Well, a review at Amazon from Darth Breather about Mosaics 2: An Anthology of Independent Women says something that means a lot to me about Cookies:

This feminist anthology is unusual in that it’s a mix of stories, poems and essays. The fiction is every genre from literary to speculative to magical realism. The tone also changes from piece to piece – some are hopeful and positive, others contain dark matter. This anthology is for dipping into rather than reading through at one go. I found them all worthwhile – whether they’re fun or force reflection. The darkest, perhaps, was Cookies by Catherine Schaff-Stump, a fictionalized but reality-based account of adult offspring of a terribly abusive childhood. (This story is particularly appropriate give the charity this anthology benefits. Kudos to the author for having the guts to put it out there, and to the Editors for getting it for this anthology.) The Mermaid Tale, on the other hand, is a triumphant tale of a woman sea-heroine, who lives the life she wants and wins her love, and The Lion and the Dragonslayer is another adventure story with a happy ending. I appreciated the essay on blindness, which really made me – as a sighted person – understand there are nuances I’d never even considered.

This anthology benefits the Pixel Project to End Violence Against Women.

Nope, it wasn’t easy to write or rewrite. I appreciate your comments.

What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Querying Agents and Editors

I’ve written a post over at Unreliable Narrators: What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Querying Agents and Editors.

I think my next post here will be a comparison/contrast of Deadpool versus Captain America: Civil War, because now I’ve seen them both. Yup. Little late on the whole Deadpool thing.


Let me get the Unreliable Narrators update done first: Patreon 101 with Taryn Arnold. And along with that: our Unreliable Narrators Patreon Page!

As exciting as having our Unreliable Narrators Patreon Page up and running is, well, it’s been an amazing week for me. If you’re a friend on Facebook or Twitter, you already know, but this should hit all of you in all those other places. Here it comes…

Wait for it….

I am now represented by Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron and Associates.

How this came to be is a pretty dramatic story, and it’s not quite over yet, so I can’t tell you the whole story. But I can tell you that I am super lucky to be represented by Mary. She’s a writer, she loves reading, she’s passionate about what she does, and she’s one smart agent. I am truly looking forward to working with her.


While I’m waiting to tell you the rest of the story, I can tell you that I am polishing off a recalcitrant short story called The Devil’s Wingman. And soon I’ll be on vacation (June 9th) writing and traveling and writing and traveling. And…doing some more writing and traveling.

So, who’s going to be at Wiscon this year? 4th Street? Convergence? World Con? Look for me. Let’s hang out.

The Medical Risk: A Failed Experiment

About a week ago, I had an idea. I thought I would see what happened if I went off my proton pump inhibitor.

For those of you not in the know, a proton pump inhibitor, also known as a PPI is what people with heartburn take to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach. A lot of people actually prescribe them to themselves, as in they buy prilosec or nexium available over the counter.

Recent studies have linked proton pump inhibitors to a variety of medical issues, such as kidney problems or heart failure. That was…concerning, as I’ve been on PPIs since I started having acid reflux in 2002. Mind you, there are no conclusive causality links. That hasn’t stopped the press from treating it like it is, or kept those commercials where you can sue a physician in the style of mesothelioma from appearing. But it might be something about the kind of person who takes PPIs, their habits or diet or something that causes these issues.

Still, in the great tradition of American hysteria, thanks for the hype, all. I even had a conversation with a concerned friend. Before that, I called my doctor, and we had a talk about medicine, illness and risk.

Have you thought about your medications? You know Americans pop NSAIDs like they’re candy, but they can cause serious effects too. For a while Motrin was getting all the love, but everyone wants to sell Advil. And yes, that pain I can tolerate when my knee gets bad. I take Advil as little as possible, exceedingly intermittently over a prescription arthritis med.

Continue reading “The Medical Risk: A Failed Experiment”

Some Thoughts about Summer Vacation

The spring semester is ending at Kirkwood, and right now I am in a conferencing class, but the students this spring don’t seem to be spending as much time as the students before them did, so I find myself with enough time to write an actual post between gigs. That’s the theory anyway. Now that I’ve said that, I’ve set myself up for some solid traffic.


Okay, so how’s it been lately, Catherine? 2016 is kind of just beginning here. Sure, it’s five months in, but between work and sicknesses, well, I’m pleased that I have finished the first act of The Pawn of Isis (thank you, Shohola retreat!) and I have a short story almost finished. But considering how productive I was hoping to be, well, let’s just say that’s not where I wanted to be.

My day job pays my bills. It does deserve my work and attention. I like it. But I am back to the place of needing two of myself, and this is even after I got staff!

At any rate, summer vacation is nigh in one month, and I have some writing dates scheduled because I have to stick around work and norm some tests. It is my hope to make some words.


And…there will be some traveling. You can see the events I’ll be at this summer on my appearances page. Wiscon, 4th Street, and Convergence are all in the plans, as well as a small vacation for me and the spouse. I hope to meet up with some people there. I actually have some books out now, so maybe I’ll get to do some signing!


I’ve been thinking a lot about my writer niche. Writing seems to be a constant wait, but right now I’m waiting on two things that could really move my writing future in two very different directions. I’m waiting to see what the universe fails at me.

I will try to be back soon with a review of Captain America 3, which I will see Thursday. I will also make an effort to talk about the recent reflux experiment I undertook. It didn’t work, but someone might be able to learn from it.

What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Preliminaries

I’ve begun my series of publishing options over at Unreliable Narrators with What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me? Preliminaries.

I intend to keep content here and there separate, but there might be some folks who visit here who want to read that.

Don’t forget that Mosaics 2 is out today, and you really want to buy it to support the Pixel Project!