Author has written 30 stories for Sci-Fi, General, Mythology, Fantasy, Spiritual, Humor, and Humor.
Hello. My name is Liz, and I am an elementary school Guidance Counselor, RN, Mom, medievalist, cook, and writer. My main writing influences are Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, and Jane Austen.
Several years ago, I began writing on FanFiction.com. It was fun, and over the years I continued to receive positive reviews, requests for more, et cetera, but after a few years I lost interest in writing about other people's characters. Because those stories were rated 'M' and I work with kids now (and kids can find you ANYWHERE), I've pulled my past writing down from FanFiction and archived it all privately.
In October of 2010, while in grad school, I randomly matched up two characters in two unrelated stories I'd previously started and abandoned, and they clicked. Eventually they needed a Bad Guy, and associates, and a long range arc... I also needed a way to process what I was learning in my coursework. Soon every new concept, each new point of view, each skill acquired began to find its way into the interactions. My Bad Guy began to cry out for redemption. In seeking it for him, we fell together into a much deeper, bolder and broader world. This is the world of United.
Work on United aside, I write for and co-moderate the 3000 word writing competitions on the forum Labyrinth. Currently, we run the competition every other month, writing from a selection of three prompts. All members of the forum are eligible to vote for the winner. This is a fun, supportive writing community - check it out! Augie.Toaste and I have created a Community called Labyrinthos as a collection point for all the past entries. Enjoy!
I am registered on the beta list for editing assistance.
In the world of United:
- Life Work was written as a stand-alone short (although at 10k words it borders on the novella) as a back story for my Bad Guy & my world. It provides a necessary context for the rest of the book and really should be read first.
This story begins in April of 1014 in Norse-controlled Ireland at the Battle of Clontarf with the widowing of a young Danish woman. It follows the life of her son through a harsh and damaged life until his last battle. His story parallels that of two young scientists on a world thousands of light years away who work to overcome the stigma associated with childlessness in their society. They apply for and are granted a life work - the opportunity to assess, observe, and eventually to partner with another sentient species. This is the process by which two worlds approach and intersect.
Life Work Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3134152/1/Life-Work-A-Prologue-to-United
- United is the first novel in a series of three in progress (United, Divided, and Restored) telling the story of Lydia Diamond, a young woman just trying to get her act together personally and professionally who discovers one day that she isn't who she thinks she is - a classic premise, but with significant twists on the usual archetypes of young warrior, wise old man, and damsel in distress. Her story overlays another: that of Holm Aedsson, the main character in Life Work, who, at nearly 1500 years of age, finds himself burnt out, discontented, heartbroken, and in need of a good, long, walkabout - an outing that goes horribly, horribly wrong.
This is epic-style science fiction with adventure, romance, political intrigue, family dynamics and issues of identity, change, and personal growth. It's long (word count equates roughly to an 800 page novel), it's full of different characters in different times and places, and when/if ever published will be accompanied by timelines, family trees, and spreadsheets for reference. Many, many, many thanks to two magnificent women, Maureen Quigley and Susan Carna Mattingly, for many hours of brainstorming, reading, and editing.
United Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3133385/1/United
- Gleanings is also part of the world of United, and my first attempt at Young Adult. This is my 2013 NaNoWriMo (only made 38k words, about a third of them were superfluous) that I'm trying to whip into shape. I mention many times in United that children are tested for Sensitivity at a certain age, and those that qualify have the opportunity to enter into a life-long commitment to the Office of the Etruscan Liaison. The short story Professional is set at the Port Authority University's Etruscan Liaison Academy - the college level - but Gleanings takes place at ELA Prep, a 6-12 feeder school for PAU-ELA, and follows a newly-identified Sensitive as she leaves her old world behind.
Gleanings Copyright 2014 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3193594/1/Gleanings
- USCW II is the first completed in the collection 'Memoirs of the Gleaned', first-person accounts of historic events from the POV of my characters in their behind-the-scenes positions. This is an account of the US Second Civil War (referenced by Dr. Diamond in one of her classroom lectures in United) as told by Ricardo Bayani. My thanks to my dear friend Dr. Maureen Quigley for brainstorming with me on what the next civil war would be fought over, and for the use of her cats and many, many cups of tea.
