Foxtales 10

In this 10th edition of Foxtales, members of the Fox Valley Writers Group share their literary skills by telling stories, drawing images through poetry, and discussing what being part of an annual publication means to them.

Former FVWG coordinator Kevin Moriarity, who was in charge of the group when the original “Foxtales” was published in 2012, reflects on his pleasant surprise at how long the anthologies have run, and how things have changed for publishing in the intervening years.

Author Nik Markevicius explores what happens when a single guy takes in a half-domesticated monkey and leaves the animal home alone with his dog, martial arts weapons and YouTube videos running on autoplay.

Writers Marie Otte and Susan Schubert put their poetic skills on display in a variety of verse.

Otte, who has been published on a spiritual website and related magazines, draws readers into a story of transformation, another about being a writer, and finally a poem about family.

Schubert pens poetry inspired by her beloved getaway on Washington Island, in Door County, Wisconsin. Her stories range from the slow flow of life on lazy mornings to a bird who insists that she wake up as soon as the sun rises to a fresh breath of air that comes with a change in the weather to the world giving someone a much-needed sign.

Author Victoria Hyla Maldonado takes readers into a few different worlds. In one, not much unlike our own, a man faces down the woman who abandoned her own flesh and blood with hopes of resolving issues between them. In another world, a woman unravels twisted memories and incomplete information pointing to her having murdered her lover, and must confront one of the worst things that could happen to a person to prove her innocence. Then, in two tales set on worlds devastated by cataclysms, two different women must do what’s necessary to help their people live. In both situations, the women must tackle difficult decisions, which have fateful consequences for them and their worlds.

Writer Rachel Bauer tells a tale of a woman searching for meaning in a seemingly empty world. Will she heed the call of the wild and plunge into the sea, or will she fight the battle raging inside her own body to find what she’s looking for?

Author Ric Waters blends science fiction with military and politics in a pair of short stories. On a world in the middle of a rebellion, one man seeks to complete a mission, but when a shot hits the wrong target, he has to make a choice that will bring him deeper into a place he doesn’t want to go. In another story, a veteran of a distant war has his retirement disrupted by the arrival of one of his own, whose motives aren’t exactly clear; her arrival threatens to bring an even worse fate upon him. In a reality-bending story, a man lost in a horrific snowstorm fights for his life against unseen terrors, but the end is nothing like he expects.

Dolores DesRoches’s essay on writing and being a part of the Fox Valley Writers Group addresses the progress she’s made as a writer, and the benefits she’s gotten from participating in such an organization. DesRoches also pens a poem honoring the late Frank Rutledge, who was an important voice in many Fox Valley literary events. Other poems explore the changes humans go through as they age, while not necessarily giving up on youthful desire. The story “Pieces Of …” delves into the supernatural when a curious baby swallows something he shouldn’t have.

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