Deborah Cullins Smith

Classified as old but not ancient, I am 'seasoned' enough to finally know what I want to be 'when I grow up'. (Or maybe that's 'if') From the time I was 10 years old and occupied myself by writing a series of adventure stories, to my mid-30's when I began writing inspirational poetry, I have loved creating pictures with words. My first love will always be historical fiction. Hand me a text book, and I will wade through it with a groan. But hand me a novel based on historical people, places, and events and I am mesmerized. When James Bowers and I found ourselves discussing creative writing at a high school class reunion, we found common ground in the written word. (Yes, we graduated in the same class, but I'm not revealing exactly WHEN that was... let's just say it was well after the extinction of the dinosaurs.) Jim encouraged me to branch out into the sci-fi arena, and I became hooked! I've had the honor of being included in Jim's 'Projects', and am privileged to call him my friend. (His wife is an absolute angel to put up with the two of us, neck deep in plots, characters, and worlds far removed from Mid-America!) When I'm not writing or researching, I enjoy spoiling my 3 grandsons and my 2 Pomeranian puppies. I also love to crochet, embroider, work on counted cross-stitch projects... anything to keep my hands from being idle.  Here is a list of my stories & poems written for The Herscher Project (Those in silver are not available here in Elfwood.): Project 03 “Death Knocks”: Defeated Project 06 “Oz Never Gave Nothin' to the Tinman...”: Rise of the New South Project 07 “Aftermath”: Aftermath Project 08 “The When that Wasn't”: A Man of Honor Project 09 “Love Potion Number 9 / Soulmates”: Falkirk Project 10 “The Wuthering”: Life Storm Project 11 “Careful What You Wish For...”: Worlds Away (Parts I & II) Project 12 “By the Numbers”: The Rider   Project 13 “Triskaidekaphobia”: Fumbleblot's Task Project 14 “Dark Futures”: Fields of Blood Project 15 “Aging, Ascents & Entropies”: No More Tomorrows Project 16 “The Hunters and the Hunted”: Death Stalks the Night Project 17 “Dragon's Breath”: The Dragon Egg Project 18 “Urban Legends”: Bessie Project 19 “The Gift of Vision”: (pending) Project 20 “Through the Looking Glass”: (pending) Project 21 “Pretty Paper, Ribbons and Bows”: (pending)I'm finally getting around to updating my page, an endeavor that is long overdue!A Tribute to Larry N. Morris Larry came into my world by way of this Elfwood page. Then he swept into my house with flowers, a glass hummingbird, a basket of fruit, and chew toys for my dogs! In the all-too-short time that we dated, Larry courted me like an old-fashioned nobleman, wooing his maiden. I felt loved, cherished, and oh! so safe in his great, teddy-bear arms. The accident that took his life in April left a huge hole in my heart. It has been the loving support of our many writer friends, Larry's precious family, and my own children and grandchildren that has helped see me through some very dark days. Larry's memory is preserved on the Elfwood site that bears his name, as well as his new anthology, Tales of the Thrifty Barbarian, which was just released this week, and hopefully one last novel, yet to be edited. For more details on Tales of the Thrifty Barbarian, you can visit Please visit Larry's Elfwood page and read his postings, then watch for his name. You'll see it everywhere you turn. He loved to encourage other writers.                                                       Good-by, my love. I miss you. And in alphabetical order: James K. Bowers - A genius with the English language, the Master of Inspiration, and one of my very best friends! Trish D'Angelo - A romantic heart and a prolific pen Steve Doyle - There's never enough time to read all this guy's genius -- but what a way to spend a day!! Xenia Eliassen - Amazing gryphons, dragons, and the best wings you'll ever see! Lisa Eshkenazi - Mystical colors of magical worlds! Inger Marie Hognestad - Norway's female Shakespeare! Jamie Hughes - the Queen of memorable characters and intricate plots. Chris A. Jackson - Cheese King and Master Storyteller! Marijke Mahieu - Delightfully delicious tales of intrigue. Scott Morris - a man of honor with stories of virtue and truth. (Truly his father's son!) Timothy Pontious - powerful prose and poetry from his heart. H. Lynn Rummel - Co-writing partner in crime, and part centaurese heroine! (or is that hellion??? Hard to tell the difference sometimes.... Love you, Lynn!) Emma-Jane Smith - a zany Aussie cumquat with a wildly macabre imagination! (and one of my dearest friends!) Deb Turpin - a tower of talent and a true friend.And now --- (wow! am I behind on this!)  -- released last summer by The Writers Cafe:THE LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS - An Anthology of Christian Speculative FictionI just deleted two of my stories tonight!  Fumbleblot's Task and The Rider have been accepted for the anthology, in addition to a third story called Allison.   (**sniffle, sniffle** which means I had to take down my one and only Mod Choice story....  **sniffle**)  But taking them down means they are going into print in a REAL BOOK!!!!  So I'm really not crying TOO hard!  **smile**  Updates will be forthcoming as they occur. I'm very excited about this book, and all the writers are exceptionally brilliant. Scott Morris (AKA Frank Creed) will also be featured in it, so it's going to be a wonderful read! Plan to pick up a copy as soon as it goes to print!  We are tentatively looking at a publication date of February 2007.  I'll post a list of the authors as soon as I know the entire cast, but I know you CAN look for our very own Steve Doyle and Angela Perry in this book, too!  It's gonna be exciting stuff!  Watch for the latest news, or check out the link above for The Writer's Cafe.Enjoy your stay in the Woods! The dragons don't bite, the fireplace is warm, and the armchairs are comfy. Inch a little closer and enter our magical, mystical worlds!

