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March 31st, 2019

Reading, Commenting, Voting!

It's hard to believe we have reached the Top Ten in Idol! And actually the top ten is the Top Eight! It's been some damned good writing and reading for these past five months and there are a few weeks left yet. I urge you to click through the link, read the entries, comment and then vote!

therealljidol.dreamwidth.org/1055546.html


Thank you!

* I enjoyed working on this week's prompt. I'm trying to shave things down to the shortest, sharpest shock. I can't quite hit 500 words, but I'm trying. I want to keep the lyrical prose, if I can, but craft a really succinct short piece of fiction. It's a challenge! I've been reading so many short story collections and I'm beginning to lean towards that craft. More now than I ever have in the past. That's a new thing for me and I've been trying to explore my change of attitude about the short form. For so long, I fought against it, believed the novel to be the worthier goal, strained in my fetters to reach huge word counts and berated myself each time I fell short. Far short. So, is it an ego thing? I can't write long so I'm going to venerate those who write short? I don't honestly know. I do know that the form suits me these days, both reading and writing. I see the craft in it, the same way one sees the skill in the poetic form, and seeing the maker thrills my head and heart. Here's some of what I've been reading, most of it Dirty Realism:

Tobias Wolff - THE MASTER. Ignore all those academicians and misled hipsters who would sneer Raymond Carver's name in your face. They are WRONG. Wolff owns the genre of Dirty Realism. He really does. His work is a gut punch that puts you in the mental hospital. Research this writer and find his work. If you only ever read one of his pieces, make sure that it's Bullet in the Brain.

Raymond Carver - Obviously. The man they had us venerating in uni in the 80's. And he IS good, of course he is. He's BRILLIANT. But...he isn't Wolff. I think he wanted to be Richard Brautigan, but that's another post. Read his collection "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" and his death poems.

Colin Barrett - The astonishing Irish voice. Gritty gritty and oh so painfully beautiful. "Young Skins" is a heart-rending collection. Read it.

John Collier - I have [personal profile] mallorys_camera to thank for this gem. Not sure what they are teaching in regards to the short form these days, but I hope Collier is on that list. The forerunners of flash fiction. This man's imagination and wit are second to none. I think [personal profile] rayaso would do gleeful backflips if he read this guy's work. 

And there are more, of course. My rec for anyone wanting to really get into the short form is to read Wolff and Carver. And then subscribe to The New Yorker. Ignore the political grandstanding *gag* but devour the writing. Because the short story is worshipped in The New Yorker and the offerings are divine. Glorious really. 

* I've been listening to classic Van -



This entry was originally posted at https://bleodswean.dreamwidth.org/335717.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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