Thursday, May 16, 2013

Merry Month of May, Short Story Celebration

I'm not sure who first proclaimed May as short story month ( see footnote**), but I am delighted that the literary world has adopted this celebration of a great, enduring form.  I grew up on fairy tales. Now I see how those intense, searing potions of fiction--stories burgeoning with strange beasts and humans bravely crossing into netherworlds and facing forces beyond our understanding--introduced me to a lifetime of love for short stories. Within these capsules of perception are universes, like looking into a microscope and discovering that there are essences and organisms swimming about. Harder to define is the short story's ability to expand and transform the reader in such thin slices of time and space. As a writer whose natural inclination is to compress, I take immense pleasure in this kind of reading experience.

Spring has a similar effect on me. It's short and intense here in New England. Colors bloom and fall in a matter of days.  I feel an urgency of growth, a voracious demand to pay attention to n-o-w. The present feels both eternal and gone simultaneously. Don't ask me how that can be, but it is.

Here are some flowers and garden scenes that startled me with their beauty and evocative magic.


The tiny blooms got this season moving. First the crocuses and then the ground covers added their notes to the Magnolia trees, apple and cherry blossoms, lilacs, and now the luscious peonies. It's been an extraordinary spring.


Lilac tree
Someone's flower bed

Peony Supreme

Azalea bush

Birch with azaleas
**Dan Wickett of Dzanc is the genius behind this idea.  Here's a link to his essay that explains how short story month got started.

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