Some years ago, when my Mom was still alive, she provided the inspiration for my first published dinosaur story. I was attending Clarion SF Writers’ Workshop and wanted to write a time travel story. I thought she might make an interesting protagonist, but there was one problem. She was afraid to fly. You should know that she seemed to have a knack for winning contests. So my question was, if she won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Cretaceous, would she climb into a time machine and go?

My “research” consisted of calling her up and asking her that question. “Oh yes,” she said without hesitation. “It’s some place I’ve never been!”

That was the moment I knew I had to send her. The story is called, “Mom and the Ankylosaur,” published in 2004 in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination.

Even better than seeing the story in print was being able to use this story for the first author’s reading I ever gave. My Mom was in the audience. Today, on Mother’s Day, I’d like to dedicate this story to all mothers whose children are writers.


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