I have to tell y’all I believe it takes an enormous amount of talent to pull off a short story or novella. I mean, as a writer, when taking on such a feat, you’re agreeing to give your readers a complete story in a condensed form. You agree to supply the beginning, middle, and end and all the bells and whistles a full-length work affords in far fewer pages than you’d have to embellish with in writing a longer story.
Hats. Off! I don’t read many quickies and write even less of them, for the reason mentioned above. It takes an enormous amount of talent to pull this off.
Welcome readers to this week’s edition of WWBC hosted by the fine folks over at Long and Short Reviews. As you may have already guessed, this week’s topic of discussion is poems, short stories and novellas. Ones which are my favorites to be exact. I’m actually writing this week’s post in real time this morning. I’d downloaded one of my favorite shorts onto the trusty Kindle last week to refresh myself on it, and another short caught my eye before I got started. I finished the distraction Monday only to have such a heavy book hangover I wasn’t able to finish the first. I started to finish it last evening only to get interrupted by a huge electrical issue on our lane. Actual, what happened scared the holy water out of me.
As I was aboard the couch, Kindle in hand, a storm brewed up complete with severe wind. And, two pages into the quickie I should have had read several days ago, I watched sparks and fire cascade from the electric pole in our front yard three times before the gigantic popping noise. Oddly, our lights only flickered. I found out last night, we’re on a separate line-grid from the neighbors. Meanwhile, up the hill there were live wires everywhere on the ground and an enormous tree the electric provider was supposed to have done away with several months ago across the lane. My EMT hubby went up to see if anyone was hurt and what he could do and clearly angels walk among us because no one was. In fact, he’d just come down the hill not three minutes prior to all this taking the dogs for their evening walk and was in safely before the big finish. Did I mention angels walking among us?
I completed my reading really, really late last night. Now here I am in real time, pecking away.
I’ll readily admit, I haven’t read much short fiction of any genre since the college days. However, one story that’s stuck with me all these years is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It was required reading in one of my college Lit classes. If you’ve never read it, it’s the jotted down thoughts of a woman going mad. If you have read it, you know what I mean when I say ‘tis creepy and delightful all at the same time. There’s a copy on Amazon you can download for free for Kindle. It’s definitely a quickie and worth a few minutes of your reading time.
Now, for the distraction which wooed me away from re-reading The Yellow Wallpaper. That would be Perfection by Kitty Thomas. I have a broad and seasoned palate when it comes to my reading. I dabble in just about every genre known. Many people are shocked when they discover I not only read dark erotic, but enjoy it immensely…if it’s written well. And, in my humble opinion, few can match the talent of Kitty Thomas in this genre. She’s one of the original artists who pioneered the genre and she’s only gotten better, if that’s at all possible, with time.
Perfection comes in at a bit over one-hundred pages. The technical definition of a quickie is no more than one-hundred. I consider this work a novella because it’s far shorter than what I normally read, so for me it’s is indeed a quickie. While I’m not one to spoil things for others, I will tell you this, there is a dark twist near the end of Perfection that I didn’t see coming that ratcheted up the dark factor a good amount and in a totally good way. Another deviation for me is that this is written in first-person, not something I read often because, again, this is something that takes enormous talent to pull off. Kitty just proved herself to me with this work. If you like dark erotic, I highly recommend Perfection.
A few other authors and short pieces I adore and would recommend include Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Hemingway, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, and The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber also by Hemingway.
If you’re looking for something longer to read right now, and military romance is your cup of tea, I’m happy to announce that digital ARCs are now available for my novel Just One Tear, due out July 16, 2020. You can grab one HERE.