Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"The Skydivers" Forthcoming in Emrys Journal, Spring 2012

Emrys Journal logoEmrys Journal has accepted her story "The Skydivers" for publication in their Spring 2012 issue. This will be her first publication with Emrys.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"The Rabbit" Forthcoming in Big Pulp, March 2013

logo Big PulpHer mini-story "The Rabbit" (not to be easily mistaken with her story "Rabbits" from The Floating Order) will be published in Big Pulp in March 2013. This will be her third publication with Big Pulp, which is lovely because it's one of her favorite venues.

Pringle-Toungate's previous publications with Big Pulp are "Every Good Girl Does Fine" and "Palestine, IL".

Update 3/30/13: The Rabbit is now available to read. Click here or copy/paste this link into your browser: 

Friday, November 4, 2011

E-story Experiment: The Snow-Cone Stand

Cover The Snow-Cone Stand
With the rising popularity of e-readers, she has now and then considered self-publishing a single story. She has romantic ideas of photocopying thousands of copies of a story and dropping them on a city or handing them door to door. It's ridiculous, of course--that much paper.

Certainly, the music industry has been changed by the user's ability to download single songs, and she has wondered how that might bleed into the publishing industry--or how that might provide her a little more control, now and then, of getting her work to her readers by self-publishing a single story. She found her valid excuse with's 600-word short-story contest.

Basically, writers submit a story of 600 words or less, convert the story into an e-book, and upload it on Lulu. Later, Lulu judges will declare whatever story the winner.

The contest is not dependent on how many times the story is viewed, and she also couldn't find anything about not charging people for a contest story (so Lulu will be making money off contestants who do sell their contest entry). Regardless, she's giving her story away for free.

After taking several hours to format a tiny story, she thinks she'll go back to her old-fashioned route of letting editors do their jobs and she hers. But that doesn't mean that she wouldn't like you to have it, dear reader.

Download and read "The Snow-Cone Stand" at, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble.--Especially since she might have disqualified the story by putting an image on the cover. Ah, well.

Cover photo by Keoni Cabral,
used under a Creative Commons License

Post Update 4/20/12:

Project Retired

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Winter's Wooden Sparrows" in Lake Effect

photograph by Dirk Wustenhagen Getty Images The first time he felt a need to walk, he was a boy of six or seven. He had awoken one winter morning with the urge to be outside, alone. And so decided to go, and felt the good feeling that decisions often have. He zipped on his snowsuit, wrapped his face in his scarf, and left the house while his parents slept.

The early sun was somewhere behind the bright gray sky, and the snow was so bright he couldn't look at it without forcing himself, but he forced himself and felt the strange, pleasing feeling of snow-dazzled eyes. The snow in front of the house was not new, mussed with boot-tracks filled with gray water; but the snow in the back still followed its own created planes, on and on, untouched—and it was this that guided him to take his walk in the back. He walked and listened to the crunch of his boots and felt the cold air. A few black birds crossed the sky like a meaningless thought. Beside him trotted the ghost of the old dog that had died recently enough to still follow him.

Read the rest of "Winter's Wooden Sparrows" by Erin Pringle-Toungate in Lake Effect, due out in January 2012  Now available

Photo used from Getty Images, with permission/
Dirk Wustenhagen Imagery

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writers Run, Too

Her friend and a fellow writer, Stephanie, will be running as part of the Komen Race for the Cure in Austin, TX. To donate to the cause, via Stephanie's running shoes, follow this sentence to her donation page.

She thinks this is worthwhile. The number of graves due to breast cancer, among other cancers, is more than wearisome.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Interview Up: Fear, Halloween, and an Enchanting Talk

Erin recently sat down with her sister-in-law, Misty, via computer and across 2,000 miles, and chatted about Halloween, making stories, making childhood, making memories.

Here's an excerpt:

photo of Erin Pringle-Toungate as child Misty: Did you visit graveyards as a child? Since reading The Floating Order the first time, I have wondered if we had this in common. I'm sure my brother has told you about our adventures in graveyards prompted by our grandmother.

Erin: We lived down the road from one, and so we drove past a graveyard every day. The schoolbus took the same route. I remember my mother getting into genealogy and so that took us to graveyards, making rubbings and such. Graveyards captured my imagination. Everyone who had lived in the town had ended up in one. Then, part of the town's teenage folklore included visiting either graveyards or places where hauntings might occur in the country. I was part of the drive-out-into-the country crowd, though mostly I just heard about what would happen if you went to the bridge and did such and such. I was never very brave or popular enough to find myself very often at such "haunted' sites but would imagine what I would do were I.

But graveyards have never ceased to interest me, maybe more now since I know more people who now exist in them. So I do visit more now, though not so much the ones where I know the people whose names are on the stones. For example, the graveyard in Fredericksburg, TX is a really intersting one because of the amount of children's graves-- and that the children's graves are in their own section and many of them have metal bassinets made around them. Graveyards understand grief. I find them to be empathetic places to go.

