Here is a blog post from a NEW Pulpwood Queen Author, Caitlin Hamilton Summie who will be one of our featured authors at our annual book club convention which we call Girlfriend Weekend. For membership and packages go to www.thepulpwoodqueens.com and check out all the caliber of authors coming from all over the country and event out of the country! This is one of the biggest years I have ever done and all while finishing my senior year at The University of Texas at Tyler. The old girl took the toll for this endeavor but like the Energizer Bumy, I just need NEW fresh batteries and that is ALL OF YOU! In order to keep this book-loving party going, I need participation. I need you to rally your chapters, your reading friends to join us. This ain’t easy but if God is my witness, to misquote Scarlett O’Hara, I will never have to beg you all to support this event again. So get on the PUlpwood Queen and Timber Guy bandwagon, share this event and come, Come, COME! The authors are so charged and we really need you all to be present!
Thank you, from your tireless literacy promoting queen,
Kathy L. Murphy
The Pulpwood Queen
Give Stories A Chance
By Caitlin Hamilton Summie
A fair number of people tell me that they don’t like short stories. That’s not an easy thing to hear, as a person who writes them. I’d thought short stories would catch on more in recent times, with people being so busy. Short stories are perfect for a train commute, for instance. They’re easy to read on a lunch hour. In a way, short stories fit in a pocket—literally and figuratively. They can be tucked into a baggy coat pocket or into a pocket of your day.
But for some reason, stories remain unpopular in the larger public, which makes it especially gratifying to me when readers add, “But I liked yours.”
Perhaps readers like that my stories aren’t slice-of-life pieces but encompass whole worlds, whole histories. The conflicts in my stories seem to be skin deep, but once you start reading them, you realize the conflicts are bone-deep and that they have been simmering for years. Sisters at a cross-roads because of a decision one of them made years before. Brothers squaring off about an abandonment. An argument over writing a family history because of what that history reveals. Tracing the conflicts back to their real roots takes a reader through heaps of family life and time, and as one reader said, “They are more like novellas.”
History is key to me as a writer. So is weather. And place. And it can take a while to loop all those together. But what my stories often do is bring readers right to the point when what happened earlier meets with an impediment in the now—a reunion, for instance—and then the whole history, all these small worlds, unloop themselves like a roll of film.
I write about and across boundaries. I write about how geography defines us and about the importance of family, but I write from the perspective of men, older people, kids. I hear a line and then hit the keys. Or I start a story without plans or a plot and figure it out as I go.
But each time I do, it’s a whole world I eventually see. It’s not a moment. It’s the entire bright splintering history that got us here.
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