Friday, June 15, 2012
2nd Edition June 15, 2012
by Mary Martinez
This issue seems to be on reading... Whether it's short or long, summer is the time where, for some reason, everyone wants to read. Do you have time? What is summer to you? Do you make more time to read? Or is it wishful thinking--picturing yourself on a beach reading, the cabana boys keeping you supplied with fruity drinks. Okay I got a bit carried away. But is that all it is? Or do you really read more in the summer?
Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other bookstores capitalize on the term 'summer reading'. Do you read a different genre during the summer than you ordinarily read in the fall, winter, and spring? Is summer the time when you pull out the heavy romance? Or is that in the spring.
When the bookstores start their summer campaigns, I always wonder if they have an agenda? After all come fall aren't they pushing thrillers? Happy Santa stories for December. So by this theory Valentines is actually the heavy romance time. So really what does that leave for Summer? Women's Fiction? Mystery, I think a good mystery or whodunit is good any time.
Please take the poll on the right sidebar about what you like to read in the summer. It will be interesting to see.
When Short is Sweet: In praise of the short story
by Sarah Baker
Writing a good short story is considered, by some, to be the gold standard of an author. It’s actually quite difficult to incorporate all of the elements of a good story, such as a well-developed plot, fleshed-out characters, a hook and a satisfying ending, all into a story that is less than 15,000 words long. It’s a challenge that a lot of authors meet and surpass, while others struggle with mastering their entire careers.
The genre is supposedly derived from the oral story-telling convention, but it came to enjoy immense popularity during the 1850s and flourished from the Victorian era well into the current day. Magazines and newspapers became the preeminent source for short stories, and then many of these short stories were gathered together and published in volumes.
For readers, a short story can be a satisfying read because it doesn’t involve the kind of commitment that a full-length novel commands. You can rest assured that you will get the entire story before you go to bed rather than having to stay up all night reading.
I really like short story collections, and I have several that are knee-jerk go-tos whenever it’s a certain season or if I am feeling a particular way. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are not complete until I have read all of Truman Capote’s memoirs of those holidays with his cousin Sook. And I love reading Capote’s “The Glass Jar,” which is fictional but still a perfect read for Christmas. O. Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi,” is another excellent Christmas read.
When I am feeling sick or tired, I read a collection of short essays by Colette about her mother, Sido. They are collected into one volume called “My Mother’s House.” When I want to be challenged, I read her collection of film reviews, particularly one she published about the work of Mae West. She had such a way with words, that Colette. Slicing through the excess with the precision of a surgeon.
And, being a 1920s nerd, I can’t skip over any collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories, originally published in magazines like Smart Set. If you want to have an idea of what this era was really like, by the man who was the chronicler of his times, then these stories are a must-read. Want to know why it was so scandalous for a girl to cut off her hair? Read “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” and feel the heroine’s stomach drop when she sees her reflection in the mirror after chopping off her own hair. And then—her triumph when she cuts off her rival’s hair.
Short stories often get overlooked nowadays in favor of big, rambling novels. But they still have so much to offer to readers—and they offer an important challenge to writers, too. What are your favorite short stories? What do you like or dislike about them?
And...speaking of short stories, if you missed the beginning of Marie Higgins' "Dangerous Kiss" look at the June 1st issue. In this issue you will read the rest of the story. ENJOY!
by Marie Higgins
Rick grinned that devilish way of his. “Actually, I’m a cop. I’m currently workin’ on a case that involves a drug dealer who always manages to get away from us.”
I gasped, my legs growing numb. This couldn’t be right. “Do you mean . . . Ted?”
Rick winked. “Yes. My unit has been trackin’ him for the past few months, but we lost him. Thanks to you, I’ve found him again.”
“I don’t believe this.”
“Neither do I.” He kissed the top of my head. “But I’m not lettin’ go of you now Miss Kelsey Manning. You’re my good luck charm, darlin’.”
Good luck charm? Hardly! It was difficult to feel so fortunate when only bad things had been happening the past several years. Read More..