All Stories, Writing

Five Years!!! A Celebration Of Literally Stories.

Here we are at week 249.

This is a special posting as tomorrow on the 17th, we have been going for five years.

We have a few bits and bobs that we want to do so I’ll get this weeks stories out the way first.

We had two new writers for your entertainment and three old friends.

Our topics this week include; A release, gathering, a pact, a tale and a side-kick.

As always our initial comments follow.

First up we had Tom Sheehan. Look out on Christmas week for an announcement about Tom.

He started us off on Monday with, ‘A Dreamt Preface For A Reading At Nahant Library’.

‘This shows Tom’s inspiration, respect and humanity.’

‘Very moving.’

‘I don’t need to say much more than beautiful writing at its best!’

Our first new writer was published on Tuesday.

As always, we welcome all our new writers, we hope that they have a long association with us and that they continue to send us in their work.

Fire‘ by Nicholas Higginson was next up.

‘This will cause scars.’

‘The brutal story from the grandfather is exactly the kind of thing that we were told to make us feel better. It’s mad when you think on the OTT nannying now-a-days.’

‘The story held you and it is really well told.’

And they were followed by another débutante.

Joshua Bealson broke the back of the week with ‘Kick-Hench Happy Hour.’

‘Excellent tone throughout, the cynicism was biting.’

‘The thoughts of a disgruntled side-kick should be explored more!’

‘Bitter and jaundiced.’

Next, we had an author showcased for the seventh time.

A. Elizabeth Herting had her story ‘Eternity Of Descent‘ published on Thursday.

‘The changing emotion from the MC was well done.’

‘I think the first few paragraphs in this are exceptional.’

‘She heard the words, then understood, then accepted.’

And we finished on Friday with another old friend.

Harrison Kim completed the week with ‘Breakfast At The Hospital For The Criminally Insane.

‘The touches on the MC’s manipulation are subtle and worrying.’

‘Some clever writing that makes the place very visible.’

‘The monotony came across realistically with there being some excitement at meal times.’

Not so much nonsense from me this week guys as we have a wee bit to get through.

The same reminders though!

Please keep the comments coming.

And have a go at the Sunday Re-Run. Pick an older story that you have enjoyed, write a spiel or introduction and throw in a couple of questions for the author.

We’ll print exactly what you send us.

OK – Onto our five year content!!

We all wanted to write a spiel on this grand occasion but we have a few other things that we wanted to do.

Some Audience Participation:

First off, we decided that it would be very interesting to try and get to know you a bit better so we have devised a few questions that we would love for you to answer. Hopefully they are a wee bit different.

1. What is the weirdest thing about you?

2. What would you do if you knew that it wouldn’t kill you?

3. What possession do you love that has very little value?

4. What calms you down?

5. What is your definition of ‘Random’?

Memorable Lines:

We have over the past couple of years kept a note of some of your lines that we think are exceptional.

There is no rhyme or reason to choosing these, except that we try and only pick ones that can stand alone.

So here they are in all their wonderful glory!

As long as people walk the earth, there can only be sad angels
(Leila Allison – Amazed Eyes.)

I have the heart of a lion caged in a body of a woman who doesn’t matter.
(L’Erin Ogle – A Pill To Love, A Pill To Forget, A Pill To Live Forever.)

I believe if you are determined to be loud in public you owe it to everyone to say at least one interesting thing.
(Leila Allison – All These Dreams And Tomorrow Too)

‘I‘ve always had just me and my hope for tomorrow.
(Leila Allison – All These Dreams And Tomorrow Too)

When life throws grief at you, it’s giving you a song.’
(Marco Etheridge – Ghost Hats)

The impact of words often lasts well beyond the sound of them.
(Tom Sheehan – Flesh Of An Unwanted Fish.)

You could pay a desperate man to do just about anything.’
(Thomas Howarth – A Few Billion Leaves)

Embalming is like underarm deodorant for the deceased.
(dm Gillis – Laying Vivien To Rest)

The optimist forgets that things are only at their brightest when the sun explodes.
(Leila Allison – Renfield Awesomencicitizes The Ghost Of The TomTom Ghost: A Feeble Fable)

We hope that you enjoyed reading these as much as we did!

