Here we are at Week 205.
Anyone who has read our previous posts at this time will know that we all write a wee message, so I’ll do the reviews and such-like first.
We had three new writers, one on his second story and me.
The topics included; Limited customers, a surprising film buff, a bridge, a soul-mate and medication.
As always our initial comments follow.
Our first new writer was first up. No coincidences here, it is all meticulous planning! (…Well)
We welcome Martyn Miller and he started us off with ‘The Man Who Sold The World.’
‘Good imagination and a welcome lack of seriousness.’
‘This just made me smile.’
On Tuesday, Jamie Sheffield had his second story published.
‘Bloodwork‘ was next up.
‘I thought the ending was perfect.’
‘Well constructed and it didn’t outstay its welcome.’
‘It was very one paced which suited the story superbly well.’
I was next up on Wednesday with ‘Nature Or Nurture – The Devil’s Mix‘.
I had a lot of fun with this. I think it was instigated by my preference for Harold Loyd!
Chris Cleary was our second new author.
As well as welcoming him, we hope that he and our other two newsters enjoy their time on the site.
On Thursday we published, ‘Coeur de Lion‘.
‘This was a slightly distorted view of reality which I enjoyed.’
‘There was a lot to like here.’
‘I found myself wanting to read it all the way through.’
And on Friday we had our last newbie.
Suzanne Nielson’s story ‘Switch Hitter‘ finished off the week.
We look forward to reading more stories from all of them.
‘This said a lot about her but you were left with an emptiness.’
‘A lot of weight in such a small word count.’
‘I loved the line ‘I did what I normally do when I don’t understand a question. I told her the time.’
OK, that is that out of the way, now:
Just two reminders.
Our holidays will begin on the 25th December until the 14th January.
We will be publishing not one but two stories on Christmas Eve from two of the sites stalwarts. And there will be something a wee bit different on Christmas Day.
Please continue to submit and comment but we will only be around in a glancing capacity. That is a way of saying, if one of us is sober enough to look at and acknowledge any emails, then we will. (I wouldn’t expect much from Diane. And if I answer, ignore me. Oh and don’t encourage Nik or he will be round your house like a shot demanding a party.)
And please have a look at The Sunday Re-run Feature and get involved.
Pick an older story you like. Write a critique or spiel and we will publish as is.
Leila, Dave and L’Erin are feeling a bit lonely.
So now over to us:
A Christmas Greet by Hugh
(Check out Rikki Fulton to see how this should be done! – Last Call Rev I.M. Jolly – Hogmany 1998)
…It’s that time of year again.
Time to reflect and wonder and wonder if you should reflect.
This is the time to think on those less fortunate and count your blessings. Seems to me if you do that you are being a bit of a tit, but what the hell, it’s your Christmas and you can do whatever you want!
If you are over eighty, remember to remember, eat, drink and be maudlin. Tell all your relatives who are there how much you miss the relatives who aren’t there. And I don’t mean in an acceptable dead type of not being there. I mean them not being arsed being there. But you still rub everyone else’s face in it. It’s your Christmas too.
Of course this is the time for children. It’s a pure joy to see their little faces burst into tears when the spoilt little shits don’t get what they want.
And for the poor kids…I’m quite sure that they understand that the commercialism of Christmas isn’t worth experiencing. What would they rather have, a bike or scabies?
…Itchy legs everytime?
Some people do their best writing at Christmas. All those good wishes in the Christmas cards they send can be pure fiction.
I would suggest staying up late into the night, getting pished and then writing. I wonder how many ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’s there would be. Or would there be murder, resentment, mayhem and tears in your words?
If you go down the ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ route, keep them to yourself. The latter, well, let us have a look. If it is really deranged and you add in some illustrations or photos, that’s even better. Diane likes a bit of gore with her Christmas Pudding.
I apologise, I really shouldn’t muck about.
Diane doesn’t like Christmas Pudding.
I think both her and Nik are having the same dessert this year, a raisin in a bucket of red…Fruity!
I need to thank both Nik and Diane for putting up with me over the last four years and wish them and their families every happiness.
And to all of you who have submitted, commented, emailed and generally made me smile, I can’t express how much that means to me.
I will raise many a glass at Christmas and many more at The Bells and toast all involved with Literally Stories.
All the very best my friends!!!
Well there we are then. Another year just about over. I reckon we’ve done pretty well this year. The time spent working on the site certainly seems to indicate that. It’s been great to see so many newcomers, the Sunday Rerun is working well – but – we would like some more of you involved. The work being done by Leila, L’Erin and Dave is excellent but anyone else is welcome to have a go.
See Hugh – I told you I could do a whole paragraph! If I close one eye and hold onto the corner of the desk I can even stand up straight. Ha – it’s Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve, Eve or something and look at me still sober!! That’ll show you Mr Haggis!!
Seriously though, hic – no no – I love you all, I do, you’re my best mates, you are. Hic – what – Oh right – post yeah, the post.
I’ve had a couple of little successes in the writing world, a couple of new novels have been published and had their moment – excitingly my publisher sold the audio rights to a couple of my police procedurals so that’s a new and thrilling development. Many of our LS writers have similar successes and we love hearing about them, and for those of you working away at longer pieces or attempting to get them out in the wild, just keep trying, we may not all be JK or George RR but there is room for everyone. Good luck with your endeavors.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the Man Booker folk to get in touch, keep the stories, comments and interest coming and I send all my very best wishes to you and yours wherever you are.
To Nik and Hugh – Happy Christmas you guys. One day we’ll make it to the big meet and what a day that’ll be. Take care of yourselves and thanks for all the laughs and for being a couple of the nicest people I know.
And so last and by every means least the patented LS titanium baton gets passed to the southern tip of Africa. I’m fully immersed in the season of confusion here in Cape Town – no matter how many times I do it, the act of going into a shopping mall in order to escape the heat only to be confronted with an aircon set to Arctic, fake snow and Christmas carols boggles my tiny little Pooh-bear mind.
Around this time last year I decided that 2018 had to be a year of change for me and for once (unlike my writing output) I’m able to sit back with a cold beer or six and reflect on some success in that regard. We’ve kept both kids alive (I’m not talking about Hugh and Diane) for another year, my wife has found a job in an industry that she loves and I finally got back in touch with what makes me tick in my working life. New job, new focus – a lot less stress and a whole lot more fun.
They even let me write a blog about data every month.
While I’m off contemplating my navel and trying to make positive changes, Hugh and Diane shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for LS without complaint (other than the emails they send each other behind my back). Without the two of them this place wouldn’t exist – and one of my key reasons for being jolly (’tis the season) would be lost. Thank you both for being so generous with your time, your advice and your unwavering friendship.
It’s been a privilege to be involved with LS for another year and to be able to read the words of our ever expanding family of writers. I wish you all a wonderful festive season and every success into 2019 and beyond.