Short Stories and Stream of Consciousness Thoughts

I read this article tonight. Here is the article link:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-short-stories.html

It provides a great list of the best short stories to read. The stories are listed in two categories. The first category is for children and the second is for adults. I have read almost all of the children category stories but sadly, only a handful of the adult short stories shared in the article.

Along with this article, I’ve been thinking about some recent discussions I’ve had with friends online here and also at work. One discussion was on the book The Clan of the Cave Bear. This is a very large and dense book by Jean Auel and was written during the 1980s. The story is about a Cromagnon women in ancient times who is raised in a Neanderthal tribe. She is very light-skinned with blond hair and blue eyes. She has an athletic build and learns to become a skilled hunter with a slingshot. But she is considered to be terribly ugly by the other members of the tribe who much prefer the Neanderthal appearance. This story is interesting to me because it taught me early on in life that public opinion of beauty and appearance and racial views is fluid and adaptable, given to change with influencer trends. The story, at its heart, boils down to the “Ugly Ducking” story.

Another recent discussion I had at work centered on the movie The Lion King. We discussed the parts of the story and speculation from articles I read that The Lion King is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This really got me pondering other Shakespearean plays such as Macbeth and how you could make a modern-day version of that great play.

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner……perhaps someone’s already had these ideas. There’s a specific passage in the Bible from the Book of Job that mentions these exact words….the sound and the fury. Also, one of the characters in the book by Faulkner is also called Uncle Job which I find interesting.

This got me thinking about stories and patterns of stories and whether a lot of the stories we have are similar to each other or old stories adapted to contemporary culture of the time.

Interesting and random stream of consciousness thoughts late at night….

As a side note, I guess my favorite short story for children would probably be the book titled You Are Special by Max Lucado. I also love many of the stories of Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.

As for adult short stories……that’s much harder to consider. I suppose you could consider The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes a bit of a story although written as a narrative poem. I like that one as well as The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant, Moderato Cantabile by Marguerite Duras and several of the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King.

Do you have any short stories that you recommend? What about children’s short stories verses adult short stories? Which are your favorites in each category? Please comment below. I’d like to hear your recommendations for good short stories to read 🙂

If you’ve managed to read this far into the post, thanks so much for reading these late night ramblings!

If You Love Poetry…

If you love poetry…

I’ve found a great place to submit your work! It is a little newspaper called The Webb City Sentinel located in southwest Missouri in the Joplin area. The submission process is simple and free. If your work is approved by the poetry editor, it will be shown on the online portion of The Webb City Sentinel. Here is the announcement on their site. I love this. I love what they wrote:

“I’m a great believer in poetry out of the classroom, in public places, on subways, trains, on cocktail napkins. I’d rather have my poems on the subway than around the seminar table at an MFA program.”

Billy Collins, 2001-2003 United States Poet Laureate   

We want your poetry. We want poetry from your children and your grandparents.We want poetry from seasoned poetry veterans and those just putting ink to paper (or, finger to keyboard).

We want to feature them here in Webb City’s “newspaper.”  Then, we want you to print them out and slap them on your refrigerator, carry them in your pocket, give them to someone special.  We want your poetry on the school bus to Mark Twain and Eugene Field, while you’re waiting in line at Crazy Llama and the Sub Shop, and while you’re walking around King Jack and the Frisco Greenway Trail. 

We can’t wait to see what you’ve got.

Here is the link to the submission board:

I was super fortunate to be listed on their site recently. Here is the poem I submitted:

Little Pawn

by Janea Speer

My whole life, I admired the King and Queen.
Serene, graceful, and applauded.
Powerful and strong….aggressive.

Yet hiding behind the defenses of the lesser pieces.
As I became older, I pondered the knight or the bishop,
how they could think outside the box and level the playing field.

But, in my older years, I admire the pawn.
The one to first enter the fray with honest courage.
Who risks much although so little…..
One by one, swiped from the board unceremoniously and yet…
Relentless, undeterred, defiant against odds so stacked heavily against.

Yes, some days even the little pawn sees glory
when faced with such intimidating adversaries.

With this blog, I also wanted to do a shout-out to the poetry editor there. I met him in Fall 2019 at the Joplin Writers’ Fair at the Joplin Public Library. There were many great local authors there showing their books. He was at a table across from mine and was nice and friendly. We talked about publishing books and Ray Bradbury and joining writing clubs. It was fantastic to meet someone with an avid interest in reading and writing and helping other authors. He recently published a new work to help authors too.

His name is F.C. Schultz and here are a few links to some of his books. Type in his name on Amazon and you will find, on his author page, a large group of books he has written or co-written.

My daughter read the book titled The Rose Weapon and she did think it was quite good. It is a Viking story about fire-breathing dragons. There is a sequel to this book as well called When Embers End.