USCW II Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3154554/1/US-CW-II
- Professional, a short story written for the September 2013 Writing Contest on the forum Labyrinth, is also part of the 'Memoirs', describing the solar flare evacuation of PAU-PaC from the point of view of Holm's daughter, Chava, then a student at PAU-ELA working on her degree in First Response.
Professional Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3155645/1/Professional
- The Terms Of Our Surrender is the winner of the March 2014 writing contest for the forum Labyrinth. This prompt - to write the story of a broken warrior - at first sent me directly to one of United's main characters, Holm. But really (really), that particular 'broken warrior' will be explored more than enough before the series is complete. The story of Colonel Zipporah Galt had been on my mind for a variety of reasons, and I was glad to find a good reason to go back to her. Terms is a section of unfinished work from a book with the working title of Indentured, about the aftermath of war. It takes place some two hundred years after United, and was the result of my what-iffing for ways in which everything in that world could go to hell. What happens when, for reasons the Human worlds cannot understand, the free ride is suspended? We have seen, even today, how easily civilized life breaks down when our systems fail (New Orleans, Sarajevo, Syria). When nations must once again compete for resources, war is inevitable. And, when the war ends, someone loses.
The Terms Of Our Surrender Copyright E. K. Zoole 2014 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3188280/1/The-Terms-Of-Our-Surrender
- Fait Accompli isn't really a story - it's a draft of a chapter from Divided, the 2nd book in the series. I needed an entry for August 2015, I'd started and dumped a half-dozen of them, and finally decided that this fit the prompt well enough to brush off. The prompt was a task completion challenge - invent a language, start a war, or get away with murder.
Fait Ammonpli Copyright E. K. Zoole 2015 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3262734/1/Fait-Accompli
- By Any Other Name was my entry in the October 2015 contest. While not the winner that month, I'm particularly proud of this one for many reasons. It is another example of speed writing being, for me, the best writing. Set in the world of United, this is a small story from Homeworlder history, and takes place a long, long time before Humans ever appeared on the Earth.
By Any Other Name Copyright E. K. Zoole 2015 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3268695/1/By-Any-Other-Name
In Tante's Mythology:
- A Careless Kiss of Frost is the winner of the October 2013 Labyrinth writing contest. This month's challenge was to write to the same terminal line, using the genres of horror, mythology, or humor. This is the tale of Persephone and Hades, inspired by my friend Leah Kaufman Clarenburg's song on her album 'Five Fingers', which I was listening to this afternoon on my way home from my national certification exams. As a note of interest, started this story cold at 1:45 this afternoon, finished around 11 pm.
A Careless Kiss of Frost Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3160236/1/A-Careless-Kiss-of-Frost
- Death March is set shortly after A Careless Kiss of Frost and is the February 2014 Labyrinth entry. It was a last-minute job done as a speed-writing challenge with Augie.Toaste and, as before, proves that if I don't let my brain get in the way I often do better work!
Death March Copyright E. K. Zoole 2014 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3183624/1/Death-March
- Bad Habits is my May 2014 entry in the Forum Labyrinth's writing contest. This month's prompt was to come up with one of our own bad habits, give it to a character, and let them get in trouble for it. This is another in the Tante's Mythology series, and is set just a few weeks after Death March.
- Bad Habits Copyright 2014 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3200564/1/Bad-Habits
- The Invocation is my January 2014 entry in Labyrinth's writing contest, another Persephone and Hermes story set several thousand years later than A Careless Kiss of Frost. This month's challenge:Start your story with this line: Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down… (I took some slight liberty with the last word to avoid using 'down' twice in two adjoining sentences, because I'm just a little udgy that way. Don't mind me...)