Battle of the Angels

During a bout of deep depression, I fell back on the comfort of poetry. Battle of the Angels was the result.

A Man of Honour

Herscher Project # 8 was an alternative history. I chose to write about Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with traitor. During the American Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold was one of our greatest heroes. But one decision changed his life, his reputation, and the course of history. I've written a tale about what might have happened if he had taken a different path.

Just Another Pet Story

For the older folks in the 'Woods, maybe you can relate to my memories of a beloved pet! Topsy wasn't your everyday cat or dog.... She was MUCH bigger! Since Jim Bowers and I went to high school together, I wrote this for a Writer's Group meeting I attended while visiting him several months ago. Just a touch of humor...

Death Stalks the Night

A new killer stalks the streets, and citizens cower behind closed doors, hoping to avoid his notice. This story was written for Herscher Project's # 16: The Hunter and the Hunted.

The Fireplace

An old man's evening by the fireplace is abruptly interrupted by the appearance of a strange woman. Is she in danger --- or is he? Written for Project 29 of the Herscher Projects, this one tipped over the word count a touch! Good thing Fearless Leader is lenient...

Silver Lining

A young woman has been given a sewing job to complete, but the results could be disastrous if she does not finish before sunrise. This was meant to be flash fiction for the Herscher Project, but I found it difficult to keep the word count low enough!

Worlds Away

Angelica is a wife and mother who feels overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. One night a mysterious visitor named Lilith appears and offers her one wish. Angelica could not imagine the consequences and the horror of one little wish. This story was written as part of Herscher Project # 11. This is Part One. See Part Two for the exciting conclusion!


This poem was written as a submission to James Bowers' Project #7.5: the project entitled Death Knocks. The older we get, the more we see the shadow of Death looming large over our lives. But Death doesn't always truly win in the end...

Wings of the Dawn

Meet Sara, a warrior sent on a difficult mission. Nathan, a mysterious schemer -- but what is he really up to? Alexandria, Nathan's protege, is a force to be reckoned with, but perhaps she has her own agenda! And Richard -- the core around whom all others revolve. This story was written for The Herscher Project's 19th edition. I hope you enjoy!


Part of James Bowers' Project 7, this was a 'seed' story. My version of Aftermath, written with James' seed, creates a mythical town of a bygone era which suffers an invasion by vicious dragons. All out war between these enormous fire-breathing creatures and the human race leads to the death of one man's home, family, and dreams.


Part of the Herscher Project # 18, I took an urban legend about a serpent-like monster, who took three lives in Lake Erie, and... well.... They say truth is stranger than fiction! What if...

Worlds Away Part Two

Angelica's story continues, as Lilith pulls a few more strings and digs her deeper and deeper into this new life. Suddenly a simple life isn't all it's cracked up to be!


Picnics are supposed to be fun events. But what if the ingredients for your potato salad rebelled?? The concept of this flash fiction came as a result of some church dissension several years ago. When believers don't get along, the stress can be overwhelming.

The Farm

You've never seen a farm quite like this one! The Farm is my first attempt at flash fiction. Enjoy!

The Dragon Egg

A little girl defies her parents and the other villagers by hiding a dragon egg in her secret hideaway in the woods. She soon learns that dragons don't stay little for long.

The Last Stand

Inspired by James Bowers' Project #7, this story follows a race besieged by strange invaders ... Invaders who will change the face of the world for all time.

Angel's Wings

Written in tribute to Henry Bruce Cullins, my beloved cousin by birth, my brother at heart. Cancer took him from us on March 5, 2005. But we'll see him again one day...

Rise of the New South

A new era in society is rising in the Southern States -- with the help of technology and a new breed of servants. But can the South truly rise again? And who will lead them to prominence? It's The Stepford Wives --- with a twist! This story was part of the Projects with James Bowers. And enormously fun to write!