Melissa Mead

Melissa’s latest DSF story is “Empy.” More are coming in 2020. Also watch for her story “The Family Business” in Black-Eyed Peas On New Year’s Day: an anthology of hope..

Here’s a link to Daily Science Fiction, where you can find several of Melissa’s stories. (

A Cinderella Drabble

Once there was a girl whose stepmother made her do all the cooking, cleaning, and housework.

One day the King and Queen threw an elegant ball to determine who would marry their son, the Crown Prince. The girl’s stepmother and stepsisters ran out to buy splendid jewelry and give themselves makeovers, and rushed off to try their luck.

The girl’s fairy godmother gave her a golden gown and slippers made of glass.

The girl sold them on e-Bay for a handsome profit, and soon became CEO of her own housekeeping business. She made a fortune, and lived happily ever after.

The End

“Charming” is out in Sword $ Sorceress 33

“The Salt Man” (IGMS) has been included on the Tangent Online 2012 Recommended Reading List.

“Pride” is available in Scheherazade’s Facade.

“Forever Is A Long Time” (AKA “The Selkie Story”) is out in Sword & Sorceress 27.

“Hirasol” is available in Bull Spec #2

Melissa’s “Bearer of Burdens” is available in Warrior Wisewoman 3. Click here for a look at the cover.

Melissa’s “Little Red” is available in Sword and Sorceress 24.


“Olive Branch”

Missy’s note…

I published my first short story at The First Line in 1999. That got me hooked on writing, but it wasn’t until Carpe Libris and my first con (Albacon 2002–thanks for dragging me there, JS!) that things really took off.

Now it’s over 40 sales later. There are probably stories of mine floating out there on the Web somewhere right now. Enjoy!

60 responses to “Melissa Mead

  1. Ms. Mead;
    Would you take a look at and if you found it worthy, would you pass the word to like-minded souls?

    Thank you

  2. carpelibris

    I’m no judge of “worthy,” but the “creepy” description seems to fit. Thanks for the Halloween treat!

  3. Melissa,

    I just finished reading “Stepsister” in John Klima’s Electric Velocipede 14. Your rendition of the classic is well done. I have a nephew who is autistic and the way you capture the mystery of this disease is truly beautiful.

  4. carpelibris

    Thank you! Ella borrowed traits from several people I’ve known, and I really hoped she came across as realistic. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story.

  5. I wish you the best. I’m in rather a similar boat. Though my first story was published eight years earlier, I’ve also got about forty short publications, and so far, three e-books and one paperback. (BTW, my first published novel was “Ella the Vampire.” Great minds think alike.)

  6. lpstribling

    Melissa – Hello. I’ve been following you mostly on ROF and wanted to start following you on your blog. I thank you for the inspiration. You’ve handed me some great tips. Best. LP

  7. pinches24

    Hi Melissa……I just went to the RoF forum (how long will they coninue with that?) for the string I started with you called “Past fiction?”. You had located the author of a great fantasy series for my by the author Graham Edwards. I just saw that on Sept. 20, you added that you were partial to the “Sprockly Series”. What series were you referring to?
    This is my first visit to this “Carpe Libiris Writers Group” page, and I so look forward to following you here. Also—wow, now I’ve stumbled on this treasure trove of your writings that (naively?) I never knew existed.

    • carpelibris

      I don’t know, honestly. I have banning power on the forum, but I’m not privy to any inside info. I just found out about the closure myself.

      I don’t know if it’s an official series, but ROF had several excellent stories about a mechanical girl called Sprokly and her family. (Hm, looks like another author for me to track down!)

      Welcome to the CL page, and thank you! It’s a quiet place, but we have some handy links and whatnot. Enjoy!


  8. justinplambert

    I just finished Electric Company on DSF and I could tell from a few paragraphs in that you actually knew Schenectady. I grew up there, though I live in Newton, NC now, and I loved all your little references to Union College, the Mohawk, McClellan St. and good old hulking GE in the middle of the city. Great story, and thanks for the memories!
    Justin P Lambert

    • carpelibris

      Justin: You’re welcome, and thank you! My mom claims that her family’s related to half of Schenectady somehow. I went to Zoller long ago, and the Unitarian church, so writing this story was a lot of fun.

