Well here we are yet again. Another week over and another just beginning.
The postings are fair adding up. At the last count we’ve reached number 274.
I was struggling what to write this week as inspiration has either taken a holiday or just couldn’t be arsed whispering in my ear.
But on the day of writing this, I did see that Louis Gossett Jnr. was born on this day in 1936. That didn’t really help me but it gives me an excuse to mention, no, not ‘An Officer And A Gentleman, but ‘Midnight Sting’ (Or ‘Diggstown’ as it was called in America.)
This film had a genuine stand up and cheer moment at the end of the film.
Mr Gossett bounced off James Woods and the two of them made this into one of the most entertaining underrated films ever.
I’ll need to watch that once again!
Anyhow – Self-Help Gurus are a strange bunch of people. Their enthusiasm is a wee bit OTT. They are a tad patronising and I’m not a great fan of someone making money by telling you how to help yourself. I reckon there is a bit of irony there.
If you want to self discover your money going from your account to theirs, this is the revelation for you.
But I suppose, if anyone gets anything out of it, then fair do’s. It’s a bit like giving your hard earned cash to the church.
The reason that this came into my head is that we receive a lot of self-help stories
Again I could go back to checking guidelines but I suppose an arshole’s argument would say that we don’t say that we don’t publish this type. But any subject has to be within the story not a story within a subject. That’s what tips the balance from fiction to non-fiction or character’s belief to writer preaching.
And if we are getting into the not mentioning what we don’t publish argument, we haven’t mentioned Pro-Nazi, Paedophile Fables or Backward Writing stories – It’s surely just a given that we just don’t. (Sometimes repetition just works!)
We’ve also received many what could be called U-Turn stories. One submission we accepted and you will see sometime in August was an absolute brilliant example of turning a story on its head.
This is a very difficult discipline to do well.
Don’t get me wrong it’s dead easy to write something very twee and then in the last sentence have some form of a maniac’s maniac jumping into the scene and stabbing them all in the face but just because anyone can do that doesn’t mean that it is easy to do well.
In most of these type of stories, we always have good to bad. We never see someone like ‘The Driller Killer’ throwing down his Black N’ Decker and picking up a crochet hook to make flowery simmets for shy chimpanzees.
Would ‘The Exorcist’ have been just as powerful if Reagan used her talents to teach young kids the ways of an owl with some form of Road Safety incorporated?
It takes a very skilled writer to take you from one thing to the complete opposite within the last few sentences. If you are not one of these writers the reader is left with two reactions:
1. Are you fucking kidding me!
2. This is pish!
If you are wanting to do this, increase your word count and take your time with the classic set-up of Beginning – Middle – End. Forget about the sudden surprise.
This may take your word count away from short story range into novella or novel but it’s better that than instigating either of those reactions, or worse still, both!
Onto this weeks stories, all our writers have been showcased before. It’s quite unusual not to have at least one newbie, but there you go.
Our topics this week include; value, loss, obsession, time-travel and searching.
As always our initial comments follow.
I began the week with ‘Daddy’s Girl‘.
I had to do a wee bit of work on this with the back-story. My lovely fellow editor had pointed out that this was lacking.
Thanks to both Nik and Diane for being there.
On Tuesday we had the very industrious Mr Tom Sheehan.
He continues to send in many stories and the site wouldn’t be the same without him.
‘Never Come Home‘ was next up.
‘It makes you think on how folks get through the hell of war.’
‘To have his plans ruined in such a cruel way was a final blow.’
Another old friend of the site broke the back of the week.
Michael Grant Smith’s short ‘Dystopia, Pennsylvania‘ was published on Wednesday.
‘And no matter where you are, you can find a psycho!’
‘Very well done. A great piece of storytelling.’
‘He is a rather interesting writer is Michael.’
On Thursday Daun Daemon returned to the site for a second time with ‘Sonatina‘.
‘Being left with a hopeful fantasy is all she could have.’
‘The heartache and recrimination is laid bare and the forlorn hope it all ends on is harsher than a definitive conclusion.’
‘This is an absorbing piece of writing.’
And we finished off with another legend.
We were delighted to see Fred Foote gracing the site once more with ‘Sun Lun.’
‘I absolutely loved this.’
‘You get something out this each time you read it. And every time that you do, it’s still mesmerising.’
‘People zooming around time and space would screw everything up.’
That’s us for another week folks.
Just the usual Miss Anderson inspiration.
Keep the comments coming. They really do make the difference.
And have a go at the Sunday Re-Run. Leila is feeling lonely and her cats are eyeing her up, they can’t stand her ever considering herself.
Simply pick an older story that you have enjoyed and write a spiel or introduction about it. Throw in a few questions for the writer and we’ll publish exactly what you send.
Just to finish off, I mentioned self-help and I think Assertiveness Training is in the same spectrum of pish.
I’m sure I’ve said in one of these posts before that if you’re told you need Assertiveness Training to tell your gaffer to fuck off. If that doesn’t work, nut the bastard and burn their house down. Then enquire sweetly: ‘Do you need me to assert myself any further?’