I liken myself to these fuchsias. Bright, cheerful and optimistic a week or so ago, then dead as a dodo this week. Obviously I'm not dead (the fuchsias are, sadly), but I was struck down by the most horrendous tummy bug. Nige thought it was the infamous 'winter vomiting bug' everyone's talking about, although I didn't actually vomit, but plenty of action the other end (sorry to be so graphic!). The griping abdominal pains were excruciating and were coming every two or three minutes in the middle of the night like contractions. In fact, it reminded me very much of being in labour, but without the delightful result!
Enough of that. On the plus side, I have spent the week immersed in women's magazines and daytime TV. I've now convinced myself that I can write fiction for the womags, if only I just sit down and write! I have lots of ideas (I have written those down) and feel I have finally found the right voice. Before I got too poorly I did manage to revamp a couple of stories I'd written for this market back in the late nineties! Yes, it was that long ago when I had a couple of stories published in the womags!
Prompted by one of Sally Zigmond's wonderful blogs, I came up with an idea for The Yellow Room and for this blog. Sally and I both feel that many people who write short stories for competitions and magazines don't actually read good published short stories. How many people educated in the UK study the short story form either in school or university? Very few, because the genre is sidelined in favour of the novel and poetry. So, why not feature a well known and beautifully crafted short story each issue and talk about it? Tickle readers' tastebuds, as it were. Good idea? Perhaps invite readers to talk about their own favourite short story and why they like it so much. What have they learned about the craft of short story writing by reading this particular story?
How about it? Is there a short story which really struck a chord with you and taught you a little more about the genre? Do you read short stories on a regular basis? Do you own collections of short stories? I'd be very interested in hearing from you!