It’s time to play catch-up on my short story daily project. While I seemed to be able to commit to reading every day, I find it difficult to find time to write a review post for each week. I’m way behind. Here’s a synopsis of what I’ve learned in the past 50 stories (plus or minus) since my last post. Please click here to find links to each of the stories mentioned below.
1. I enjoy listening to stories while I chop veggies for soup and salad. Especially, the following recordings: Tobias Wolf records Denis Johnson’s short story “Emergency” on day 56; Sebastian Berry records “Eveline” by James Joyce on day 74; Flannery O’Connor reads her own story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in front of a live audience on day 84; and Sophie Kipner reads her short accompanied by drawings in this video clip at Kugelmass.
2. Stories may be read in packages. Oprah featured 8 Micro-fictions by “provocative” writers. Five Chapters serializes a Kristopher Jansma’s short story in parts over 5 days of the week. Spartan published 5 stories under 2,000 words on April 1st. 3 stories were written as responses to photographic images used as writing prompts at Superstition Review. Stories 101 and 102 are paired back-to-back by a common theme: Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” is mentioned in Mima Simic’s “My Girlfriend.”
3. Vermont College of Fine Arts students are represented in Story 63 (Cynthia Newberry Martin), Story 96 (Claire Guyton), Story 104 (Angela K. Small), Story 105 (Kali VanBaale). Ross McMeekin VCFA alum is the editor of Spartan (Stories 91-95). Story 75 is written by one of our beloved teachers, Abby Frucht.
4. Coming of Age themes show up in “Our House is Open,” “Off the Revolution,” “Untitled,” and “Fort Apache.”
5. Story favorites from print found on-line to share: “The Dead,” “Yurt,” “Roman Fever,” “The Drowning.”
6. Stories that match a theme-of-the-day: “A Short Story About Academy Awards,” “Snowed-In,” “Let It Snow,” “A Country Woman.”
7. Two well-established writers (Pamela Painter and Lydia Davis) spin a different kind of tale on the experience of coming in for a shaky airplane landing.
8. Flash pieces read as I further my study on the form: “Snake Eyes,” “Monsters,” “The Common Cuckoo.”
9. “Runner” was the result of a writing prompt using photography. The story is meant to bridge the gap between two unrelated images by showing what happens in between.
10. I find both tension and an odd comfort in stories by women about women (who happen to be mothers of daughters), thanks to Alix Ohlin in “Casino” and Suzanne Jackson Rodgers in “I’ve Looked Everywhere.”
For the rest of April, I will be shining a light on the city of Boston and the writers (and literary magazines) who do their good work in the good city. See you next time.