Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

Memory at Lascaux

March 30, 2013

I attended a writing workshop not long ago where thirty writers crowded around large tables listening to four professional editors comment on short stories we had written for them. On some stories the editors agreed, on others they disagreed. It was entertaining, enlightening, and educational. And a whole lot of fun.

For one of the stories, we’d been given the following assignment: “…One of the greatest attributes of mankind is our ability to fight for survival, even when the struggle to continue seems hopeless. [Your assignment] is to write stories detailing humanity’s struggle after a planetary disaster…”

Coincidentally, the same day I received the assignment, I also received a copy of BBC Knowledge magazine – and not just any copy. I got the “Days that Changed the World” copy.

As you might expect, the assignment and the articles in the magazine collided in my brain, tumbled around, and, after a little bit of research and fact-checking, the ideas spilled out onto the page to create a story based loosely on events in our own planetary history. Here’s how I describe the story:

With the world covered in ash and clouded in despair, there are only two choices: lie down in the ash, or find a way to survive. 

While I usually write stories that are clearly science fiction, I think I might have accidentally committed literature with this one. You’ll have to tell me!

Available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. $0.99

The story-behind-the-story: Rumors of My Death

January 31, 2013

A long time ago, in a far-away land…

Oops, wrong backstory there. Let’s try this again.

Immediately out of high school (that’s where the long ago and far away fits in), my older brother went into the Marine Corps. As a result, when he got out of the Marines and went to college, he was a semester behind his pesky little sister – you guessed it, me. That really aggravated him, but his aggravation has little to do with the writing of Rumors of My Death.”

Rumors of My Death - a short story by Leigh SaundersHowever, my brother had a roommate, who had been blessed with the theoretically gender-neutral name “Kim” (I say “theoretically gender-neutral” with many apologies to everyone who has been given a gender-neutral name and experienced the startled reaction of someone who assumed, from hearing your name, that you were of the opposite gender. I run into this on a regular basis myself. Sigh.)

Anyway, the idea of playing with a gender-neutral name in a story wandered around in my head for some time before finally bumping into a character (a newspaper columnist) in a setting (Salt Lake City) with a problem (an accident on the Bonneville Salt Flats) that seemed to suit it. “Rumors” was the result. And while I could have gone very dark with the fictional Kim Taylor’s situation, I chose to keep it lighthearted. Sarcastic even.

In fact, I can almost hear my brother’s voice narrating it in my head.

Whoever’s voice you hear, I hope you enjoy the read!

“Rumors of My Death” is a  short story,
available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. $.99

The One That Got Away

February 21, 2012

The One That Got Away, a short story by Leigh SaundersI must admit, I’ve never done research for a story in quite the same way as I did for this one – actually sitting down to dinner and taking notes of the flavors as I went along! But it was worth it – or at least Nereus, the sea-god who is the central figure in this story seems to think so!

The One That Got Away

a short story

The search for an exiled sea goddess leads Nereus, Warden of the Outcasts, to a small restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, and a broken fishing float.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. $0.99