There are two kinds of people. Those who think short stories are the greatest art form - closer to poetry than novels in their elegance and precision,
Then there are those who just don't get it. They finish a story and still want more.
This sale isn't for them.
Hope you'll take a look at:
Sale ends May 31st.
Here are just a few readers' reviews.
"These are literate, polished, elegant, and engaging stories. The characters are well-drawn, fully realized and unique. I found myself reading these stories one after another, finishing almost all in one sitting--I found them irresistible--each one like a perfect small gift from an author who knows her craft, and uses it to explore vital, complicated human beings in situations that are strikingly authentic. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reading Deals in exchange for an honest review. This is one I can recommend to all without reservation."
"Kate Blackwell should be better known. Her stories are subtle, surprising, and spell-binding. I am reading the collection for the second time. Can't put it down."
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“If you are searching for interesting short stories that aren't burdened by wrapping everything up for you then this is a must read. If you like your stories to lead you to a predictable conclusion then this writer and these stories are not for you.
“The characters are amazing. Some are like strangers I've seen from a distance in my own life. Some are friends I've known forever. Some are former girlfriends and lovers. All are flawed.
“The writing is almost poetic and the emotions that well up in most of these stories were very real to me. You feel for these people. No the stories don't have a neat little ending and that's the point. Does your life? "
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"Immediately, each story pulls you in so that you lose track that you are even reading. You are brought into Paris and Mallorca, experiencing each place with your eyes, feeling the impact of the weather, and hearing their unique sounds, and then you're further transported into the inner lives of the characters through the delicate wandering of their minds. Though I finished the book nearly 6 weeks ago, the characters and scenes continue to float through my days."
"A story of hope, lost dreams and a little bit of criminal activity (and absolutely NO spoilers from me). The characters are wonderfully portrayed and I loved every minute of it. This is my first Danny Wynn story and you can bet I will be checking out some of his other works. Oh, and if my review hasn’t caught you attention, Mr. Wynn includes a bit of a gift at the end with the inclusion of a marvelously written short story. You won’t be disappointed."
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"Author Judith Podell looks at the world just a little bit differently than the rest of us and the view is spectacular. Blues For Beginners is funny and provocative; and the writing is so smart; so beautifully sophisticated. This is the book you won't be able to put down until the very last page, and then, I promise you that you will be looking for one more chapter. More! More! More!"
"I love this book. I love Ms. Podell's sense of humor. Sometimes the writing is laugh-out-loud hilarious. The rhythm is fantastic. I was touched by the poignant stories, too, that hit just the right note. She is a wonderful writer and I wish she had written another 200 pages - about anything really, but especially her life in New York. Even though this is a short-ish book, I would have paid more for it.."
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George P. Farrell was born, raised, housed, clothed and well-fed in the Bronx, NY. Generally puzzled and baffled by life but always hopeful.
“In my early twenties I discovered writing as a cheaper and better alternative to psychological counselling. Discovered the Catskills was a good place to pursue a writing career and inspecting boats, a reasonable way to put food on the table. I have written six novels and a bunch of short stories, as I traveled along my learning curve, and so far have produced a literary income of forty dollars plus numerous, very-appreciated pats-on-the-back. I am looking forward, with some trepidation, to more of the same.”
You can read George's haunting essay, "Hoarding Memories," in Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts, edited by M.E. Hughes
Letting Go is an anthology of true stories. As a writer of fiction, did you find it harder to write a nonfiction story?
When I first started writing significantly, it was a kind of navel gazing pre-occupation with the confusing mess I knew as my life. After a few years, I realized (with the help of a wonderful mentor) that this was neurotic orbiting around something I could never quite get to. That’s when fiction began creeping into my voluminous diary. Years later after I abandoned my diary altogether and was deep into fiction writing, I made another realization. The fiction I was writing was just a heavily camouflaged version of my own experiences, albeit much more interesting and a great deal more fun. Fun because fiction dealt with the essences of experience and left out all the stuff no one wants to read anyway. So I guess my answer to your question is I don’t see much difference.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The New York City sanitation men used to be able to sort through the debris they picked up and put any good stuff they found into a private carton tied to the side of their truck. They called the good stuff “mongo.” Alas, the politicians put a stop to this practice. Writing is like driving a garbage truck through the private roads of your mind, enjoying the solitude, creeping around in there, looking for good stuff. And when I find the mongo, molding it into a scene or a character is the most satisfying of occupations.
What’s the hardest part about writing for you?
Re-writing. I liked it the way it came out the first time. Why bother?
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from within me. From my life, my experiences, from people who made me laugh, cry or simply scared the bejeezus out of me. I am particularly fond of the many oddball people who crossed my path and allowed me to write them up as even odder than they were. The wonderful thing about writing is you can do whatever the hell you want.
How much time each week do you devote to writing?
I have no writing schedule. To me, writing is like a mental eruption. The pressure builds, I become irritable, ornery, and then realize I just need to write something and I’ll feel better. It’s a bit like a drinking problem.
What are you working on?
