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.’
‘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’?
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.