There’s a fabulous collection of short stories out in the wild now called Shadow Show, edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle. Several authors were invited to write stories inspired by Ray Bradbury, as well as share a bit about their own experiences with the man himself and his work. The result is one unbelievable story after another. Each story has a unique beating heart, simple yet powerful prose, and calls up that weird little feeling one gets when sitting down to enjoy a Bradbury classic.
Three of the many stories I enjoyed in this collection are:
The Girl in the Funeral Parlor – Sam Weller
By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain – Joe Hill
The Phone Call – John McNally
If you love short fiction, or love the work of Ray Bradbury, pick up a copy of this collection.
I’ve been submitting short fiction regularly, but am still working toward my first published piece. (Which will be exciting, as it will be the first work of fiction I link to on this site). I’m proud of where the work is, but am not unaware of where it’s falling short. The challenge is exciting, and I’ve made some great progress towards where I’d like my writing to go.
I’m in the process of finishing the third draft of my newest short story. It’s in the hands of a few readers, as well as under the microscope of my wife. She’s brutal, but in the best possible way. The story has really taken off in the 2nd and 3rd drafts, thanks to her honest notes, and backbreaking editing. This is the first new story I’ve written that’s made me this confident, and I can’t wait to add it to my growing list of “Submitted Stories.”
I started at South Baltimore CrossFit in February with every intention of completing the foundations program and nothing else. The goal was to get Nat to stop begging me to at least try it. I’d prove to her that working out and weightlifting were simply not my cup of tea.
Well, it’s almost June now and I’ve discovered something new about myself that I didn’t know before that fateful program in February: I love lifting weights, and–gasp!–I mildly enjoy working out.
Turns out that the structure provided at a CrossFit box is exactly what a person like me needs to get their butt away from the computer and into the gym. The coaches are fantastic, friendly, supportive and remarkably helpful seven days a week. It doesn’t matter how packed a class might be on any given day, they find time to give everyone feedback on their form and push you to go a little harder than you did the day, week, or month before.
Beyond the great coaches, the workouts change daily and vary in difficulty from Insanity Level: I’ll never be able to finish this to Total Insanity Level: This is the day I die. And the best part? You do finish it, and you don’t die (even though it sure feels like you might at any moment).
There’s a two level competition element to it also: One against your peers at the gym and one against yourself. The one against your peers is just for fun and provides great inspiration to push even harder. The one against yourself is what really matters. Can I do that workout better this time? Can I add some pounds to my max deadlift? Who knows, but I sure as hell am going to try my best.
There’s really nothing like sprawling out on the gym floor, head pounding, heart pumping so fast it might leap right out of your chest, and the timer on the wall flashing a time that’s better than you’ve ever had before. When you regain your composure, can breath evenly again, you say goodbye to your friends at the gym and leave just a bit more confident in yourself than you were when you walked in. That feeling, more than losing weight or gaining muscle, is what keeps me going back.