Tag: short stories

Ten books that stand out in my reading life

A couple of months ago Emma at A Wordless Blogger tagged me for the Ten Influential Books Tag.  I’ve recently decided not to do awards anymore, partly because I keep getting nominated for the same award over and over, partly because I am out of eleven facts to share about myself, partly because I never know who to nominate, but mostly because I forget about the things until I one day start clearing out no longer relevant bookmarks in my browser and discover there are a bunch of old award nominations I just never got around to.

But this blog-tag sounded fun, as I’m all about books, reading them and writing them, after all.  Then I ran into a problem:  this tag contained no description, only a name.  And what does it mean if I say “Ten most influential books”?  The most influential books ever?  As Jimmy over at Dysfunctional Literacy never gets tired of pointing out, you can’t nominate any book the best ever unless you’ve read them all.

Okay, books that have influenced me, then.  That’s a tough one.  Sure, there have been books that have influenced me, my way of thinking and my outlook on life, but most of them were non-fiction, many of them were academic texts, and I can’t remember them specifically – when I come across something significant which I want to add to my life, I absorb it and internalise it, I don’t make a note of where I found it (I also don’t highlight novels or write down quotes).

So I decided to decided to depart a little from the brief and share with you ten books that have stood out in my reading life thus far.

Click here to see what they are

On word limits and sticking it to the man

I came across this via The parasite guy‘s blog this morning.

You know how writing contests (and blog fiction challenges for that matter) always have word limits?  Well, Scott Bartlett did not like the six-hundred-word limit of a contest he entered, so he wrote a story making fun of the word limit…and won!

Actually the story can work as a pretty good template for what should be in a short story if you really think about it.

Click on the title to read Six-Hundred by Scott Bartlett.

And in case you missed my attempt at romantic comedy in yesterday’s Song Title Challenge, go read Rollin’ With My Homies and tell me what you think.

Have a good one.

The Great River Rescue

As everywhere else on earth, Christmastime had also come to the watering hole, not that any of the animals knew this.  However, Elephant always felt as if things were a little different this time of the year.  The Prickly Pear Boys were quiet, the Pride hadn’t been seen in days and even Brick and Brack seemed to be getting along.  There was a general feeling of good will around the watering hole and even if he didn’t understand what had brought it all about, Elephant was glad for a respite from the usual problem solving.

It was the longest day of the year and it was incredibly hot.  The whole croc-squad was passed out on a sand bank, so most of the animals stood in the cool water while drinking.  Elephant was playing with Brenda’s kids, spraying the little meerkats with water from his trunk, making them squeal and giggle with delight, while Otto and his boys put on a superb display of synchronised swimming to entertain those who were still conscious.

Perry the field mouse came hopping through the grass.  Elephant sighed.  Of course peace like this could never last.

Continue reading “The Great River Rescue”

The Watering Hole Liberation

Elephant topped the rise to see all the other animals gathered around the watering hole.  It seemed like there was some kind of commotion at the water’s edge, but elephants have dreadful eyesight, so he could not quite make out what was going on.  There certainly was a lot of noise – the wild dogs were yelping, the hyenas were giggling, the wildebeest were grunting, the buffaloes were snorting, the cheetahs were growling and every other animal was making whatever sound they made.  Elephant had to trumpet at the top of his voice to make himself heard over this ruckus.  ‘Hello, hello, hello.  What’s all this?  What’s all this?’ he said when they settled down.

The animals at the water’s edge drew back, allowing Elephant to see the Prickly Pear Boys, the savannah’s most notorious troop of baboons, lounging in the shallows.

Continue reading “The Watering Hole Liberation”