  9. Loved your story Electric Company so much I had to come here and let you know! Thanks for a great read, will be looking up your other fiction now!

  10. Melissa, “Electric Company” was excellent this morning. Put a huge smile on my face. 🙂

  11. I hate to ask all these questions, but I’m a homeschooler – the only places I ever go are church or shopping. I have no one else to learn from<:)

    To explain, there are two books I’m working on; one is the children’s book, and the other is a book (I’m not sure what age, but probably teen) that is the third in a series. In this one, my MC will have a best friend and sort of co-MC that has CP or something like it. That’s why I need your help.

    Thanks to your previous advice, I don’t have as many questions as I would have had. First of all, do people usually assume that you are capable of less than you actually are, or more? Do you ever need help? Is it hard to get people to help you, or do they try to help too much? I take it the “one little step” problem is a challenge; how do you get past it? I used to have epilepsy, and I still can’t get myself to say that word out loud; did having CP bother you when you were in younger? What would you say was the hardest thing for you when you were in school – I mean anything, whether it was what others thought of you or studying for tests? That’s all I can think of right now, and hopefully all I will think of. If you think of anything else I probably need to know, please let me know. Sorry this was so long, and PLEASE don’t feel obligated to answer any questions that you don’t want to. Thank you so much!!!


  12. carpelibris

    Emma: No problem! If anything, I may ramble on for too long. 😉
    One thing to keep in mind- CP affects people in many different ways. Some people with it are just a tiny bit uncoordinated, while others may be unable to speak and have no control over their arms and legs.
    I have no problem speaking, believe me! When I was younger, I used crutches. Nowadays I use a wheelchair most of the time. The only thing I can’t do with my arms/hands is hold them palm up, like for someone to pour something into them. So my answers will all come from that perspective.
    BTW, CP has gotten MUCH less common as care of preemies has improved. My sister’s Dr. was astonished that she had a relative with it.

    People’s assumptions vary all across the board. Some treat me the same as anyone else, while others are shocked to learn that I’m married/have a job/drive a car/write books/you name it. It seems like I get more surprised comments from older people, but that may not be true. Anyone can have incorrect assumptions. (Even me. It pains me to remember this, but I was once surprised that another girl who couldn’t use her arms or legs or speak could read books- even though she communicated by pointing at words on a board with a head-pointer. Duh!)
    Sometimes I need help. For example, if I go to the store alone and someone parks next to my lift (like when people park in the striped loading zones next to handicapped spots) I can’t get into my car and either have to wait until the illegal parker comes back or find someone who can back up my car for me.
    Most people are really nice and helpful. Some people do overdo it and open doors, get things off shelves, etc when I don’t need help. Some people get annoyed about that. I don’t unless they touch me without asking. (Ex: try to take my coat off for me or pick me up if I fall. If people grab my arms when I fall, they’re immobilizing the parts I need to use to get up!)
    Sometimes there’s no way around the “one little step.” For example, on our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a living history museum. I really wanted to go into this one building. Here’s how it went:
    Me: “Excuse me, where’s your wheelchair entrance?”
    Employee: “Um, we don’t have one.”
    Me: “Aren’t you required to, by law?”
    Employee: “Uh, yeah. But there’s a cabinet in front of it. We never thought anyone would actually use it!”

    :sigh: Sometimes someone else can push me over a small step in my manual chair. Sometimes I just have to turn around and go home. I crawled up some steps to get to a job interview once. Alas, they weren’t impressed.
    School! Ready for a history lesson? 😉 When I was a kid (I think until 1975), there was no law that said handicapped kids (that’s no longer a PC term, BTW, but it was then) had to go to school AT ALL. I went to a special school with 10 kids, 1 teacher and 1 aide, even though there was nothing wrong with my mind. The 10 of us went to school together until 5th grade, and were friends.
    “Mainstreaming” (sending disabled kids to “regular” school) kicked in a year earlier in my district than anywhere else. So while the other 9 kids were still in school together, I got sent to the biggest school district in my area. (there were 658 kids in my HS graduating class.)
    Hoo boy. I went from being the top of a class of 10, generally well-liked and with high grades, to being a “freak” among hundreds. The teachers didn’t know what to do with me. The kids were scared of me. I wanted to go back to my friends. I was pretty messed up for a few years. There were also basic things I’d never learned in the special school, like multiplication tables.

