When Carly read the notice to disconnect, she couldn’t decide whether to go shake Jack awake or strangle him in his sleep. So she just stood there. The front room of the double-wide [Read more…] about Notice to Disconnect
Archives for June 2013
So I have been writing stories this summer, or trying to, and have published a few very short ones (100 words each) on this blog.
It might be good to consider what I mean by a “story” and whether a passage as short as 100 words can make the grade.
My definition is traditional. A story is a usually a narrative, and usually focuses on a character who is facing a problem, a challenge or a conflict. In a strong story, the challenge somehow defines the character. Or, rather, how the character responds to the challenge defines him or her. [Read more…] about What is a story?
The professor wore the required shirt and shoes. He expected service.
The girl behind the counter gaped at him, her mouth a perfect O. The professor set down a bottle. “It’s all in your imagination,” he told her. True enough. What could she see beyond the counter-top? A man in bifocals and a wrinkled shirt. “Let’s get on with it.” He pulled a bill from his shirt pocket, and unfurled it beside the register.
She rang him up.
I wrote this story for the 100 Word Challenge #336 at Velvet Verbosity.
I missed the announcement in April that author Iain M. Banks had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Or as Banks put it then, that he was “officially Very Poorly.” So I was surprised — stunned, saddened — this week to read the news of his death. He died Sunday, June 9. The last novel of his that I read — which I was reading at about the time he learned the “grisly truth” — was The Hydrogen Sonata. It was his tenth “Culture” novel. I read all ten, and hoped to read ten more. [Read more…] about On the death of Iain Banks
I wrote this story for the 100 Word Challenge #335 at Velvet Verbosity.
His sainted mother needed him. Big surprise! The message didn’t say what for. It didn’t say “sainted,” either, but Susan read that into it. “Walter, this is your mother. I need you.” That was all. Not even “please call,” but that was implied, too. Of course you need him, dear. You’re 85 and alone. You need Walter and six more like him. Susan smiled. Yes, seven Walters should be enough to meet any woman’s needs. Still smiling, she pressed delete. She would tell Walter to call his mother, as she told him almost every day. The need would be implied.
As things turned out, I did not die young.
Years ago, I started a story with that line — one of many stories I started back then and never finished — and have always liked it. Right away, you know the narrator isn’t young and isn’t prepared to be old.
Right away, you wonder why the narrator had thoughts of dying young. Was it hypochondria? Or was there real reason to expect an early goodbye? If the latter, why didn’t things turn out that way? Is the narrator disappointed?
Beats me. I never got that far with the story. [Read more…] about Not for love nor money