A Few Words From Us:

A lot has changed for me over the past five years and not much has been for the better. But Literally Stories has been a positive constant. It has given me something to think about and be proud of.

I enjoy the whole process and am at my happiest when I am working on the site. I don’t go a day without smiling or cursing and that is all good!

I consider this site to be full of folks I admire and it is a privilege to be in contact with every single one of you.

I also think that I have read some of the best short stories I’ve ever seen. I only wish that we had the means to showcase these further. I’ve said before and I’ll keep harping on that I don’t understand why many of you aren’t reaping in a successful career. Some of the total fad writing shallow twats or publicity whores who are encouraged and enabled to write is a travesty to the craft and an insult to the talented!

I can’t thank all the writers and readers enough, you give me a purpose. I’m honoured after these five years to still be moaning, swearing and most of all reading some damn fine stories!!

Last as always, a nod to two of my closest friends. Two folks I have never met but ‘speak’ to most days. Nik and Diane will always be legends in my eyes and I am a lucky man to have them in my life!

Here’s to the next five years!!!



I had no idea when Adam asked me if I’d be up for joining in on this project just what I was letting myself in for. I could never imagine the talent we would encounter, the wonderful people we would interact with and the depth of friendships that would develop. Yes, with Nik and Hugh, who I count as two of my closest friends – always supportive and kind and generous and I thank them sincerely – but also the authors we have come to know a little and who make the work – and at times it is a lot of work – all worthwhile.

One of the loveliest things I do is to write to people who have had a story picked for a re-run – Let’s be honest the vast majority of us ‘writers’ are insecure, fragile little flowers who are racked with self doubt and to tell someone – you aced this – is a happy thing. I must thank Leila for all her work choosing the lion’s share of the stories for this feature and the others who have taken a punt at it – please have a go – it was Hugh’s idea and it has been a great success I reckon.

Sometimes site duties feel a little overwhelming, especially if one of us has had a few days off and the stories have built up – and they build up quickly these days – but we couldn’t do it without the stories and we have managed to adhere to our three weeks turnaround and usually much quicker – I’m proud of that.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has submitted, read, commented and  supported us over this last five years. I’m chuffed to bits by what we’ve done together.



Being such modest souls, Diane and Hugh are greatly downplaying the amount of time and effort they put into the site. Through a combination of work, growing family commitments and a borderline madness addiction to running long distances my contribution to LS is small these days. Sure, I keep the spreadsheets ticking over and do some sweeping and pruning on our discussion forum but most of the real work falls to my dear friends Diane and Hugh without whom there really wouldn’t be a site.

All that said, I still love being part of this community in whatever capacity I’m able to contribute. My two supportive never-met friends are a huge part of that, but I can only echo their sentiments about the wonderful stories we get to share in and the personalities (authors and characters) who put their faith and their words into LS.

I didn’t think we’d ever get to five years so I’ll make no predictions about how many more years there will be. The old girl could do with a lick of paint and a buff and polish after five years of steadfast service so don’t be surprised to see her aging more gracefully in 2020…

Thanks to everyone who makes LS so much fun to be a part of – and please keep your words and wisdom coming.




24 thoughts on “Five Years!!! A Celebration Of Literally Stories.”

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks for toast, coffee works – A hit of Drambuie in it would work better!
      I’m not sure if it is a universal thing but it is considered unlucky to toast anyone or anything with water. I have to say that is something that has never been an issue with me!!!
      Thank you so much for your friendship and contribution – I can’t tell you how much it means!
      All the very best my fine friend.


  1. Congratulations Hugh, Diane & Nik and the wonderful team of editors past and present at Literally Stories who have created a vibrant community and forum for writers that is supportive and feels like home. So truly honored and thrilled always to be able to be a contributor. Raising my iced coffee to you all!

    Adam Kluger

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Adam,
      Same sentiment to you that I have just answered Dave with.
      One thing I am looking forward to this year is you hitting your 50th story. Not many have managed this. You would be the fifth. So don’t dry up and get those last half dozen or so in!
      It is a pleasure having you around the site and all I can do is thank you once again!
      You are a pleasure knowing!!


