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The Short Stories

I知 always dreaming up wonderful and wacky stories.

I値l hear a phrase or read a fact in a book, magazine or the newspaper and think that it might have an interesting idea behind it that needs telling. Most often I値l get the plot outline or story synopsis down on whatever scrap of paper I have lying around. Then a few months later when I get a free moment and I think that the idea still has some merit I値l write out the whole story in longhand by putting pen to paper. Later I値l use the computer for spell checking and editing the story.

Some stories like Spring Thaw were written in one short spurt of creative energy and needed very little changing (spell checking excluded) while others like The Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown have been worked and reworked many times over many years.

Why short stories? Because I知 far too lazy to put serious effort into writing the really big story ideas I致e got. Most have been written for my annual Christmas Collections and have a very rosy outlook.

Enjoy!

 

Ball-Bearings

 

Ball-Bearings

Based on a recurring nightmare I experienced while suffering from pneumonia in my youth. A friend later pointed out that what I was recalling is a common phenomenon called 澱irth memory.

Published in the Merry Christmas 1998 collection.

Brightness Corrected

 

Brightness Corrected

Orwellian inspired nonsense.

Published in the Christmas 1995 collection.

In the Land of Beatleburt

 

In the Land of Beatleburt

The cows from Gary Larson痴 Far Side cartoons and The Hitch Hiker to the Galaxy books by Douglas Adams started me thinking about seeing the world in a slightly different way. This is a tall tale about the stuff we see out of the corner of our eyes when we least expect it.

Published in the X-Mass 92 collection.

Our Man in Venice

 

Our Man in Venice

Having just returned from my first visit to Italy, I wanted to write a story that was more mysterious and suspenseful, much like how I found the wonderful city of Venice to be.

Published in the Christmas 1999 collection.

Passionate Leaves

 

Passionate Leaves: Chapter 1 Chapter 2

Equally influenced by CS Lewis痴 Chronicles of Narnia books (in particular The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) and the song 典rees by Rush this story is a long-time work-in-progress that I hope to finish one day. If you think it is just about squirrels, think again and read on.

Chapter 1 - Published in The 2000 Collection.
Chapter 2 - Published in the Christmas 2001 collection.

Piles of Snow, And Nowhere to Go

 

Piles of Snow, And Nowhere to Go

When I was young, my friends and I were always building snow forts and igloos. There was a small snow dump in a field close by and we heard rumours that the older kids had built a snow fort in one of the piles. Try as we might we never found it, but this story is about what if we had.

Published in the Dustbunnies and Mountains of Snow (1993) collection.

Ralph

 

Ralph

This story is about a dog that is having a very bad morning. It was written to tell the dog痴 part of the story in The Morning of the Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown and is told from dog痴 point of view. Ralph's story was greatly expanded in The Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown.

Published in MacDool痴 Christmas and Four More Stories (1991) collection.

Ralph

 

Ride the Bone Crusher

I visited Canada痴 Wonderland amusement park once with some friends and they actually talked me into going on a roller-coaster ride. I did say 登nce!

Published in MacDool痴 Christmas and Four More Stories (1991) collection.

Spring Thaw

 

Spring Thaw

I致e always loved tall tales that take you to extremes. When you read this one you can tell whom my heroes at the time were.

Late one evening while procrastinating writing an essay for my high school English class due the next day, I start to write the poem MacDool痴 Christmas. Half way through writing the poem I was having trouble rhyming and my train of thought was broken by another completely different story idea. In the next 20 minutes I wrote down the entire Spring Thaw story almost word for word as it is today. Then I realized what time it was at night (in the morning) and promptly went back to finishing the poem. I don稚 remember the mark I got on the essay, but it probably was not very good. The two stories that came out of that magical night however are still high amongst my favourites.

Published in MacDool痴 Christmas and Four More Stories (1991) collection.

The Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown

 

The Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown

Influenced by Mark Twain痴 informal essays on the human condition I joined a number of smaller stories (The Morning of the Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown, Ralph, and Ride the Bone Crusher) into a larger commentary on life in the suburbs. It might sound like heavy stuff but I hope you enjoy these comical misadventures of a man, a dog and life just little too safe. The roller-coaster incident pretty much describes my own feelings about thrill-rides.

Published in the Dustbunnies and Mountains of Snow (1993) collection.
The Morning of the Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown, Ralph, and Ride the Bone Crusher were all originally published in MacDool痴 Christmas and Four More Stories (1991).

The Heart-Stop Watch

 

The Heart-Stop Watch

I had just finished reading Mark Twain痴 "The Mysterious Stranger" and wanted to tell a tale set in the same magical world.

Published in The Heart-Stop Watch and Other Valentine Stories (1996) collection.

The Morning of the Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown

 

The Morning of the Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown

This story is about those evil little devices with red digits we all have in our bedrooms that routinely deny us our morning sleep and about the first few moments of a day when you wake up on the wrong side of bed and know your day will go down from there. Read about the rest of the day in The Day I Had My Nervous Breakdown.

Published in MacDool痴 Christmas and Four More Stories (1991) collection.

The Rest of the Morrows

 

The Rest of the Morrows

I wrote this one for my dad. At dinner one night, when asked where the Morrow clan came from he started his description of the very real, Five Mile Town, in Ireland, by saying that if you went to the cemetery there, it would be filled with Morrows. So I got to thinking just how the people who lived there would react if his words that night were literally true.

Published in the Christmas 1997 collection.

The Stop-Watch Heart

 

The Stop-Watch Heart

As is so often the case, I get multiple ideas from the same source. While working on The Heart-Stop Watch I got to wondering what if things went in off following a slightly different tangent of thought.

Published in The Heart-Stop Watch and Other Valentine Stories (1996) collection.

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