At the moment I’m doing some sheetrock work in my country house. I’m also working on an autobiographical novel involving some little shit who resembles me and a wonderful woman whose love made a man out of the little shit. It’s a sordid love story.
What has been the most surprising about learning your craft?
Somebody paid me $40.00 for a humorous short story I wrote years ago. I nearly fell off my chair. But the most surprising thing I learned is that writing can heal the most painful of hurts. It’s why I never stop.
Do you think workshops have helped you become a better writer?
A writer I admire, Dennis Lehane, once said that writing workshops help a writer develop a thick skin. I agree with that. And I think that workshops make a writer more objective and less protective of the adorable little creation that is now smudged with the thumbprints of, god forbid, Readers.
Tell us any secret rituals you have for getting started each day.
Sweat pants and a T-shirt. Nice loose stuff. Works for me. Anything that’s too tight in the crotch and you won’t write good stuff. You’ll just irritate your readers.
Any writers you like to read to inspire you to write (or if you're blocked?)
If you are blocked, just drink plenty of water. I must confess I’m pretty regular but if I’m feeling bored I just pick up anything by Elmore Leonard, get a few laughs, some insight into how people really talk, and how to design a twisted plot - and it all begins to flow again.
Who do you trust to read your work while in progress?
No one. They’re all out to get me. Except for Martha and Patti.
Who do you never give your work to read while in progress?
My parents, but they’re dead. So I guess I’d have to say my two surviving brothers. I feel there is something awkward about showing fiction to close family members. When I did so recently, the only response I got was an uncomfortable glance that said: Don’t do that again.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yeah, there’s too damn many of you S.O.B.’s. Can’t you collect stamps or take up fly fishing? There’s a great culinary school in Poughkeepsie or Rhinebeck, somewhere around there. Look into it. How in hell am I ever going to get my novels published?
How a tiny city in New York became a beacon for transgender healthcare (excerpted from The Guardian) featuring Letting Go author Carolyn Wolf-Gould
Instead of an interview with Letting Go author Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould, below is an excerpt of an article from The Guardian about her transgender health center.
You can read Carolyn Wolf-Gould's essay - "A Prayer for Lost Things" - in _Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts
How a tiny city in New York became a beacon for transgender healthcare
Dr Carolyn Wolf-Gould has built a center that treats more than 300 transgender people from across the north-east – and many travel 50 or 100 miles to see her
Four times a year, Jill Williams, 62, climbs into the cab of her 2010 Toyota pickup and heads from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to a doctor’s office two-and-a-half hours away.
Williams, who is transgender, has grown used to the drive. With the majority of medical professionals knowing little about how to provide care to transgender people, countless trans individuals across the country face incredibly restricted health care options. Williams is one of thousands of people willing to go far – usually to a major city – to see a doctor who has experience in transgender health care, or at least is not openly hostile.
But Williams isn’t headed for a city. And in a stark illustration of how sparse her options are even here, in one of the most populous parts of the north-east, her route bypasses major metropolitan areas for an unlikely haven at the foot of the Catskill mountains: Oneonta, New York.This is where Dr Carolyn Wolf-Gould, a longtime family doctor, has spent years tailoring her practice for trans patients. From a few individuals in the late 2000s, she has built a center that treats more than 300 transgender people from across the region.
Many come from the hamlets that dot the surrounding foothills. But the majority of Wolf-Gould’s patients trek from Albany, Schenectady and their suburbs – a thriving region that is nevertheless hurting for health care options and is not short on bigotry.
“These patients are so marginalized, and they deal with so much discrimination and abuse, that we have people coming from four, five, six hours away,” Wolf-Gould said in a recent interview. Her office, in a small hospital off a two-lane highway, offers them hormone therapy, counseling, a point of coordination with their other doctors and referrals for patients wishing to transition with surgery. But she also treats dozens of trans people who aren’t medically transitioning and don’t require her specialties so much as sensitivity. Some patients, she said, will drive a hundred miles to avoid getting another mammogram in their hometown.
There is Kate Terrell, 51, who went to the emergency room for lung failure only to undergo an unrelated pelvic exam by a nurse. “I had one woman hand me a breast exam card and say, ‘Here, this should make you feel more feminine,’” Terrell said. Despite living close to five major hospital centers and dozens of endocrinologists, who specialize in hormone therapy, Terrell drives more than an hour for Wolf-Gould to manage her estrogen levels.
Rhonda Calhoun became a patient after her doctor of two decades said she would need to “see God” before he would treat her again. She drives two hours both ways for Wolf-Gould to perform her annual checkups.
In fact, Terrell says she hardly knows a single trans person in Albany, out of hundreds, who doesn’t drive the 80-some miles to see Wolf-Gould.
“You do it when you don’t have any other choice,” Calhoun said. “You’d think being around the Syracuse area there would be more doctors that would see a need. But as soon as you mention ‘transgender’, they say they don’t have anyone.”
Their experiences are far from unusual. In one survey after another, trans people report hostility and ignorance in doctors’ offices at disturbing rates.
Read the full article at The Guardian
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