“Every Word I Speak” is the last of my re-told fairy tales, and the story that got me published by Drollerie. I still remember and treasure the comments Deena Fisher said, because I was submitting stories and starting to wonder if I would ever get anywhere. It was originally published as one of the downloadable short stories, and now is in But Can You Let Him Go?

For me, this story marked my return to writing short stories. I’d quit for a time – life got in the way – and I played with the longer stories I’d written, but it didn’t really work for me. I was too tired and fighting battles I wasn’t ready for.

Then, one of my friends lent me a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors, and I fell in love with the short story form. Furthermore, I could feel short stories forming in my head, the feel, the sound, of a story that will be a short story is different to me. The voice of the words, if that makes sense?

The final ingredient to this recipe was the fact that I was haunting a discount bookstore called Book Country every chance I got, and on a whim bought the Dover edition of Perrault’s Fairy Tales. One of the stories was “The Fairies,” a tale about a young woman who does a kindness to a fairy, and in return is blessed with the gift that every word that comes out of her mouth is either a diamond, a pearl or a flower. Of course, in the story (sorry, spoiler!) she rides off with a prince and lives happily ever after. And I started thinking the whole thing was a bit suspect. The story I wrote became a sequel, and explores the price of her gift.

And, the original cover to the story:

speaklowres smaller

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