- The Invocation Copyright E. K. Zoole 2014 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3177653/1/
- The Naiad is what happens when one has Sunday night, after-dinner conversation between an existentialist and an art historian under the stress of a hard semester while awaiting the grand jury decision in St. Louis county. This work is in need of settling and re-writing, but has good bones and may, at some point, be expanded. The winner of the November 2014 Labyrinth writing contest, the prompt this time was to choose your own from the many brought up and discarded on the Prompt thread (I chose writing from the point of view of an inanimate object). And one caveat - the name of the provider of the prompt needed to be worked in somewhere in the story. See if you can find it, Labyrinthians! In terms of the rest of the mythology, it's set at roughly the same time as The Invocation.
- The Naiad Copyright E. K. Zoole 2014 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3224620/1/The-Naiad-Tante-s-Mythology
- Disclosure was written for the February 2015 Labyrinth writing contest. This month's challenge was First Lines, with a choice of three; I chose the classic "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" Another for the modern years of the Tante's Mythology series, this features an unlikely conversation between Thor and Athena. This story deals with the importance of personal disclosure in how we establish intimacy and build relationships. Inspired by the Mandy Len Catron article in the NY Times about psychologist Arthur Aron's studies on intimacy.
- Disclosure Copyright E. K. Zoole 2015 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3234735/1/Disclosure-Tante-s-Mythology
- 60 Word Challenge is a collection of micro stories written for the on-going 60 word writing challenge on the forum Labyrinth. Each participant takes the 3 random words given by the previous writer, incorporates them into a micro, then leaves three more random words for the next writer. I have only posted a few of these to the forum thread (please go there and read everyone's postings, they're fun!), but I have written for each prompt so far as an exercise. I'll update as each new challenge is given. BTW, if you see one you'd like to swipe for a story, just PM me for permission. Thanks! Check out the other entries - https://www.fictionpress.com/topic/6871/3759916/1/Writing-Challenge-Story on the forum Labyrinth.
60 Word Challenge Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3158551/1/60-Word-Challenge
- Wish was my first ever attempt at a short story, written in August 2013 for the writing contest in the forum Labyrinth. It is completely and unabashedly autobiographical with the exception of names and the presence of aliens. To the best of my knowledge, neither our foster-cat, nor my son (I think), have ever been possessed by other life forms. My daughter, now - well, I'm not really sure.
Wish Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3152198/1/Wish
- A Servant's Tale; or The Curious Courtship of Rom-Paul the Still-Skin is a work in progress. The first chapter is my December 2013 entry on Labyrinth, the prompt being to write the back story of a fairy tale villain. It begins as a re-imagining of 'Rumplestiltskin' in early 18th century Switzerland, the prompt being the re-telling of a fairy tale from the 'villain' point of view. The third chapter, 'The Lord of Mondstein', is my August 2014 entry for the prompt of a Gothic tale.
A Servant's Tale; or The Curious Courtship of Rom-Paul the Still-Skin Copyright E.K. Zoole 2013 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3170827/1/A-Servant-s-Tale-or-The-Curious-Courtship-of-Rom-Paul-the-Still-Skin
- Freerider is the July 2014 entry for Labyrinth. This prompt was to use one of three selected 60 word stories from that writing thread (see 60 Word Challenge) and turn it into a 3000 word story. I've never written fantasy before, so thought I'd branch out and give it a try. Set in the 19th century in a world slowly emerging from a mini-ice age, magic is supported by the energy in water in all its forms. Steam becomes a powerful tool of control and domination. Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves struggle for land and resources, and the Freeriders - neutral, magic using Envoys and their Bricks - are caught in the culture clash. My entry is Chapter 1, The Messenger, and with any luck I'll actually write more...
Freerider Copyright 2014 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3208311/1/Freerider
- The Straits of Deimos is the winner of the April 2015 contest on Labyrinth. The prompt this time was to choose from a group of three quotes to inspire your story. Although my choice was "You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea." – Benazir Bhutto, my true inspiration was my son's reaction to the quote: "Because ideas are like rats." This is an alternate history, semi-steamed-SF take on Snow White. Check out the end notes for the translations of the names.
