Come on in, friends and make yourselves comfortable. I can’t believe it’s been five years and over 100 stories digitally published since the launch of this short story writing site. Some of you may know that it has been my dream to have a website home to showcase my work. Now, here it is, five years of state-of-the-art website form and function, all thanks to a creative genius from Ohio named Eugene Barnes.
We’ll be seeing some cool things happening here during the entire month of June. And first among them is a delightful Guest Blogger post from my good friend, short story writer and novelist, John Beckman of Stone Mountain, Georgia. Your comments are welcome.
I have two lovely sisters, one who lives in suburban Boston and one who lives 100 miles north of London, England. I love them both very much. But I have always dreamed about having a brother. A guy who would be a best friend, a confidant, and maybe even a mentor. But the stork never dropped one down our chimney. I had to make do with sisters
But then something wonderful happened! Through the magic of the Internet, I not only met many new folks from all over the globe but I was gifted with three new brothers, all superb writers. And a marvelously talented fourth brother, my amazing webmaster, Eugene Barnes. From none to four brothers in just five years. What a blessing.
So let me introduce you to my e-brother, John Beckman. He would be my eldest and very wise brother. A famous former southern TV weatherman, John Beckman and I share the marvelous technical hobby of Amateur Radio. He is a terrific short story writer and novelist and he has a wicked sense of humor. Please join me in wishing John a Happy Birthday on his special day, June 3. (I hope that semi-load of candles gets here in time).
So without further ado, let me say “Heeer’s Johnny!”
First let me congratulate Wayne Long on his fifth anniversary of Wayne’s LongShortStories. Here is a man who took a good idea (ebooks) and raised it to a new level. There is no denying that he is an innovative guy in addition to being a fine writer.
There are, in my opinion only two types of short stories. There are “essays” and “sketches” and all sorts of open-ended writing that claims to be fiction in the short form but I don’t consider them to be legitimate. One kind of short story is what I call the “Poe” genre. This type story has the surprise ending – something happens at the finish that is entirely unexpected. I love these old thrillers! And Poe was the master of the art.
Then there are what I refer to as “Thinker Stories.” These are thoughtful pieces that leave you with the decision of how the story really ended. In other words, the story gives you enough clues and inferences that when you finish it you think, “Well, you know, it could have been….?” These are really the most difficult to write and Wayne Long is expert in this field.
In truth, the short story form is the most difficult type of writing and few are really good at it. In long fiction the author has space to wrap up loose ends and tidy up the “what ifs” in the story. Short stories rarely run more than a couple thousand words and in that constraint the author has the difficult job of giving you a satisfying and complete theme. In my own writing I have found that most of my short work has lain around in a drawer over a period of years with rewrite after rewrite in order to finally get the results I aspire to in limited space. What I am saying is: it takes a talented artist to turn out consistently good short fiction and Wayne has that ability, one that is to be envied.
I know Wayne is offering Amazon specials on his ebooks in celebration of his fifth anniversary and I want to get in on the fun. One of my books (the only collection of short stories I have compiled– there are fifteen in this collection) is on Amazon.com and I have made it FREE to download into any ebook reader (Kindle, iPad, Sony, etc.- Amazon has an app for almost all ereaders) for the period of June 3rd through June 6th. Any time during this period (the maximum Amazon will allow free promotions) Cloudy McCoy & Other Stories is FREE for you and anyone whom you think might enjoy short stories. If you like anything you read I would appreciate a short review on Amazon. Thanks to Wayne Long for allowing me into his fifth anniversary of LongShortStories. He is a good writer, a good person and most of all, my very good friend.