  2. Weirdest thing: I am weirdly proud that I am a “treatment resistant bipolar.” It’s like I’ve accomplished something special.
    Would do but would off me: Live alone in a cabin in the wilderness. Just me and the wild critters. I’d be dead before lunch.
    Loved valueless thing: It has to be my 10-year-old coffee mug. I’d be lost without it.
    Calms me down: The downfall of the mental teeter-totter referred to in answer one.
    Random: No such thing. Everything happens for reasons both within and outside human understanding.
    Happy 5th Birthday. Pretty soon you’ll be wanting your own phone and permission to wear makeup.
    Your friend,
    Leila Allison

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Leila,
      Loved the answers.
      ‘Treatment Resistant’ isn’t a good thing but I understand it being a badge of honour! (Our lot use ASBOs and Heart Disease as positive profiling)
      And your thoughts on being eaten before lunch wouldn’t happen, you are braver than you realise. I mean, you shut your eyes when you are living with cats!
      Leila, you make doing this an absolute delight. It is our honour to have you part of this!!


      1. Thank you for the good words. I believe that everyone would like to know the LS Trinity’s answers to the questions. I fear the resumption of Prohibition. Like Groucho Marx sang, “Whatever it is, I am against it.” Since I smoke, it’s an attitude that will put me on oxygen someday. So what.


  3. Congratulations on the five year mark. That was interesting to read the Editors’ pieces. It takes a lot of work, for sure. I agree some of the stories on this site are extremely good, much better than many and often most and sometimes all that I’ve read at more formal print literary magazines, which tend to be kind of trendy and pretentious. Literally Stories has many different topics and styles and I’m anticipating every day what sort of piece will show up next. Many of these stories have three qualities that attract me, they’re well crafted, entertaining and they hold my attention. There’s also a lot of humour. Onward and Upward!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Harrison,
      One of the sad and happy things about doing this is the friends we lose and find. There is no bitterness. We are all adult enough to release that life and priorities are ever changing.
      It has been an absolute pleasure to see you becoming a part of the site.
      Your commenting is appreciated, even when the response is a bit quiet. You have an outlook and a knowledge that is a bit different from the norm and that is all good.
      And on top of all that you have given us some extremely interesting stories.
      Thanks so much Harrison it is a delight having you around!
      All the very best my friend.


  4. You guys are true legends!
    One of these days I will say a proper hello in our forum. Maybe write something funny. Probably not…
    Five years huh? Wow. That makes me… older than five.
    All the very best

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Tobias,
      It is brilliant to see you on the site.
      Your comments and stories are missed but most of all, so are you.
      Life will be busy for you now and maybe a bit noisy and a bit messy – But I’m quite sure you wouldn’t have it any other way.
      All my best to you and your family and you know where we are if you ever want to dip your toe back in!


  5. Happy Anniversary! Five years of great short stories, and all because of YOU! Thank you for making it happen, thank you for publishing me and thank you for your wonderful comments each week, Hugh, that I simply love.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Aww, how very nice of you.
      Actually, I am overdosing on pleasantness at the moment. I have been answering all these touching comments and I was at a wedding last week – So there has been no nastiness from me.
      …It’s building up though. I’m happy about that as I must be due an MP at the door campaigning for the General Election. And I don’t care from which party – My hate doesn’t discriminate when it comes to a politician.
      Sharon, like the others you make this site a pleasure to work on and be a part of!!
      Keep being you!


  6. Congratulations on Five years! That’s awesome 🙂 Thank you also for engaging people with challenges and questions and all the Things!

    1. What is the weirdest thing about you?
    Depending on who you ask, it could be anything! From my perspective, nothing I do and everything I do is weird. People are just weird. This is a weird place (Earth, with Humans on it).

    2. What would you do if you knew that it wouldn’t kill you?
    Fight crime? Uncaped (see Incredibles) but still masked (to protect my loved ones and such).

    3. What possession do you love that has very little value?
    That directly challenges my own definition of value! I’d say nothing does – if I love it, it has value.

