(Update: Scroll to the bottom for a full list of what we read in January)
January 2021: Short Stories Galore
The Commitment: Read one short story every night for the next 31 nights.
(If you participate in the monthly challenges, tell us your revelations here.)
The Reason: A lot of authors emphasize the importance of the short story. Learning to write a complete work. Learning to write each element of the story and seeing them through from start to finish. Learning and appreciating the glory of actually finishing something.
Ray Bradbury raves about not only the importance of writing the short story, but reading them too.
"What you’ve got to do from this night forward is stuff your head with more different things from various fields . . . I’ll give you a program to follow every night, very simple program. For the next thousand nights, before you go to bed every night, read one short story. That’ll take you ten minutes, 15 minutes....."
He goes on to say,
"Read as many short stories from the turn of the century as you can, but stay away from most modern anthologies of short stories, because they’re slices of life. They don’t go anywhere, they don’t have any metaphor. Have you looked at The New Yorker recently, have you tried to read one of those stories? Didn’t it put you to sleep immediately? They don’t know how to write short stories."
While we don't entirely agree with his New Yorker sentiment, the goal will be to read contemporary and older short stories in equal proportion. Suggestions welcome!
If you participate in this month's challenge, write in and tell us how it's going or how it went!
Following in Dickens' Footsteps, December 2020, Post-Experiment Thoughts:
Will continue as best I can. Various participants used this time for different reasons including as a time to call friends who've moved away, as a digestion aide, as a time to get away from family and loved ones for an hour, as a meditation tool, any many more. Regardless of the intent, the consensus is a daily walk is a very healthy and helpful tool for writing and for life.
(Update) Here is what we read this January:
1-15. Dubliners, James Joyce
16. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Oscar Wilde
17. The Canterville Ghost, Oscar Wilde
18. The Sphinx Without a Secret, Oscar Wilde
19. The Model Millionaire, Oscar Wilde
20. Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne
21. The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allen Poe
22. The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce
23. The Death of Ivan Ilych, Leo Tolstoy
24. Godmother Tea, Selena Anderson
25. The Apartment, T.C. Boyle
26. The Veldt, Ray Bradbury
27. Kaleidoscope, Ray Bradbury
28. The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Hemingway
29. Up in Michigan, Hemingway
30. Bartleby the Scrivener, Herman Melville
31. Winter Dreams, F.Scott Fitzgerald