint

The S&H Green Stamp Book” by Nicole Cooley in Tupelo Quarterly.

Each night I tell my daughters,
Do you understand I’ll never leave you?
Stop asking that, my older daughter shudders, turns away.


Ain’t Half Bad” by Leesa Cross-Smith in Oxford American.

I am a homemaker from the horse-farm suburbs. I’ve never lived in the inner city. I was raised on hip-hop and old-skool r&b, oldies, pop music, and hair bands, too. I’m a Southern writer from Kentucky who doesn’t write about the South in a grotesque way, who doesn’t write primarily about race or write about race for the white gaze.

 “Why I Write” by Katie Kennedy in Women Writers, Women’s Books.

One spring Sunday the preacher was halfway through his sermon when a man pushed those glass doors open and strode up the aisle, carrying a rifle case. He made it past the ushers and then no one knew what to do. The minister stopped talking and everyone just watched this guy walking toward the front. Except my sister.

Is it OK to Make Fun of Instagram Poets?” By Lisa Marie Basile in Berfrois.

We should be careful of how we talk about poetry and who gets to write it and why we read it. Because we don’t know who has been exposed to what, or what they even need or want as a reader, and if maybe different kinds of poetry have appeal for various reasons.

”Me and Mr. Grant” by Susan Tepper in Peacock Journal.

Thinking who the hell is Mr. Grant? I followed him out to a limo parked at the curb. It was that age of innocence — no color alerts, shoe removal, or confiscated liquids. Our one big airport terror involved a Great Dane breaking loose from its travel cage, snarling and tearing across the terminal, with myself and another Red Coat in hot pursuit.

20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years” by Helena Fitzgerald in Electric Literature. 

9. Charles Bukowski: Alcoholism is a disease, not a personality.

Flash Fiction

The Sea Within” by Tara Isabel Zambrano in Jellyfish Review.

The tulips were blooming in our front yard when Ma died. They removed the earrings and released her ashes into the Arabian Sea. The priest, who performed her last rites, said, Ma’s soul was not in harmony with her body. It reached out for love in the wrong places.

Breeding” by Lucinda Kemp in Jellyfish Review.

Phil adjusted his girth. He was in love, and love, he’d discovered, required deft maneuvers to be successful. Together they moved to the next Cezanne: Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses.

Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild” by Kathy Fish in Jellyfish Review.

A group of first responders is a valiance. A group of peaceful protestors is a dream.

I Want to Believe the Truth is Out There” by Lori Sambol Brody in Jellyfish Review.

Julie floated in the light, a foot off the twin bed next to mine. Her blonde hair streaming in the air like Ophelia’s in water. She wore the Green Day concert T she’d stolen from me, the shirt from my first concert. She always wanted everything I had. And then she was sucked out the window. Sucked.

Girl in Pieces” by Cathy  Ulrich in Micro Caxtus.

She is more robot than person when she comes back to school. Glares at the freshmen who get too close. They scatter, like maybe lasers will come out of her eyes. We all hope lasers will come out of her eyes, but they never do.


Wishing you all a happy holiday season and happy reading!

11 thoughts on “15 Amazing Stories to Read by Women When You Need a Break from the Festivities

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating excerpts, I wish to read them all except the one I’ve actually read just now: The woman who has dated men and thus doesn’t need to read certain writers and does away with many of my favourites in a snarky line or two is a symbol of why we will NEVER get along – either me and her, or women and men in general. Maybe she was dating a bit too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got a kick out of the list and have to say I agree with her on Bukowski (obviously since I chose that for the snippet) and Hemingway. Some of the others I haven’t read. I tend to read way more women writers than men. That’s not a deliberate choice, I just find women’s writing more relatable. I hope you enjoy the other selections. I just loved them all so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love men when they try to better, or at least lay it all out to see what’s what. I feel so many women don’t give them enough credit but merely trample them back as they have been/felt trampled by them. They forget that mother is usually the first woman a man knows. And that’s not always the sweetest. Goes for fathers and daughters too, of course.

        That’s why I like to read things when you don’t know which gender the author is most of all. That said, I’m surrounded by male energy and it can be such a relief to come to the more feminine world of blogging.

        As for the author of that list: ehhhh, nevermind, ain’t nobody spoiling my mood. I only say this to her: Just look around hard when in pharmacy.

        As for me: Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis is a work of something like genius.


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