Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The Way They Broke," by Joseph Celizic

Kids more often than adults allow themselves to express emotion through direct action rather than suppress emotion. Of course they often face social reprimands, unjustly, for actions that adults consider empty of emotional honesty. Celizic’s writing delivers felt emotion through action by tracing destructive acts with the emotion of loss. From the first sentence the image of broken glass propels the protagonist’s motivation and expression: “After Mama Jen died but before her funeral, I accidentally knocked over a glass on our concrete porch. … I spent the rest of the day stepping on dried leaves, splintering dead branches.” The story earns its title with an accumulation of action that speaks to the protagonist and connects with his mother. Read it here in Southpaw Journal.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Dings," by Wayne Conti

I like the way the title points to the center of the story. Literally, it refers to an old Lincoln on which Henry’s father has left his mark. It also resonates with an emotional core that would be described with mundane words by a less talented writer, but instead we are given the bruised emotional state of Henry, the adult son, and his dad. A strong short story moment for me was captured when I read: “… for the first time [Henry] noticed … how sometimes [his dad] was supporting himself on the pushhandle of the cart almost as if it were a rolling walker.” It’s a complicated little story. I think you’ll find it lingers and leaves dings in your heart. Read it here at Anderbo.