Bottle of pour out blue and pills of drugs on white background

Pink and Blue I Love You

Bottle of pour out blue and pills of drugs on white backgroundGilda stood at the bottom of the stairs with fists planted on hips and forced a furious furrow onto her smooth brow. “For goodness sake, Beatrice, haven’t you changed yet? We have to get going soon!”

“I know, I know. Sorry, I was just finishing my book.”

“It’s Friday night. Read tomorrow. Read during the week. Just don’t read on Friday night. Bookworm!”

Beatrice shook her head. “What’s a bookworm?”

“It’s someone who’s always reading.”

“But a worm? I mean, what’s that about? How can a worm live in an e-reader?”

They stared at each other, from the landing to the bottom of the stairs. “Ohhhh! You’re jiving me again, aren’t you?” Gilda knew full well that Beatrice didn’t completely share her excitement for the party scene.  Beatrice was a shy (but not with Gilda), quiet thing that could live a full existence in her room with her e-books and her imagination. She was also, in Gilda’s humble opinion, the most drop-dead gorgeous creature in the entire universe. Still, even the pinnacle of beauty can try a girl’s patience every once in a while. In fact, it was pretty much <em>de rigueur</em>. “So, have you even decided on the color yet?”

Sally Picked Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

One day Sally went down to the seashore to pick seashells. She had always loved the shore. Maybe because it was a transitional place- an in-between place caught between two distinct worlds. Unable to decide where it belonged or what it even was. Much like Sally herself.

And she loved the tides endless flow. Its dynamic way of ceaseless ebbing and flowing, becoming and unbecoming as the waves build themselves up- in vain- only to be destroyed by their own very ambitions. Crushed by the weight of their own desire to reach the shoreline and stretch along the sand as if only to kiss the tips of Sally’s toes.

“What a struggle” Sally thought as she watched the wave’s endless birth, death, and rebirth. They all traveled a thousand miles or more just to be washed up on this sand.

The Wood

I never wanted to live in the enchanted forest.

I’d inherited the shoe from great aunt Gertrude a few years before if for no other reason than that I was her last surviving relative- tales of profuse breeding habits notwithstanding.

sw_NotThisWay_cvx01277I’d been up there a couple times as a kid, whole summers with Mom (never Dad- he never went near the wood) and although I remember there being many children on the property, Bertie had established her day care facility on the grounds precisely BECAUSE she’d never had children of her own. Never met the right man or something, I don’t remember the details. We were never close. So anyway, when I got the call from her attorney, Anthony “Squealy” Porkman (of Porkman Porkman and Porkman Property Law) about the shoe, it was also the first I’d heard that old Gertie was even dead.

I was surprised by the bequeathal, honestly. my mother’s aunt had always been something of a bitch to mom and me, something about her marrying a damn ‘outwooder’, and myself being the product of that apparently unholy union. Frankly my few childhood visits to the shoe, and to the other ‘charming’ locations inhabited by the few other relatives alive at that time, were more disturbing than fun. I wished I could have been swimming in a clean, chlorinated pool, or hanging out with friends at an air conditioned mall. Instead, I had a stagnant green pond I wouldn’t set foot in, and the constant stink of well-used footwear. Twice I was led off into the woods by wolves dressed as ‘grandma’ (i don’t know how they do it), and once I’d almost got stomped by an angry giant when ‘cousin’ Jack raided his garden for magic beans, and then fingered me for the crime instead of himself. The big guys aren’t particularly bright, I gather. Granted, there was some cool stuff in the forest. Castles- more of them than you’d think-caves, a couple of houses that if they WEREN’T haunted, should have been.

Attack of the 50-foot Story….

Every month, I try to write at least one short story. Not only is it a way to get more of my stories out there for those of you who are brave enough to read them, but it also allows me to hone my skill in the art of short story writing.

And let me tell you, writing a short story, say under 5,000 words is vastly different than writing longer fiction. In my opinion, it is also much, much harder.

In a novel, you have time. You develop your characters, your plot line, and your atmosphere to slowly draw the readers into the world that you create. They can be enticed with the sights and experiences that you want to show them. A longer piece of fiction allows you to build the reality that you want the readers to see.

While novels and longer fiction allow you to create a new reality over time, a short story, at least a good short story forces you to take all that information that you have in a novel and condense it, prioritize it, and filter it to give the reader a snap shot of the world of your characters. In an instant, a writer of short stories needs to show the reader exactly what he should see to understand what is going on, and to infer, at his leisure any back story that might exist. There isn’t the luxury of drawn out narratives or waxing poetic. No, a short story only offers you the chance to record the vibrant and visceral present, with a few momentary glances into the past if you’re lucky.

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