Fueling the passion of the Storyteller 2017 with book excerpts, part IV
I have named my book campaign Storyteller 2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.
Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.
This is the fourth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21 and the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22.
As I have mentioned in the previous installments, I have divided the 13 stories in the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection thematically and chronologically into three circles.
The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration experience of learning French in Montreal, and taking creative short story writing at the International Correspondence Schools, ICS.
Those were the transformative years or impermanence for me and the characters like Danillo in Danillo, Vanessa in Honey Azrael and the couple Martin and Ellen in the Temptation of Martin Duggan.
The second circle of stories reflects the time for assimilation into the American culture. These include: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.
The characters in the second circle suffer from the boredom of a daily routine in a store, but they fear change. The setting is rural Midwest America. I created the town of Riddleyville with its secrets and vices. The Riddleyville characters range from robust Big Irma, Shorty, philosophical Ula, pretty Rachel, boxcutter Amy, sick Therese to deceitful Vadim in the Death Song.
Here is an excerpt from Orange Nights:
The store kept its secrets in the backrooms where the employees gathered for breaks and meetings. Things not said on the floor, were exaggerated here freely over nasty coffee and lunches brought from home in plastic containers.
The kid who extended his stay at the store instead of going to college usually cleaned the backrooms and the public restrooms. Sometimes he worked in the smelly bottle room. Customers and employees called him “Shorty.”
It just caught on.
“Hey, people, do you have to make such a mess or what?” he asked.
If Shorty was in a bad mood, he’d complain, and mop the floor under your feet, and knock down your lunchbox.
He wasn’t a typical loser, he just acted like one.
The second shift already faced the remnants of the day, including the bad attitudes and unfulfilled dreams of yesterday.
The saying around the town of Riddleyville was that at one point in time, everyone has worked at the store for a million different reasons.
My passion for writing continued to grow as I took journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in the mid-1990s. At that time I wrote feature stories for the GRCC paper the “Collegiate.”
I wrote a chunk of the short stories, while taking these classes and working at the store.
The passion continues in the next part V of the Storyteller 2017 series.
The book Shifting Sands Short Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon at:
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