The Straits of Deimos Copyright 2015 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3245669/1/The-Straits-of-Deimos
- Labyrinthos World Building File is a site in progress. Still in draft form, this is an effort to create a world for other writers to write in. When complete, it will contain all the information necessary for writers to pick up and use - political, social, cultural and historical info - in a world where magic is fighting for its identity in a time when technology is catching up.
Labyrinthos World Copyright 2015 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3254568/1/Labyrinthos-World-Building-File
- I Am The Emperor! is my June 2015 entry in the 3k writing contest on Labyrinth. This month's prompt was a genre challenge - choose from one set of mis-matched genres including Robots and Romance, Wizards and Westerns, and Horror for Children. I chose Horror for Children in a brief poetic homage to Shel Silverstein, with apologies to Dr. Seuss. Not everyone likes this one - it's dark, it's sick, and it's funny - but I wrote it in 15 minutes after five separate starts at the other two genres had hit the wall.
I Am The Emperor! Copyright 2015 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3255992/1/I-Am-The-Emperor
- Unsourced is my first flash fiction, written for the December 2015 contest on Labyrinth. This month's prompt deviated from our usual 3k size range - using the Wikipedia Random Article Generator, each writer generated 3 articles and picked one to influence a story. This one's a fun little bit of magical realism.
Unsourced Copyright E. K. Zoole 2015 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3271627/1/Unsourced
- Tamhlain of Loch Maree The February 2016 contest on Labyrinth was super-sized to 6k. The prompt was a modern re-telling of a fairy tale, happy ending optional. The story as entered is problematic for me (and will be until I go back and do a complete overhaul, at which point this note will have changed). It is in many ways a love letter to a place I have never seen in real life - Loch Maree, Scotland. Every travel photo, satellite image, legend, travelogue, or history I could find on this wild and beautiful place was up on the screen as I wrote. There is a mystical quality to the beginning that I lost as I tried to force it into even the expanded 6k size. It deserves better, and someday I will give it what it deserves.
Tamhlain of Loch Maree Copyright E. K. Zoole 2016 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3279264/1/Tamhlain-of-Loch-Maree
- O, Fortuna! is the winner of the April 2016 3k on Labyrinth in a sadly shortened field of only three entries. It's purely an April Fool's Day romp, as it was meant to be, written to the prompt of being a fool, getting fooled, fooling yourself, or fooling around.
O, Fortuna! Copyright E. K. Zoole 2016 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3281714/1/O-Fortuna
- Dream Thief is the result of a speed write on the last day of the held-open-for-lack-of-entries June 2016 3k on Labyrinth. Two hours initial writing plus four hours editing - Augie.Toaste is absolutely right about the wonders of pouring it out without over-thinking. The prompt for this contest was a Midsummer Night's Dream Sequence. Dark, minimalist, and classic social science fiction in more of the Dangerous Visions style of the 1970s. I am pleased with it.
Dream Thief Copyright E. K. Zoole 2016 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3288996/1/Dream-Thief
- The Beauwood Court New Humanist Hagaddah is the one I compiled for use in my family's celebration of Pesach (Passover). As Humanist Jews, we are non-deists. This Hagaddah bridges the gap for those who do not believe in a god but still strongly identify as Jews, and especially with the Jewish obligation for Tikkun O-lam - Repair of the World. For a pdf, send me a PM with your email request.
The Beauwood Court New Humanist Hagaddah Copyright E. K. Zoole 2014 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3246430/1/The-Beauwood-Court-New-Humanist-Hagaddah
- Food For Thought isn't a story at all. After a number of instances of bringing food into the discussion on Labyrinth, I opted to bend the rules of submission to the site and set up a place to put recipes for writers. When munchies strike and writer's block has got you down, nothing's better than a little Food for Thought.
Food For Thought Copyright E. K. Zoole 2013 https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3171514/1/Food-For-Thought
- Still Life is a file of random writings where I'll post odds and ends from my own life and family, including stuff my kids do or say or write and the occasional old Facebook posting. Just stuff, and really only of interest if you know me.
Still Life Copyright 2014 E. K. Zoole https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3178692/1/Still-Life
Not on FictionPress: