Tag Archives: short story

To Travel is To Live

Monaco

To travel is to live – Hans Andersen

It’s been a long time since I stepped foot on a different continent, although different reads strange in this context, since Europe was once home. But that’s exactly what my family and I did recently. We traded familiar landscapes for the invigorating air of change.

Four countries in two weeks — more than we planned — but that’s what traveling does. It reawakens our sense of adventure. Demands we move, move, move. See more. Touch more. Breathe new air.  Memories, so many memories, will sort out in time, but for now, this is how I look at the past two weeks:

I look at every country/city/region as an individual human being with character. For example: (1)   Berlin is an energetic young lady with an eye toward the future while mindful of family’s tragic past. (2) Bucharest is a middle-aged mother cautiously rebuilding her life after a disastrous relationship. (3) France (the coast) is a lady of undetermined age, who successfully spends most of her money on her looks.  (4) Northwest Italy, the natural beauty, lives life to the fullest, dismissing regrets with a smile.  When places are categorized as such in my brain, they’re friends I sorely miss.

As jetlag lifts and culture shock recedes, I shall revisit each place and share my experiences. In the interim, just as traveling refreshes one’s spirit, returning home is a gift to the weary soul.

Part of my gift came courtesy Carol Child, Editor of The Scheherazade Chronicles, who published my short story,  A Memory, upon return. Such sweet, welcoming present.

A short description and link to article follow.

A thirteen-year-old girl is sitting cross-legged in a tent no larger than a closet, reading. The tent is on a beach along the Black Sea Coast.

A MEMORY, by Silvia Villalobos

Blurred Reality

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How much of ourselves do we put in our stories?

Something I asked on this site not long ago.  Responses varied from not much to everything, and I appreciate your candid answers. 

Here is my take:  from a writer’s standpoint, short stories have a certain effect on me, somewhat different from novels. They take a peek inside, if you will, reach the broken, the defeated, the cautiously hopeful and happy parts of the self.

BLURRED REALITY, a short story about family and relationships, did exactly that while taking shape, before it decided to be something else; to take a familiar yet different course. Sure, the story portrays people I know, but it’s not their story — it’s not entirely about them — because, as we know, art takes a form of its own in the end, irrespective of our intentions.  It grows into something sufficiently distant from reality in order to exist.

So, allow me, dear blogging friends, to present BLURRED REALITY, a short story, published by Solstice Publishing, now available in ebook format.

Here he stood, his life a muddle of thoughts worsened by anger that had been stealing his peace since childhood. He should turn around. Go home and forget. Life had been good lately—a wife, a baby on the way, a well-paying job. Behind this door, he’d find a drunkard who had mistreated everyone and robbed them of a sense of family.

For more, visit:  BLURRED REALITY

Writing, a Delicate Dance

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Blurred Reality is a short story that demanded more than usual. So, please allow me a moment of reflection before I send it out.

Short stories are like that. Different from novels — works that require personal bits but can spin into something else fifty or a hundred pages later — short stories demand more. To me, they demand more personal experiences, more understanding, more emotion.  

They demand putting oneself out there. And that can be difficult because it’s counter intuitive. We’re programmed not to expose our own experiences or those of our family members. Our psychological defense mechanisms are in place to keep us from doing exactly that.

But as an avid reader, I know full engagement is demanded. As a reader, I don’t want to be protected. I want to be transported, and the author doesn’t get to choose if I like where I’m going or not. Or at least that’s the illusion.

Emotional writing that doesn’t go there comes out as unnatural. Fake. And readers pick up on it, don’t they? They also pick up on over sharing, too much drama, so it’s all a delicate dance where every step looks easy, but it was meticulously studied and planned and hopefully understood.

Donald Maass advises that we mine our own experiences as writers. So, in the end, style or voice, those celebrated terms we hear so much about, boil down to psychology. Crazy, I know.

What do you think, dear blogging friend? Have you ever taken a big breath and jumped?

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Image: thefivepointstar.com

My short story “Games” up at Red Fez

My short story, “Games,” up at Red Fez.  A mystery (not very long).  Hope you enjoy.