Thanks a lot

Usually I write my posts ahead of schedule. That way I get a chance to go back and correct anything that doesn’t shine. This one is a little different. I am writing it off-the-cuff and coming out from behind the Uncle Bardie mask to let you, my readers, know how much I appreciate your support.

As Charlie Dickens once wrote, 2013 “was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Looking back, we all would like to forget the bad. Personally I would prefer to dwell on the good. From this blogger’s perspective, it was a pretty good year. I started the blog back in August, thinking only a few of you would follow me. Imagine my surprise when I see that I now have 86 followers.

To all of you who follow my posts and read them, I want to say a heartfelt thank-you. In return for your loyalty I have tried my best to give you some comedy, some fairy tales, some satire, some poetry and a few stories that were none of these. I am a firm believer that variety is the spice of life. Evidently you agree because you continue to read my posts. And I really appreciate the comments, the likes and the ratings. They let me know when I am hitting the mark and when I’ve gone a bit off.

 SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW

So what’s up with the New Year. More of the same, along with a few surprises. One of these surprises is a new exercise I have given myself. It will be called Short Story Friday.

I love short stories. Some of my favorite writers are short story writers. That was why I was so excited to see the Canadian Alice Munro recognized with the Nobel Prize for Literature for her body of work. It was truly deserved. Along with William Trevor, the two are possibly the greatest living short story writers. I continue to read both and am often amazed at the breadth and depth of their work. They join such writers as Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver among others as true Masters of the Short Story. Unfortunately Ms. Munro is laying down her pen.

In celebration of my love for the Short Story, I am setting aside Fridays for a special exercise. Sparknotes has published a book of notes on 55 great short stories. I am posting that list as a separate Menu labeled “Short Story List”. Each week I shall tackle one of the short stories as a prompt. I will do the stories in alphabetical order with an occasional out of order. First I will read the story, then I will write a story of less than 2000 words based on the impressions I gain from that story. I may or may not use characters I find in the story. Or the setting. The important thing is the mood the story creates in me. The story I write will be a first or a second draft. But I will give it my best to make sure it is not poorly written.

At the end of each week’s exercise I will name the next Friday’s short story. It is my hope that some of you will join me in reading these amazing stories. All of them should be readily available at your local library. Many of them can be found available online simply by googling for them.

This exercise should get me through a year of short stories. If it’s successful and enjoyable, I might try for another year. So join me as I journey into this brave new world.

Story for Friday, January 3, 2013: “A & P” by John Updike.

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13 thoughts on “Thanks a lot

  1. Have you read Annie Proulx’s short stories Close Range Wyoming Stories? They’re quite good. Happy new year and look forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. What a great idea to challenge yourself and your writing: to read a short story, then write your own based on your impressions. I love that. And…so glad you made a point to honor the short story. As you saw on my own reading list, I love them. It’s a particular art form and it is only handled well by select writers. Some of my favourites are listed at my site, including The Veldt, Breaking and Entering, The Twenty-Seventh Man, and one I read over and over: Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge.

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