Tag Archives: short stories

Fox News endorses Steve Almond’s new book

Genius book trailer here for Steve Almond‘s newest book of short stories. I’ll let you find out the title from the video…

If you’re as excited as I am now, come see him read at the Boston Book Festival (October 15th!) or at Porter Square Books on November 28th.

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Bygones.

I’m letting bygones be bygones. AKA this week. Sorry for the lack of posting/reviews as I promised. The sun came out this week, my bike, notebook, and camera beckoned, and I answered the call.

But if you’re wanting a quick literary pick-me-up before you go enjoy the sunshine yourself this three day weekend, I can’t recommend “Fly” by Julie Innis at Fwriction:Review enough. Please, please, please do yourself a favor, and read it.

I promise you'll fall in love.

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Friday Reads: “Fact of Life” at fwriction:review

 It’s been a slow week for me as far as Short Story Month updates go. Came into the office today because I’m getting picked up from here, which meant two fewer hours of sleep than I usually get on Thursday nights. To better ease myself into the day, I decided to take a quick fiction break this morning and read “Fact of Life” by Alison Barker at fwriction : review.
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New reads.

Y’all. It’s been raining since Sunday and the forecast looks pretty monotonous and dreary for the coming week. What a perfect time to start a new book, right? I finished up the Oates memoir. I’ve moved on to Alan Heathcock‘s collection of short stories, Volt. So far it’s proving to be something special, and I’m really looking forward to curling up in my bed under my lamp and reading until I can’t keep my lids open.

It’s been a hectic week (IRL anyway) with birthdays and traveling and family. I’m looking forward to the Porter Square Book Bloggers Event and some reviews coming your way! I also bought a camera at a tag sale this weekend, so look forward to some photo posts in the near future (once I figure out how to use the thing!).

What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

(photo via)

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Short Story Fix!

It’s been quite the busy weekend, what with being out of town (batting cages, soft serve ice cream, mini golf, tennis, and Mother’s Day brunch), so the only reading I’ve done is of the Oates memoir I’m currently reading. So for today’s short story month installment, I’m sharing some of my favorite sources for short stories. Enjoy! (PS – Two days until my picks for the Book Bloggers Event are due! I’m getting nervous & second-guessing. Ahh!!!)

These are just a select few from the top of my head. Where do you get your short story fix? (PS – I love these old ShortStories magazine covers.)

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Month of the Shorties: “Preservation” by Raymond Carver

By Melanie Yarbrough

Sometimes when I have difficulty writing and spend more of my time staring at my notebook than actually writing in it, I justify my time spent by reading. The other night, faced with this same daunting blankness, I pulled out Raymond Carver’s Cathedral. His stories have served as a place of calm and reflection for me before, and they were once again.

“Preservation” seems to be a fitting story for many Americans’ economic situations: Sandy’s husband is laid off. He takes to the couch while she continues working. She feels helpless observing her husband’s newfound helplessness. Several moments throughout struck me as crucial to the story’s themes: Sandy always waiting for her husband to say something; Sandy always watching her husband’s feet; spoiled food; and things that leak and cannot be contained.
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Short Stories in the Shortest Month

By Melanie Yarbrough

It’s February again. February gets ripped off, because despite being Black History Month, it doesn’t get much attention or credit. Valentine’s Day has turned into an anti-holiday, celebrated for its easy-to-hateness. Groundhog Day is just another day when it’s an awesome idea to watch that Bill Murray movie. Before you know it, it’s the 28th or the 29th and we’re being ushered into March.

As you may have noticed, updates on the TTTR front have been hard to come by. We’ve been surviving solely on our delightful and creative friends’ Where We Live submissions (and good thing, too, or else Call & Response Zine might not have shouted out to us…). To remedy this plateau we’ve reached, I’m going to use the only cure that has ever worked: A goal and some goddamn hard work.

