Shortbread Spotlight: Week of 23rd March
/by Nik Eveleigh/
OK, it’s Spotlight time again. Rumour has it that on this day in history (March 23rd) in 1839 the letters ‘O.K.’ appeared in print for the first time. It’s hard to believe that it only took a mere hundred and seventy five years for me to start a blog post with the same letters.
If something is OK it’s generally considered to be fine, average, business as usual. To paraphrase a great line delivered by the character Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, this week’s picks are ‘pretty…umm…gosh darn far from ok.’
Diane Dickson features regularly in the Spotlight. This week her appearance is as nominator rather than nominee, and she asked that I highlight Educated Fishwives by another Spotlight stalwart Adam West.
Diane – your wish is my command. And, in fact, I will see your Educated Fishwife and raise you the rest of the Alphane Moon series. Adam will write-off these stories in his usual humble manner, as a Philip K Dick tribute act, but I’ve read all four and would urge you to do the same. Intelligent writing that focusses on an unusual love story.
The cycle begins with Do Eros Sevens Dream of Jupiter or Mars, continues with Love on an Alphane Moon and Sex, Life and Death on an Alphane Moon and concludes with the aforementioned Educated Fishwives.
Speak of the devil. The man himself has just appeared, so I’ll hand over to him for his picks of the week. If anyone needs me I’ll be in the green room sipping bubbly with the Shortbread illuminati.
Diversity reigns at ShortbreadStories, with many regulars continuing to publish some first-rate material. It is newcomers writing highly original and inventive fiction that I have, however, chosen to highlight. All three should dispel any peculiar notions that this site lacks talent.
Then there’s Aimee Macaskill. Take your pick. The Wasp is good. So is Deep Breaths. Another writer with potential I have had the pleasure to read, and my last choice for Nik’s Spotlight feature (may I say thanks Nik for continuing to write and edit this worthy piece)…
(You may Adam – the agreed fee will be with you shortly.)
…Beel Neale is less a newcomer than the aforementioned writers with eighteen stories on the site in just two months, but I am nevertheless still getting to know and appreciate thisemerging style.
In Butterflies At Dawn, Beel writes:
‘They’re waiting for the butterflies.
In the half-light they come, so numerous they fill the air — no, they seem almost to be the air. The sky is choked with a million fluttering autumn leaves.
Little Cathy spins around in a circle.
“Look,” she cries, in a soft whisper. “Look, they’re everywhere.”‘
Thanks Adam. I think I’d better send you into the green room – a few people are getting out of hand with those free Shortbread shooters…
Some great picks already. Chris Crawshaw’s story in particular is a cracker in my opinion, but I have a few more to add and strangely enough it also begins with a Chris – Christopher Donaldson and his story Crank…
Crank… is hilarious. It should be required reading for anyone who has ever ridden a bike, strapped on a pair of running shoes, or done something equally foolish in the early hours of a weekend morning. You are always guaranteed a top notch story with Chris but this is his first foray into comedy and hopefully won’t be the last.
The final burst of the Spotlight this week falls on someone who has just joined ShortbreadStories and has kicked off with a brave and unusual piece. In the comments placed on this story, James McEwan reckons it should be the story of the week – high praise indeed from someone who reads, comments and critiques as often and as well as James does – but well deserved. So, for those of you haven‘t read it yet go and check out Meagan Wollaston and her story Sheltered and let her know what you think.
OK. I’ll see you all in a fortnight. Happy reading and please keep your picks coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.