Every Childlike Author needs a Playground.

Ice Cream Cones of Literature

Image courtesy of meaningfulmama.com

I like to imagine these as delicious little stories.

Having successfully rested from my initial furious activity in creating this blog (see Designs on the Future), two days later I’ve uploaded some new content for you. In short, I’ve posted two ice cream cones of literature, both vastly different in flavor, under the Short Stories page.

The first, Old Man Winter’s Bus Ride, was actually written one lonely Christmas Eve and is the second work I ever completed. No doubt you will be happy to hear that I’ve been much more productive since. Bus Ride, as I like to call it for brevity’s sake, has a feel-good ending (which I hope I don’t spoil entirely for my readers if they read this post first). Perhaps it was writing on Christmas Eve that brought out my sentimentality and that’s the reason for the ending’s disgusting, nostalgic taste. Or it could be that I’m simply a sentimental person. Regardless, I have often received criticisms for not changing it to better fit the new age, modernist belief that literary fiction should not end happily. Leave that to the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers, yeah?

Well, boo.

I tell those critics that the story only glimpses the characters within a certain period of their lives, a period as short, like the title suggests, as the length of a bus ride. So if you feel that it lacks the proper dose of depression or a gruesome and cynical twist, feel free to imagine that afterward the characters had some ugly trouble in their lives and ended up cannibals on a deserted, Mediterranean island. That or the hard and literal bus collided with their soft and crushable human bodies. You decide.

Besides, I am a science fiction and fantasy writer… it just happens that I’m a writer of literary fiction and bad poetry as well. And since I wrote Bus Ride so early in my life as the Childlike Author, it will always hold an extra special place on the pedestal of my mind even if it’s not my best writing. I just can’t bring myself to make any drastic revisions.

The second short story, The Alliteration of William Tell, is exactly what the title says it is. An Alliteration… of William Tell. If you don’t know who William Tell is, he’s the extremely famous archer of Swiss Yore and is second in the world only to Robin Hood of English yore. Switzerland at the time (early 14th century) was under Austrian rule, and Tell was forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter, as punishment for defying a man in authority. Fictional or not, the incident caused a revolution that bucked Austria to the dirt floor of the international corral and off Switzerland’s noble prancing back. In the alliteration I simply tell the story in a new and fun way using an old trick. One might argue that the alliteration is more poetry than story since it follows a somewhat distinct form, but I’m fuzzy on rules of poetry and am wary of classifying it as such. I hope that it will be well received as a down-to-earth short story with a lyrical twist.

By the way, I wrote this little William Tell piece for my older sister, who needed something to do at a talent show. I am still unsure if she was showcasing her ability to read, or showcasing my ability to write. Usually it’s our own talents that we exhibit at a talent show, but she didn’t exactly read it in a striking fashion. Which leads me to believe that I was the one in the talent show instead of her, even though I wasn’t the one standing on stage. Or maybe my sister was deliberately breaking the rules. In either case, I thoroughly enjoyed composing it and if you feel the urge for a tongue-twister, try reading the alliteration out loud—it’s especially hard transitioning between paragraphs.

For now that is all the icy, cream in a cone, so lick away.

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