I read Fish Tales last weekend, the Guppies anthology that just came out. The Guppies -- which stands for The Great Unpublished -- is a very supportive online subgroup of Sisters in Crime. Much helpful information is passed around on improving our writing, finding out how to get published, tips on conferences and workshops, and so much more. Many Gups who make it to publication generously stay on the list and help those of us still in the search.
All stories in the anthology were written and judged by Guppies. The rule was that if you submitted a story, you had to judge three others according to a common scoresheet. The top-scoring stories made it in. My story didn't make the cut, but I was thrilled to read those that did. The only other rule was that every story had to include water.
Every story in the collection is good, and I don't have recuperation time or energy to review them all, so I'll focus on a few of my favorites here.
Betsy Bitner's "Amazing Grace" features a wife who plans her fly-fishing husband's funeral with loving detail. I particularly liked how the poor fellow died.
"The Truck Contest," by Kaye George, describes recreational activities on a lake in winter. I've been working on an ice-fishing story myself , so this was a fun read. The twist at the end was particularly satisfying.
Gloria Alden's story about "The Professor's Books" shows us a devoted housekeeper and her ailing professorial employer. Read it to find out how she is rewarded for her work.
Patricia Winton sets "Feeding Frenzy" in Rome and tempts us with descriptions of Italian food and chefs. She works in the meanings of phrases and names in Italian in a clever way and uses them as part of the story line.
I bought the Kindle edition of the book on Amazon and read it on my netbook, but you can also get a paper copy. Here's one source, an independent bookstore in Pennsylvania that features free shipping for orders over $10: Mystery Lovers Bookshop
The deadline for the next anthology, Fish Nets, is the end of April. My story is almost ready!