Every day this month I’m going to read a short story – one I’ve already read, a new one, something a friend has written, something from Fictionaut or fwriction : review –  and I will report back with thoughts, reactions, favorite lines, and lessons I’ve learned. Calling myself a writer has always started with calling myself a reader, and this month I plan to celebrate both of those things, one day at a time.

Want to join me? Send suggestions or your own reactions to stories you’ve read to TheThingsTheyRead@gmail.com or hook up with us on Twitter for a thrilling lit discussion.

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Sunday’s Fictionaut Fiction Nugget: “The Color of Mangoes”

By Melanie Yarbrough

Today’s Fictionaut Fiction Nugget, “The Color of Mangoes,” comes from James Lloyd Davis.

The concept of this story is a simple one; there are no overwhelming realizations, nobody changes, the person who dies has been dead for years. But there is still something very powerful about James Lloyd Davis’ “The Color of Mangoes,” something that gives you pause.

I’ve often joked with friends that if I ever died an untimely death, that they should destroy my journals, for fear my family would find them. Trust me, there is nothing remotely worthy of the swift and secretive destruction of my journals. What there is, instead, is the fear that once I am gone, I won’t have the ability to control what others think of me. That all that’s left will be the things that others can interpret, misinterpret, take at face value.

On the other side of that, however, is the fear that those who’ve died were strangers to us in their lives. That there will be things to discover once they’ve passed that we will not know or understand. And perhaps the most frightening part of these misunderstandings is having to grasp that we will never be able to clear it up, in turn having to grasp our own mortality with that of others.

Don’t worry, Davis doesn’t get into all of these abstract and indistinct musings, but he does, in five paragraphs, give cause to think of them. And that is always far better.

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Nerd Out & Get the Word Out: Boston Book Festival 2010

By Melanie Yarbrough
They have Woodstock and Lillith Fair, Burning Man and even a Strawberry Picking Festival. And finally, last year, Boston started its annual book festival, for the rest of us.

This Saturday, October 16th, marks the second annual Boston Book Festival in Copley Square (which means a great view of the Boston Public Library!). They’ve posted the schedule and description of events here, and I thought I’d share what I’m most excited about. Ready, set, nerd out!

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I didn’t write.

I sat down to write last night, pulled my typewriter onto my bed, faced the window – vibrant with sirens and Bukowski tavern – and set out to write. Instead, I cleaned the dust from between the keys and the little rods that carry the lettered ends to the paper. Instead, I looked through my stationery for old birthday cards I bought for friends whose birthdays are approaching. Instead, I contemplated creating a Facebook event for my birthday coming up. I played Words with Friends on my phone, and sent out excuses about having too many vowels to my friend Keenan who will beat me each time no matter the number of vowels I have. I wrote some honest lines about my relationship with my stepmom, then exhausted, lay back and stared at the lights hanging from my ceiling. I thought about conversations I had that day, about conclusions I’d come to. I watched a 28-minute long video of David Foster Wallace reading some of his non-fiction that made me want to reattempt wading through his works. As I cleared the books off my bed in order to climb in, I was overwhelmed by a recent memory that brought up feelings I’ve assured my friends time and again have dissipated. I condensed the feeling into a text message and sent it to Louisiana. Relieved, I realized the emotion was tied more to the nostalgia for intimate moments rather than a particular person. I slept just fine, but still, I didn’t write.

Tonight, I’m at the library, barely pooping out 3/4s of a page of what I have the sneaking suspicion I will hate come morning. Still, it’s satisfying enough to have written. I requested two of David Foster Wallace’s books: Consider the Lobster and The Broom of the System (which I’m checking out in audiobook form until the hard copy comes in). I read this week’s fiction in The New Yorker, Wells Towers’ “The Landlord,” and was not disappointed. My favorite moment in the story made me cover my mouth and eyes with my hands; I love when fiction does that. I developed a crush on the guy sitting to my left, and now I’m going to read another chunk of Carol Sklenicka’s Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life. Reading never feels quite as good as writing, but it definitely relieves the guilt of not writing.

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