    4. What calms you down?
    Sleep and walking, but not together (unless they do, and I have never noticed).

    5. What is your definition of ‘Random’?
    Whatever can’t be predicated with more-or-less certainty by the person calling it ‘Random’.

    Great questions! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much.
      I’m glad you took the time to answer the questions.
      Your answer to question 3 is so obvious and correct – That’s the way we should look at things. Unfortunately there are few that do and being materiasticalistic becomes a comparison trait that is confused as substance or meaning.
      All the very best my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had the question been about monetary value it would have been a *bit* easier to answer but I prefer the way you phrased the question anyway 🙂 Thanks again,


  7. Excellent achievement and deserves every word pf praise. A great site that over the years has provided encouragement and entertainment for writers and readers alike. i personally have enjoyed many of the stories, and feel I should be writing more.
    Thank you for all your hard work and persistence in keeping this site running;, awesome in every respect.
    Best regards.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi James,
      So happy to read your comments.
      Thanks for the kind thoughts.
      And yes, you should be writing more and hopefully we will get to see some.
      On behalf of the site; The comments you make on the stories are in-depth, thoughtful, technical and perceptive. Every one of us can learn from them and it is people like your goodself who make this site that wee bit different!
      I’ll raise my next Laphroaig to you my good friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sara,
      I have seen you around for a long time now.
      We appreciate the kind thoughts.
      Hope you continue to enjoy the stories.
      All the very best.


  8. Hi Leila,
    I can’t add another comment onto the thread where you asked the question, so hopefully you will see this.
    Before I answer, I have just noticed that I forgot to mention the memorable lines in my comment.
    Excellent guys – There are some absolute belters in there, I hope you are all suitably proud of them!!
    And since you asked Leila…

    1. (Weirdest thing about me) – I don’t expect anything to ever go well.
    2.(What to do if it wouldn’t kill me) – Drink more brandy and use more salt.
    3.(What I love but has no value) – My lack of expectations.
    4.(What calms me down) – Listening to ‘The Flower Duet’ and drinking brandy.
    5.(My definition of random) – Is the thought that follows my initial one.

    Cheers Leila, a wee bit self-analysis is always good for the soul!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello

    Thanks Hugh for acknowledging all these lovely greetings. Haven’t we got some nice friends out there in writing land.

    Yes, I suppose it’s only fair that we answer the questions isn’t it.

    1. What is the weirdest thing about you?
    I was laughing only this evening with The Hubby – I’d come over all tearful about some strangers he was telling me about who had been fiddled out of their holiday by some evil scum. Dabbing at the dampness I was also going over the fact that I had just brutally murdered three people in my current WIP. I have some sort of strange disconnect I think.

    2. What would you do if you knew that it wouldn’t kill you?
    I guess underwater swimming with the fishes – I’ve done it with a snorkel but it would be cool to do it without any artificial aids.

    3. What possession do you love that has very little value?
    I suppose I would say pictures especially old family ones that can’t be replaced – then again how often do we really look at them – hmmmmm

    4. What calms you down?

    5. What is your definition of ‘Random’?
    The stuff that falls out of my finger ends when I’m writing. Much of it doesn’t fit until suddenly it does.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks everyone for the lovely and funny comments!

    As is usually the case around these parts I’m the guy trailing in the wake of Diane and Hugh’s collective responsiveness and all-round brilliance but let’s put some answers down anyway 😊

    Weirdest thing about me: Depends who you ask. Some people reckon it’s that I run long distances for enjoyment. My wife would say it’s because I like the taste of root beer or that I get excited about turning data into pretty pictures. Yeah, it’s probably the whole data nerd excitement thing to be honest. Or my eyebrows.

    What to do if it wouldn’t kill me: Jump off Table Mountain, flap my arms and glide serenely back to the pub. The trail down is a bitch.

    What I love but has no value: My workbook from English class at school at about age 11 which is filled with imaginative stories that I was told had no value or place in an educational system.

    What calms me down: Running. Doubly so if there is suitable hydration at the end.

    My definition of random: Most of my thoughts, most of the things I write down and a lot of the things that fall out of my face in the form of words. It’s like herding cats in here I tell you.


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