Keith Lesmeister

Posts from the “Life as a Shorty” Category

Life as a Shorty has moved……………………….

Posted on March 21, 2017

… promoting, celebrating, and featuring short stories at none other than: Please “follow” us on our new site. Also, if you have recently read — and loved — a short story online, please let me know and I’d be glad to feature it on life as a shorty. If YOU would like to write a review or interview with that author, I’d be happy to publish it. Just let me know via email, or in comments below.    

Life as a Shorty blog: “The Island” by Ross McMeekin, published in Green Mountains Review

Posted on March 14, 2017

This week’s featured story, “The Island,” by Ross McMeekin, centers around the intimate relationship between Owen and Aubrey. The tension is revealed early on as we learn of a secret past that Aubrey’s hiding from Owen and, to some degree, herself. Check out the story here. And my interview with author Ross McMeekin below.   Keith Lesmeister: As I read your story, I was reminded of the “1984” George Orwell quote, “…if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.” In your story, the primary tension centers around the secret, troubled past of the protagonist’s (Owen’s) girlfriend. Was the mystery of her past always there or did it emerge through the writing process?   Ross McMeekin: It was always…

Life as a Shorty blog: “Shadows at Dusk” by Jeff Haas, published in Shenandoah

Posted on March 8, 2017

Here’s a flash fiction piece that frames an issue around something engaging — a chess match — yet ultimately meaningless in comparison to the imminent danger (the issue at hand). The game is chess, the issue is flood waters rising. The chess players, old acquaintances from college, are more concerned with the results of the game than what’s of real importance. An apt metaphor for any countless number of issues we face today, and those “games” that distract us from what’s truly important.   Check out the story here.

Life as a Shorty Blog: “Liabilities” by Claire Polders published in Pithead Chapel

Posted on March 2, 2017

This week’s story, “Liabilities” by Claire Polder, clocks in at 500 words. A brief, but powerful and moving, glimpse into the lives of this mother and son relationship. In one or two lines, we see the entire tortured history of this relationship and what the future might hold for these two. Unsettling and subtle, read this story a few times and, if you’d like, feel free to leave a comment or two. Check out the story here.

Life as a Shorty: “A Town It Might Not Be So Bad To Grow Old In” by Mary Miller, published in New World Writing

Posted on February 22, 2017

Mary Miller’s second story collection, “Always Happy Hour,” is now available for purchase. And while I haven’t yet read the collection, I’m excited to do so, and highly recommend. I read her debut collection, “Big World,” several years ago and found myself in both awe and envy. Her situations are usually about men and women on the verge of some shift, some new discovery in their relationship, which will alter them permanently. And while this might sound commonplace, I can assure you that her stories are anything but commonplace. Their tone, setting, and dialogue are uniquely their own, and always with a touch of humor. Take for instance the story posted here. A man and woman are on their third date at some bar…

Life as a Shorty: “The Interloper” by Darci Schummer, published in Necessary Fiction

Posted on January 25, 2017

Darci Schummer’s “The Interloper” is a timely, troubling piece about the ways in which evil and/or outside disturbances might manifest itself/themselves in our personal lives. Read the story here. And check out our interview below!   Keith Lesmeister: First of all, big congratulations on publishing three stories this month. That’s outstanding! It’s difficult enough to find a home for one story, let alone three. Do you have a magical formula for placing stories that you might share with us?? Darci Schummer: I wish I did! These latest publications came after a long dry spell, but I have found a couple things that help. As most writers know, it’s important to understand the type of writing—thematically and stylistically—that a particular journal is looking for. The majority of…

Life as a Shorty: “How the Mammoth’s Blood Flows” by Denton Loving, published in Prime Number Magazine

Posted on January 17, 2017

This week’s story by Denton Loving includes Mammoth hunters, the vast and dangerous arctic setting, and a protagonist who is trying to better understand himself against the memory of his deceased father. This is a story with complicated relational dynamics, an evocative setting, and evident, but not over done, research. Read the story here. And check out my interview with Denton below.   Keith Lesmeister: There’s so much going on in this story — very complicated relational dynamics — that I hardly know where to start. But with all that is going on, it’s written in a very calm meditative way, almost tranquil, which is in stark contrast to the abusive and constant threats of weather, polar bears, and other dangers in the Arctic,…

Life as a Shorty: The Fledgling by Susan Pagani, published in Rappahannock Review

Posted on January 11, 2017

This week, Life as a Shorty features a heart-wrenching story, THE FLEDGLING, by Susan Pagani. The story features a woman who can’t quite make the human connections she so desperately wants, and her struggling efforts to do. It also features a mail carrier, caged birds, and a secret object revealed halfway through, which guides the rest of the narrative.  Read the story here. And check out an interview with the author below.   Keith Lesmeister: The story starts out with this horrific, nightmarish scenario, which draws readers in immediately. And while I had thought initially that the story would be about the parents who lost the child, it wasn’t about that at all. Did you know, upon starting this piece, that that would be…

Life as a Shorty: Happy New Year edition

Posted on December 28, 2016

Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on and supported in one way or another Life as a Shorty (blog) and the short stories we’ve featured here. This blog started on a whim, after I realized this new website (developed by a good friend of mine) had a “blogging” section. I’d been brainstorming ways of how I might bring short stories (and short story authors) I love to a larger audience and this blog was my way of contributing even in some small way to recognizing and celebrating short stories. The name (Life as a Shorty) comes from the lyrically savvy Wu-Tang Clan, whose rap tune, C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) features the lyric: “Life as a shorty shouldn’t be so…