No Extra Words

one person's search for story


November 2015

Meet Episode 24 Contributor Shawn Cowling

If you’re following along at home, you know exciting things are afoot this week as we send out the first of our Christmas Serial Specials. We therefore only have one contributor but he is a great one. Shawn’s story cracks me up and I love his blog…it is a catchall drawer of great things to read but as mom of a small child myself I think the parenting bits are my favorite.

Shawn writes short stories, bad jokes, dad rants and serials at his blog  When not writing, he’s drinking too much coffee despite repeated attempts at abandoning the habit and chasing after two young sons, both smarter and faster than they should be.  You can find Shawn’s books on Amazon.  His books are way better than his bio, promise.

Happy listening,


Special Episode #1: Thanksgiving Special and an ANNOUNCEMENT!

Click here for audio.

Our thanks to you this holiday weekend and announcement of a big promotion coming up on the show in January. Details are still being finalized, but I can tell you that this promotion is sponsored by and that I am super excited about it. Watch this space!

If you like the audio you hear on this special, you will love Libsyn‘s “Thanks Podcasting” podcast. Have a listen to more stories.

See you this week for our Christmas Serial Special Part 1!

Happy holidays,


Episode 23: Thankful? – a true heart never came from anything more than ashes

Click here for full episode.

This is a four story episode that really splits nicely into two sections, but the overall theme is “resilience.”

Part 1 is about gratitude when times are tough. In “A House Burning,” an out of control fire also proves cleansing. By Matthew Keefer, copyright 2015, used with permission. Visit Matt’s website here.

In “Chipped,” a neighborhood has seen its share of tough times and is shabby compared to the well-off neighbors. By Tina Tocco, copyright 2004, used with permission. Read more about Tina here.

Part 2 is about those tough family relationships that can be the best and worst parts of this and all seasons. “Granny” examines that moment that comes to many of us when dealing with an elderly relative with dementia. By Julie Christine Johnson, copyright 2015, used with permission. Visit Julie’s website here.

“Meyer’s Rebellion” ends this episode on a lighter note, as a man leaving his wife of 46 years has some reassuring news for her. By Paul Beckman, copyright 2015, used with permission. Visit Paul’s website here.

Our theme music is “Reverie: small theme” by _ghost and is used with our thanks under a Creative Commons license.

Would love to hear what you think! Let us know how this episode impacted your Thanksgiving holiday and we will see you in December for our Christmas Serial specials!

Happy listening,


Episode 23 Contributors Part 4: Paul Beckman

When I first launched the show back in June, I had a list of flash fiction authors I liked and whose work I wanted to use on the show Paul Beckman was on that list. I was unable to connect with him and get a story to use at that time, so I was absolutely delighted when he sent “Meyer’s Rebellion” to us several months later. It adds some humor and lightness to this episode, coming in just a few hours, and I am so delighted to feature Paul as he is a great voice in flash fiction.

Paul Beckman’s stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine and Literary Orphans. His latest collection of flash stories, “Peek”, is pub. by Big Table Publishing 2015.

Happy listening,


Episode 23 Contributors Part 3: Julie Christine Johnson

Remember how I said Tina Tocco was our first but not last double contributor? Meet Julie Christine Johnson. Her contribution this week, “Granny,” is her first on the show, but she will also be featured with a second story after the first of the year, so stay tuned for that.

Julie Christine Johnson is the author of the forthcoming novels In Another  Life (Sourcebooks, February 2016) and The Crows of Beara (Ashland Creek Press, Autumn 2017). Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Mud Season Review, Cirque, Cobalt, Up, Do:  Flash Fiction by Women Writers, Three Minus One: Parents’ Stories of Love and Loss. A runner, hike, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state.

Happy listening,


Episode 23 Contributors Part 2: Tina Tocco

No Extra Words regulars may remember Tina’s story “21 Days” from Episode 19 back in October. As promised, she is back with the story “Chipped” on this week’s episode, and it’s possible I like “Chipped” even more (although I can’t decide.) Congrats again to Tina on being our first double contributor (although she isn’t our last, more on that soon.)

Tina Tocco’s flash fiction has appeared or is pending in New Ohio Review, Roanoke Review, River Styx, Crab Creek Review, Harpur Palate, Passages North, Potomac Review, Portland Review, Italian Americana, and Fiction Fix, among others.  She was a finalist in CALYX’s 2013 Flash Fiction Contest, a semifinalist in The Conium Review’s 2014 Flash Fiction Contest, and an honorable mention in the River Styx 2015 Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest.  Her interview on flash and the craft of writing, “No Wasted Words,” appears in Roanoke Review.  She earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell.  “Chipped” originally appeared in the Spring/Fall 2013 issue of Voices in Italian Americana.

Happy listening,


Episode 23 Contributors Part 1: Matthew Keefer

I was born on the 23rd of November, which is this week, so both Thanksgiving and the number 23 are lucky for me. Which makes introducing you to this Episode 23 very special. It is a Thanksgiving episode, although perhaps not the sort of Thanksgiving episode you would expect, and it once again has four contributors, the second time we are attempting that feat. The first is Matthew Keefer.

Matthew Keefer is a part-time indie music blogger. His short stories have appeared on Ducts Webzine and Fictionaut. He has self-published a collection of short stories on Amazon, “The Keeper of Dreams: A Dozen Stories and Poems,” and is editing two novels, “The Heartless” and “The Fish and The Flood: A Fairy Tale.” His website is and he blogs music at

Happy listening,


Check out my Guest Blog on Nanowrimo

I’m guest blogging this week over at the Almost Average blog. Thanks to Jason Nugent for the great opportunity, and I hope you all head over there and check it out. I always enjoy swapping ideas with fellow writers and podcasters…I’m also doing my first ever podcast guest appearance on the Happiness Mama podcast in a couple of weeks, so pretty excited about that, will have more information soon.

Here at NEW, we are busy little holiday bees…we do have a Thanksgiving episode coming next week, so later today or early tomorrow I will start releasing bios on those contributors. It’s a little bit different sort of Thanksgiving episode, about gratitude when times are tough, which I think fits the world we live in right now.

If you haven’t checked out our promo for the Christmas episodes, you should, it’s only 30 seconds long. Recording for those is underway and so much fun…they are light and funny, perfect for the holiday season. I hope you will enjoy them. Please note that they are going to run longer than our average episodes, so be prepared for that.

Looking forward to all that is ahead! Happy reading and happy listening,


Thanks, Podcasting

I never knew when I started the podcast what a powerful medium this really is. Our wonderful podcast host Libsyn has asked podcasters to record a short bit of audio to thank podcasting as Thanksgiving fast approaches. Here is our thanks from No Extra Words to podcasting.

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