Category: Short Fiction

Light Near the End of the World, a Camino de Santiago Short Story NOW AVAILABLE

My passion for the Camino de Santiago has come out in many ways over the past couple of years. Most recently, I have completed a young adult novel that is set on this pilgrimage path in Spain. Last year, I also won 3rd place in the (WCSC) Writers’ Community of Simcoe County’s 2017 Word by Word Short Story Contest with my story, Helen Finds Her Way to After. I think I am approaching the end of my exploration-in-words of the Camino experience. I have one more story, though. And it’s now available on Amazon! Light Near the End of the World – A Camino de Santiago Short Story released on May 8th! You can download it now. This short tells the story of Corinne, who walks the Way of St. James on her own as a way of fulfilling a plan she originally had to walk the path with her husband.

See the synopsis below:

Corinne began her Camino de Santiago pilgrimage way back in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, weeks ago. Exhausted, spent, and on the verge of giving up, she meets a pilgrim who gives her the inspiration she needs to carry on. But is it enough to get her there, to the famous cathedral at the end of the journey in Santiago de Compostela? Follow Corinne’s path along the Way of St. James as she struggles to carry on and to find herself along the way.

Camino Short

For less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee, you can read Corinne’s Camino story…

Download LIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD at AMAZON USA

Download LIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD at AMAZON CANADA

Download LIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD at AMAZON UK

ALSO AVAILABLE ON KOBO!

Through Corinne’s journey, I hope you discover why so many pilgrims have fallen in love with the Camino de Santiago.

 

Into the Void I Go…

Today I step my feet into the void once again. This reminds me, of course, of the quote from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

“100 years from now? All new people.” ~ Anne Lamott

When I first came back to writing somewhere around the turn of the millennium I dove head first into the soundbite world of both Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. Lamott spoke to my urgency to marry my words with the sacredness of life. Goldberg spoke to my need to tell my secrets, to get down my words…to write down the bones.

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

The writing of both of these women thrilled me and moved me. They made me want to be not only a better writer, but a better version of myself. With her insistence on going deeper into the things you fear the most, Goldberg gave me the courage to write about those things I did not speak of…And Lamott, with her beautiful and tragic ‘100 years from now? All new people‘, made me think, ‘What the hell…I’m going to die anyway. Without a trace.’ We are transient…this alone should be enough to remove the fear of going deeper. The two women converged to make me a more fearless writer. Later, these teachings helped me to be a more fearless person.

Together, they brought me back to writing. In a new way…one I feared less. I have them to thank, one catchy soundbite at a time.

Today I released a LONG short story into the void. It will most assuredly get lost in the din of words riding the ether superhighway these days, but that’s okay. I’m fine with this. I’m only here for a little while. I wanted to write this story. I wanted to ignite a passion in maybe ONE person. One little person out there in the world of somewhere in the ballpark of 7.5 billion people. If the right person finds my short story set on the Camino de Santiago and says to themselves, “I want to go there,” my job is done. I myself have been ignited through literature…I’ve found my way to many a places in this way.

It’s been almost twenty years now since I have reignited my journey as writer, and I have since heard much smack-talk about both of these women. The words granola and hippy and earth mother, etc, etc, etc have been bandied about–as though they were negatives, no less! I have even heard gimmicky used—that one, I really can’t tolerate. These women have FED me. One should be open to find inspiration wherever they find it. In them, I found it in abundance.

What the essence of creativity really comes down to, in the end, is that we all have our own paths to walk. How we get to creative expression doesn’t matter. Hell, some of us never fully get there or have no desire to get there. Or find creativity in things others might not think of as conventional creative activities. We are all on our own paths. And in the end, in the bluntest and simplest of terms, we are all essentially walking to our graves. “100 years from now? All new people.” How we make that journey? Therein lies the rub.

Today, I made another little pit-stop on my own creative journey. My LONG short story LIGHT NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD is NOW live on Amazon and Kobo. If you take a chance on this short story, I hope you enjoy it. Even if it doesn’t ignite a spark of desire in you to get out there and walk the path to Santiago de Compostella, I hope it at least entertains you.

HOMEWORK: Don’t forget to search out those things that scare you today…and go deeper. Past the fear. We’ll all be gone before you know it. Today is the day…

Buen Camino!

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Camino de Santiago, Spain. 2014
Camino Short
Pick up Light Near the End of the World today. Discover the Camino…

Corinne began her Camino de Santiago pilgrimage way back in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, weeks ago. Exhausted, spent, and on the verge of giving up, she meets a pilgrim who gives her the inspiration she needs to carry on. But is it enough to get her there, to the famous cathedral at the end of the journey in Santiago de Compostela? Follow Corinne’s path along the Way of St. James as she struggles to carry on and to find herself along the way.

Light Near the End of the World on GOODREADS

AMAZON USA BUY LINK

AMAZON CANADA BUY LINK

AMAZON UK BUY LINK

KOBO BUY LINK

Sun’ll Come – A Short Story Originally Published in the WCDR Whispered Words Anthology

Thought I’d share another piece of found writing today. I wrote this piece in about 15 minutes. It was the deadline for the WCDR Whispered Words Short Story Contest…and I wanted to get something in. Mostly, I was thinking I’d support the organization that has done so much for my writing career. I really didn’t think anything would come of the entry. I had procrastinated to the finish line, and time was ticking away. WRITE-SUBMIT-READ. That was the genesis of this piece. To my surprise, it made the anthology! This was published in 2011.

