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Literally Stories – Week 48


I am listening to Icelandic Electronica/House giants GusGus 2011 album Arabian Horse.

It makes me wonder.

About all sorts.

But nothing to do with Week 48 at Literally Stories, I hear you say?

Not literally hear. And no Arabian Horse doesn’t have anything to do with Week 48. And yes I concede musical references are an unimaginative standby for producing out of thin air suitable talking points by which to segue seamlessly into this, that or the other. And no I shouldn’t make a habit of beginning my sentences with conjunctions lest I be hauled into custody by the Grammar Police.

Which leads me to the weakest of weak links: serial grammar felony is not an accusation you could level at any of Week 48’s authors.

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Literally Stories – Week 47


I am reminded

That the pheno

That is NaNoWriMo

Gets under way shortly.

Right across the globe tens of thousands of fifty thousand-word novels, technically novellas — but let’s not quibble about terminology — will be written during the month of November.

For all those (Diane Dickson I mean you!) of a mathematically averse nature, look away now…

Convert those 50K words into Literally Stories short story fiction and that weighs in at the equivalent of at least 30 short stories or one short story per day.

Give or take a Drabble.

For someone who averages 500 words a week this is a tall order indeed therefore I am seeking an extension to the deadline from 30 November to 31 December.


Plan B is to give NaNoWriMo a miss this year and stick to casting my eye over the week’s goings-on here at LS; trying not to malign the accepted or natural order of days of the week according to the classical planets of Hellenistic astrology.

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Literally Stories – Week 46


In a wee corner of the multiverse known only to the high command of the Illuminati and former cast members of ‘Allo ‘Allo, an errant ‘server’ has been playing havoc with the day-to-day behind-the-scenes running of Literally Stories.

Nothing to do with WordPress, we should add, which runs as smooth as a very smooth thing (apart from a faulty Facebook widget that needs the kiss of life.)

I digress.

Such old-fashioned methods of communication as carrier pigeon, cup and string and even email have been brought back into service. Nevertheless, the bandwagon rolls on and Week 45 is but a beautiful faded memory as Week 46 wins fresh admirers and so on and so forth…bringing us to Monday.

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Literally Stories – Week 45


It has been a busy week. No denying it.

Publishing five stories on the site as is our custom plus preparing to launch Literally Stories — The Anthology: it could be said we gave Ground Control a run for its money.

I am not Major Tom. Neither am I sitting in a tin can but I am feeling a little odd today.


Nothing that a breeze through this week’s literary line-up won’t put right.

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Literally Stories – Week 44


Scrolling down our Twitter feed for Week 44, witnessing the variety of images that help ‘sell’ Literally Stories short stories it is impossible to ignore the diverse nature of our site.

Tumbleweed in an arid New Mexico landscape (we cheated, it’s Kansas), a church in the north of England (a church in the north of England),  a few billion galaxies (yep — we bring you real galaxies folks), a landscape with crows in flight courtesy of Van Gogh and finally, my favourite beach in the whole of Hawaii, Waialua.

Not all of the above statements are entirely true and accurate.

The joy of writing eh? Lying with style. Though it might be disputed that I know all the angles it is irrefutable I have mastered none of them!


The last time Friday began the week Monday staged a walk-out and Midweek came out in solidarity with Monday whilst the weekend said it couldn’t give a $!£* when the week started.

On that archaic note I deliver you something fresher. Well, LS newcomer, James C Clar’s does.

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Literally Stories – Week 43


Scouting locations for the 2015 Literally Stories Editors team-building weekend — or jolly as the vernacular would have it, is as you would imagine a thankless task, especially when the phrase ‘shoestring budget’ overstates the resources at your disposal.

A three-man ridge tent (for five) with en-suite latrine in the second week in December is hardly Glamping but should at least concentrate the literary mind.

Abii. Vidi. Unde digressus sum.

I went. I saw. I digressed.

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Literally Stories – Week 42


The last week has thrown up all manner of political oddities from around the world – and I’m not just referring to Donald Trump’s combover which must be standing on end at the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger (an immigrant no less) has stolen his old job on The Apprentice. The Labour Party in the UK has a new leader several light years left of centre. Australia is going through Prime Ministers faster than a stuttering sports team changes managers, and just this afternoon in Burkina Faso a very large chap in an army uniform locked up the President.

At Literally Stories we try and steer clear of politics. No military coups for us. No bloc voting. Just an oasis of calm, storytelling quality in a world of turmoil.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Story of the Week

Dancing in Amsterdam by Tobias Haglund


Every fifteen meters the light from a lamppost shines. The rivers running through the town reflect their lights. The water often flows smoothly. An occasional wave might pass by, but I barely notice it.  If it wasn’t for the rainfall I wouldn’t believe I live in a coastal city. Five or six small boats are anchored by a one-way street on my side. No anchoring on the other side. The river is narrow enough to see across which causes most people to shut their drapes.  Shadows move to and fro. There’s a couple on the second floor who are particularly animated. They dance, I think, or perform sketches. I sit by the window at my computer and try different songs to match their rhythm. I’ve tried to listen by opening the window, but I can’t hear a thing other than the city noises. Not that I live in a busy part of town, just a forgotten side-street between two busy river crossings. There is always a car somewhere, a loud conversation around the corner, a bottle being broken or something that breaks the attention. The cities are growing even more crowded. Oddly enough I read that the cities are not growing louder. Hundreds of years ago the city was smaller but louder. The blacksmith would bang his hammer on the anvil. The hooves of a horse echoed in the streets. There were no phones or microphones. You shouted to be heard. Maybe that part hasn’t change. Maybe we still shout. To be heard is to be seen and we all want to be seen. I wonder how Victoria sees it. She must know about me and Patrick.

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Literally Stories – Week 38


When I visited the back door portal to Literally Stories Friday morning charged with the task of ordering random words into something a little less random my first thought on typing Week 38 was; Is there any significance to the number 38?

In short. No significance.

The best ‘fact’ I came up with was it is the probable year of the marriage of Claudius and Messalina.


However if you add ‘th’ to 38 and then parallel, too, the plot thickens into something almost but not quite significant, as you now have the 38th parallel. The demarcation between North and South Korea. An imaginary line that also passes just north of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, all of which makes one wonder how newspaper columnists survived before the advent of the internet search engine? None of which leads me to this week’s litany of literary marvels that began with The Aviator.

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