Read the rest of the article and interview, "fear and an enchanting talk", at the blog senseMaking.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"This Bomb My Heart" in War, Literature & the Arts

logo WLA
Out in the vast field, she kneels under the wings her brother made when she lost her arm. He sawed them from a storm-fallen tree then picked a wheelbarrow of Queen Anne’s Lace from the field and ditches, spreading the stems across newspapers on the porch as their mother once had. When the flowers dried, he glued them over the boards then spray-painted the wings white. He screwed the wings to the front of his drum harness from marching band. She wore the harness backward, as she does now over her winter coat, though the wings are patchy and he’s dead.
Read the rest of "This Bomb My Heart" by Erin Pringle-Toungate in the new issue of War, Literature & the Arts (volume 23, 2011)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"The Lightning Tree" in Box of Delights, anthology from Aeon Press

cover Box of DelightsThe house has the empty feeling cleanliness or new death brings.
She touches her neck. Her heart like a leaf scared by the wind.
The wind presses against the window panes
She turns to the other side of the pillow, imagining her pupils like two broken, erratic lenses, like two puddles on a country road to nowhere with a sky, like skull sockets dark as death—death always. Death that makes and diminishes all our gods.
She reaches to her husband's side of the bed.
He isn't there.

Finish reading "The Lightning Tree" by Erin Pringle-Toungate in the anthology Box of Delights, published by Dublin's Aeon Press.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Celebration of Mother's Day: The Woman Who Helped Author Me

Last June, she interviewed her mother to find out what her mother might think about reading, writing, and more:

What excited you more—learning to read or learning to write?
Photograph Carol Pringle, child in Evansville, Indiana
Mother Pringle as a young girl, 1940s
Evansville, Indiana
I don’t remember learning to write. You’re assuming I was excited to learn to read. It was just part of what you learned. I remember in second grade being bored. Because everyone read together, and the slow readers took longer. I know I sighed. First grade you learned to read, second grade you learned to tell time, third grade you learned cursive. You knew what you would learn. No, fourth grade we learned cursive. I was impressed by that. But we had ink pots. You couldn’t control the ink. Big blobs. That was before ball-point pens were invented, apparently.

To read the rest of the interview, click here

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Daffodils were open in St. Stephen's Green

(Outside Amsterdam airport)

In March, she flew to Dublin to be a guest at the Eighth Annual Phoenix Convention. She stopped in Amsterdam and had wine and lunch with an old college friend from Brussels. They found that even after a few years and so much ocean between them, they were still tied at the souls in important places, and so when their glasses were empty and the time what it was, they parted.

When she arrived in Dublin, she took the 16A bus to the convention's site at The Central Hotel and would have missed her stop had she not sat next to a lovely woman who didn't say a word until Georges Street. The lovely woman wore a black coat. and was a guest in Dublin, on business, and would be speaking as an important person part of an important event. Or so it seemed, based on what she said into her telephone.

Had she found that breakfast was served at the hotel downstairs, she would have avoided an embarrassing scene the first morning, which took place at a convenience store and ended with an irritated clerk, a currency problem caused by Wells Fargo, and the clerk basically giving her the bun and snapple. She ate her bun and drank her drink outside, on a cold bench on Dame Street. She leaked jam on her skirt and thought, I'm such a stupid American.

(Sculpture dedicated to Yeats,
picture by Erin Pringle, 2011)

Luckily, her day could not be totally shot since, before the bun incident, she had strolled through St. Stephen's Green and found the daffodils blooming up. She also took some pictures for her husband, like this one, of Yeats. It was a peaceful place except for all the sculptures to those who had died as part of defending Ireland during the Easter Rising or events that followed. The sculptures, then, were doing as they were intended and keeping Dublin's history present in its present.

She took part in several panels and attended several panels ranging from how to think about the event of the e-book as a writer, to the rise of the graphic novel in publishing. She drank several Baileys and promised several times to attend other, future conventions. She was told several times that the economy wasn't what it was since the last time she was there, eleven years ago. She had new thoughts about publishing, writing, and marketing and came away feeling less threatened by the e-book and more empowered by it now that she has an idea of how to think about it.

On Sunday, she gave a reading in a private room in the Library Bar. The audience was warm and welcoming and took their lunch as they listened. The sun came through the windows, and the people went into the faraway places she had made for them.

Photograph of Georges Street, Dublin 2011 by Erin Pringle-Toungate(Up Georges Street, Dublin,
Photo by Erin Pringle-Toungate)

Then she flew back home, and hardly believed she had been in Dublin. Most of all, she came home feeling far less worried about being a writer, or reader, or general citizen of the world--because she met good people who think writing and reading is important and worth meeting to discuss. Everyone was so warm and welcoming at the Phoenix Convention, and she wishes it many more good years. She thinks of those few days in Dublin like the cool, sweet air she had felt in St. Stephen's Green.