The subject matter is a little delicate. It’s a story about sexual abuse…but it’s not very blatant about the subject matter. It’s written in dialect, and from the first-person POV of an 8-year-old boy.

Before we go to the story, if you’re in the Durham Region area–or the GTA, for that matter–it would be worth your time to look into the WCDR!

Whispered-Words-Cover-72-dpi

Here it is:

Sun’ll Come

Momma said Angie had to go be with Gramps on accounta Gramps’s glaucoma. But I know in my heart that’s not what the truth of it is. Angie didn’t like Gramps enough to follow him around for all eternity just so he won’t bumpity bump into tables and trip over curbsides. Angie didn’t like Gramps none at all. She just died ‘cause she died. That’s all there is to it.

Besides, if her eyes was so good and twenty-twenty and all that, she wouldna walked offa that rock and into the falls way she did. Angie been spending her whole waking life trippin’ and fallin’ over things. If that Jesus fella thought he’d better get a body up there to help ole Gramps walk around inside all that Heaven, you’d think he’d pick a somebody who didn’t always hurt theyselves just walkin’.

Angie mighta even done it to get away from all the badness, too. I know I been thinkin’ ‘bout that Heaven place and wonderin’ if it be the place for me and all that too. I just don’t know if I’d have the courage Angie had to walk off the world and into all that water, way she done.

Angie always protectin’ me against Daddy, saying, “boys don’t need no trouble way you got trouble. Don’t forget, Toby, it’s a secret you keep to save yo’self. Ain’t got nothin’ to do with helpin’ Daddy. We don’t evah needs to be helping out Daddy.”

I’m sure she’s up there in the Heaven place thinking she left me down here t’meself with all this trouble, and now times two without her to share it. But she just couldna tooken it no more. She didn’t fall down those waters for the fun of it, nor did she trip. And fo the love of Jesus Please-us, she ain’t never done a thing for Gramps but complain about the smells of his feet when he kept them too close to the fire and they got all the stink all cooked up to fill the house. No. She just hadda ‘nough of Daddy. One can take only so much ‘fore they crack like glass. You whisper all yo life and soon enough it comes to a scream and you ain’t never able to stop it then. Only thing left is ta flung youself from the falls and hope the landin’ take ya to Jesus.

Angie gone now almost a year or so. I remember when she whispered in my ear at night, “Toby, everything’s gonna be ok. Sun’ll come, Tobs. Sun’ll come. Always comes the next day and takes the night away.” I remember the tickle on my lobe ‘cause her mouth was too close and the wetness of her words ticklin’ down deep and cold. I sure did like that. It calmed me down sompin’ awful.

Now I’m eight I can take after my own self, but I sometimes ask Momma maybe Gramps done need another hand to walk him through all that Heaven. She just say, “Don’t leave me, Toby. Don’t leave yo Momma with that man. That’s not fair or right. We in this ta-gether.” I don’t know why I has to be in it with her. I didn’t choose him. I didn’t make the marriage agreement with all the death-do-parts and no-mans-put-us-unders.

I ain’t never signed on to do the things with Daddy that he always be asking me to do. Tellin’ me to do. And that whisky breath near enough to make me drunk and stupid just like him. I know Angie be up there in Heaven some nights shoutin’ down, “Sun’ll come, Tobs. Sun’ll come. You just wait and see.” But it ain’t never come no more. Not with her not here to help fight him off when he get like that. He has more hands than a octopus. He just take what he want from ole Toby now. I been sleepin’ in the closet, but he know where I’m hidin’ mostly. He know where to find ole Toby when the Devil got him all liqueured up and ready to play with fire. Hands movin’ so fast, cain’t hardly keep them offa me.

I just have ta remember to whisper this stuff to no one and wait for maybe Angie’s words to brush past my ear like a tickle and tell me everything be okay in the mornin’.

Momma says Daddy’s gettin’ all better lately. Been smiling and even one time with whistling when he comin’ in from work at the mill. But she just foolin’ herself way she always done. He ain’t nothin’ but evil. Nothin’ good comes from a man who done that to his own kids. That’s what Gram once said ‘bout ole Gramps ‘fore he up and died off like bad wood gone to rot. Yeah, Angie gonna follow that man to help him from fallin’ up in Heaven. I believe that like I believe the day’ll come when Daddy get’s all better. Ain’t never gonna happen.

I know what. If I ever decide not to fall down those waters, I ain’t never gonna do that to my kids. Ain’t wantin’ my boy to get told in whispers that the sun’ll come up in the mornin’ and take all that darkness away. ‘Cause that’s a lie and nothin’ but. The sun comes up. It does. But it ain’t never took the darkness back. That’s there always.

Even Angie knowed that all those things she said to make my days go better were nothin’ but whispered words. Whispered words that tickled my ear and made me just for a second giggle and forget. I think that why she done it all the time. Makin’ me tickle was her way to take away the madness and make it all more better. But it ain’t better now. Not with Angie gone ass over the teakettle over them falls. I ain’t even got her whispered words on my earlobe no more. I only got myself. Then, that all I need. Sun’ll come, Tob.

 

 

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