Entries by Susan Smith Daniels

Cold Weather, Warm People

Winter whipped itself into the state last week,  from 44 to 18 overnight with wind to drag the feel of it to nearly zero. Despite thirty-seven years of Iowa living, it never fails to surprise me. I can prepare, I can wear the appropriate clothing, but I can’t anticipate the shock of the first cold […]

From the Hum to the Song

It’s a beautiful fall Sunday. Windy, but sunny. I like sunny. And, the anxiety earworm is taking a nap today. I woke to a hum  that all writers long to hear–a reader likes our work. That’s one tune, a happy little worry chasing melody. The next track on our preferred playlist is that the reader not only […]

Origin Stories

I’m often asked how I came to the story of Genuine. Was she a character I’d been thinking about, or was it the idea of healing? I wrote “Possum Days,” the first story in the collection, in 2009 after a bike ride with my husband. We spend some time in California every year, and I […]


With publication day approaching, I am weighing excitement against apprehension. There will undoubtedly be the momentary thrill of opening the small box of books that is allotted to me as part of my publishing contract. A picture worthy moment. I promise an Instagram. But in some moments, anxiety pulls the scale deeper towards the table, […]