So, Tom Sheehan Week – what a pleasure it has been to set this up as a Christmas treat for visitors to the site, regulars, newcomers and those who pop in now and then. Anyone who has looked at Literally Stories must be aware of Tom – the writing legend that we have had the honour to feature 100 times.
We read thousands of pieces of short fiction and interact with hundreds of authors at all stages of their writing career and there is a small handful who constantly send us amazing pieces of work and we grab them with both hands. Tom Sheehan is one of those writers and we are so very grateful that he has stuck with the site almost from the beginning. His work is a delight to read and even when he sends us something that, for various reasons, we decide is not the right fit for us he is polite, friendly and professional. Thank you, Tom, for all of that. I could wax lyrical about the beauty of his writing but I think Hugh has that covered in his comments and so I will just say that I second everything he has said.
So, this special week. The stories have been chosen by Tom – we gave him carte blanche in honour of his achievement with no interference at all from us. Of course we have read them, we read every one of his submissions but for this week the site is his. So, click on the link at the bottom of this post for the first of five stories chosen by Tom for you.
When we decided to celebrate Tom’s 100th story, it was a pure joy to think on. Around July time, he knew he was getting close and bombarded us with stories. It was a pleasure to read through them all. At that time we were sending out around fifty rejection letters a week so it was refreshing to immerse ourselves into his work. Whether we accept or reject his stories, they are always a breath of fresh air.
I am in awe of Tom Sheehan as a writer and I admire his outlook on the world.
Tom is inspirational and I think he is inspired every single day by just looking and listening.
His stories can be imaginative but they all have a strong bond with specifics. This could be a person, a sport, a tool, a memory or an emotion.
Tom will always write, he will never run out of things to write about as when he wakes up in the morning he is surrounded by inspiration. Between that and his unique ability to have words flow effortlessly and beautifully, that is writing talent at its pinnacle. We all struggle for ideas, Tom just lives out his day and simply focuses on one aspect and he can and will write about it.
Tom is in tune with all his knowledge, perceptions and humanity and that is blatantly obvious when you read his work. I don’t think there has ever been or ever will be another writer like him.
The other attribute that Tom has in abundance is respect. He respects the past, the people he has met and the world he lives in. This gives his words a beautiful richness and wonder, no matter what subject he takes on.
His work is plentiful but Tom is a one off genius.
It is my absolute pleasure to work with you Tom!
Tom is one of those writers who, when he falls into his lyrical rhythm, could turn a telephone book or a takeaway menu for the local Chinese restaurant into a thing of beauty.
For me his real strength is his ability to turn everyday people into interesting and readable characters, who have believable conversations. This sounds like something that should be easy to achieve, but it’s the product of repetition and the endless quest to hone his craft. Tom brings us wit and wisdom in equal measure and, most importantly of all, he makes us care about those we share the pages with for a short while.
Many congratulations Tom – and thank you for all the wonderful words you’ve seen fit to share with us.