    Getting mainstreamed is a topic in itself, and I’m sure I’ve talked your ear off. I’ll stop for now. If you want to know anything more, go ahead and ask.
    Oh! Here’s an important thing to know. “Cripple” is an offensive term to most disabled people, like an ethnic slur or something. I’ve known people who won’t read stories with that word, even if it[s historically accurate. (And that can lead to a bunch more interesting discussions, :))
    Hope that helps!

  13. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I use exclamation points when I’m happy!) That helps a TON!!! I may possibly be back if I run into some problems, but that really helps!

  14. Really liked your “Frog/Prince” piece in the Daily Science Fiction Daily yesterday!

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  19. I really enjoyed your Little Red Robin Hood! Great twist on the classic story!

  20. Writeforfun

    I read White as Snow, Red as Blood on Daily Science Fiction. Great job! It was extremely well written and very creative! And I also loved your spin on Rumplestiltskin! Excellant work, and keep it up!

  21. You have some truly wonderful work; your appearances in Daily Science Fiction are always a pleasure! Congratulations on BETWEEN WORLDS! Are you already represented, and if not, might you have any longer works in progress? I would be delighted to take a look.

  22. phil robbins

    lol… I read your story …sort of neat making something out of her brothers featheres so she could fly also. I write as well but not as well as some .I have 35 (unfinished stories) at . and by the way my mom was a mead before she married my dad. i’m into geneology and have the mead family traced back to the 1400’s.
    phil robbins

    • carpelibris

      Thank you!
      I hadn’t heard of Fictionpress. I should check it out. Thanks!
      Wiuldn’t it be funny if we were distant cousins or something?

  23. Matt

    Hi Melissa,
    Generally I’m a fan of Twisted Fairy Tales but your most recent one, Big Bad’s Hot Date, is a little too twisted. Anthropomorphizing a wolf is one thing, and to be expected, but then “herding” pigs into a “smoker” while they are “squealing”? It’s a little too offensive for a specific group of people. I hope you understand what I mean by this comment as I don’t want to be too direct because I otherwise respect your writing.

    • carpelibris

      Oh dear. I made sure to say that the pigs were “Non-anthromorphic” because I didn’t want them to be mistaken, even figuratively, for anything human, or even sentient. If I failed, I’m terribly sorry.

  24. Jim Fox

    “Foam on the Water” currently the featured anthology at AnthologyBuilder contains one of Melissa’s stories as do three other recent anthologies.
    – foxtale

    • carpelibris

      Whoops, I just saw this. Thank you!

      • Jim Fox

        You’re welcome! You might want to go to the blog and comment that your story Swimming Upstream is in FOAM on the WATER. Also, that Sage Decisions, Small Inspiration, and 101 appear in SHORT SHORT STORIES, where they are in good company with stories by Bret Hart, Hans Christian Andersen and me! LOL. -JF

      • carpelibris

        That IS good company! 🙂

  25. I enjoyed “Silenced” a lot! Your notes (digging up an old story from college) make me think I should take a trip through my own archives. 🙂

  26. Thank you for your story, “Silenced,” in DSF today. I am a writer, and I’m also mother to an adopted child with profound hearing loss. This story hits home. I’m excited to share it with others.
    A. Katherine Black

    • carpelibris

      Thank you, I have a disability, but it’s not hearing-related, and I was really hoping that I got this story right.

  27. Frank

    I just read silenced and wanted to let you how much I liked it. I adopted 2 sons and found it very enjoyable.


  28. Johnathan Surowietz

    Melissa, Are you related to Ethan by chance? Ive been trying to get in touch with him forever.

  29. But you don’t have to make a choice! You can have your farmhouse as your Destiny! (As long as you possess the pen.) Sweet story, though I had to make some buttered toast before I could sleep.

  30. Dan

    I really enjoyed your Time Machine story; gave it seven rockets. The suspense created in whether the fellow would get back to his time was fun. You could write a longer story from your concept if you wanted to, make the time traveler instead of the sales clerk the protagonist. Anyhow, thanks for sharing it.

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