How are you all feeling? Honestly? Truthfully, I have been better. I’m struggling to go from pandemic survival brain to pre-pandemic planning all the events for my work and museums’ brain. There’s been no time to go from one to the other. I don’t know why I ever thought there would be, but my mind is reeling in place nonetheless. Good news, my family compound is now fully vaccinated. That’s a great relief. Still, I feel sort of numb. I read a great article in the New York Times earlier this very day that described the emotion I’m feeling, “languishing.” It helped me to put a name to it. The article also had some ideas for how to overcome it, but it’s a process. You can read the article here – https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html.
In other news, I do have an exciting announcement. This time next week my latest Ebook collection of short stories is available through Mountain Gap Books. You can preorder Comes In Threes from Amazon now!
“Two boys. One girl. Three different eras. Three different short stories. One outstanding author. Whether these tales provoke heart-warming feelings or heart-palpitating dread will be up for you to decide.” (I did not write the teaser, but I appreciate the sentiment.)
Lots of things come in threes; courses in a meal, trilogies, primary colors, celebrity deaths.
Fair warning, these are not the happiest of stories, but they are good stories, in my opinion. Some of them, in fact all of them, have their unsettling moments. They also have their moments of triumph. I don’t tend to write happy short stories. I write suspenseful short stories and thought provoking short stories, but the ending is never tied up in a pretty bow. I’m especially excited because this Ebook contains a short story I wrote years ago while going to college at Mars Hill. I wrote it for a class. I’ve loved that story from the moment I wrote it, and I’m so happy it is finally being published.
Here’s a sneak peek from “The Boy on the Red Bicycle.”
The young boy peeked out from behind the wall. He was only visible for a moment, but it was the third time the man had spotted him. The sporadic appearances of the boy were the only thing keeping the man’s interest in the here and now. The company at his table was warm and inviting, but only in the sense that it was required to be so. The witty banter and conversation topics were old, and the food was by no means spectacular. It was like every other afternoon he’d spent at the café. The waiters changed. The company changed, but never the scene.
“What do you think, James?” the person across from him asked.
“That we have every right to do so,” the man replied. This was a good, solid answer, and it could be used for any question these days. His company seemed pleased by this, and they responded with the appropriate nod.
The boy appeared for the fourth time. James watched him as the conversation stalled with routine progression. The boy was bolder this time, and he edged himself around the corner. With quick, stubby fingers, he reached out and tried to snatch some food from the nearest tray. The boy was not quick enough. One of the waiters spotted him and called out. Another waiter hurried over and engulfed the boy’s tiny wrist in his hand. He shook the boy’s hand until the crust of bread fell from it. “Oh, let him have it,” James thought. The waiter smacked the boy for good measure before pushing him out.
“Go on! Shew! Get out of here!” the waiter called. Satisfied he’d righted the wrong, he returned to his position on the sidelines.
James watched the small, colorless figure retreat without a fuss. “Excuse me, but I’m afraid I must adjourn for the afternoon.” He stood and bowed to the ladies. There was always someone to bow to.
What happens next? Who is this boy? What is his story? Purchase a copy of the Ebook and find out.
I transformed this short story into a problematic play. One day I’ll fix the play, but this is step one in getting the story out there.
If you’re “languishing” like me, I hope you can find your way out of it. I’m trying. I’m trying.