Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Reflection is the eighth and last of the short stories in Part 2 of Welsh Cakes: Book of Short Stories. Jane Peters, a teenager, is not part of the "in" crowd and longs to be. The "in" crowd is a group of popular girls who are pretty, fashion conscious, and made up of qualities that Jane feels she does not possess. Jane is envious of them and particularly of Amanda Graves. She is everything that Jane wants to be and is not. During the summer holidays she practices looking in the mirror and making herself look like Amanda. She seems to have magical powers and, by the end of the summer, she is able to go back and fore from the likeness of Amanda to the likeness of herself. When she gets back to school she attempts a switch with Amanda and is successful. This experiment results in some strange happenings, and opens Jane's eyes to another side of Amanda's life, which she little expected. In the end she learns that not all one sees is all there is to know. She becomes more tolerant of others and promises to use her magical powers only for good.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This seventh short story in part two of my book Welsh Cakes: Book of Short Stories, has snow and winter as its setting once again. Tom and Joyce had been in love ever since they first met at the Sunday School picnic many years before this snowy winter's day. Their joining together in marital bliss was thwarted when Joyce's widowed mother was in need of care at home. Joyce's brothers deemed her to be the logical choice to fulfill this necessity. Tom, meanwhile, married another woman as he couldn't see any end in sight of Joyce's commitment to her mother. His marriage was not a happy one, however, as he really was still in love with Joyce and couldn't forget her. The seed for this story grew out of an old run down house on the street where I lived in Toronto a number of years ago. "Tom now observed the brittle curls of green paint clinging to the wooden siding as if in a desperate attempt to cover the mottled purple-blue-grey of earlier paint jobs lying beneath; this house has seen better days, he thought. The metal eaves trough looked like an elongated colander and was no longer able to channel water to the downspout. Icicles had formed at the roof's edge and dripped in the morning sun." Tom's wife had divorce him and left him free to pursue Joyce when her mother departed this world. Tom's opportunity to approach Joyce came when a snow storm provided him an excuse to shovel her driveway. Whether Joyce would be intereste in his advancements or not remains to be seen.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Snow Globe is today's story, and is the sixth story in Part Two of Welsh Cakes: Book of Short Stories. This is a Christmas wishes granted story. Amanda, an eight year old, wishes that her parents would stop drinking and stop fighting but there seems to be no hope of this happening anytime soon. Amanda is happiest when she is with her grandmother. Today, they are to spend time together at the shopping mall where Amanda will have a visit with Santa Claus despite her father's express instructions to the contrary. It is his position that she is too old for Santa Claus now and, in any case, there is no money for presents. Are we ever too old for the magic of Santa Claus? Are we ever too old to expect miracles to happen? Through the gift to Amanda of a snow globe from Santa Claus on the occasion of her visit to him, and through a circuitous route, Amanda's hope for a happy family and a happy Christmas may still become a reality.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
In this fifth short story in part two of Welsh Cakes: Book of Short Stories, we find Amy Johnson hurrying to get to Muskoka on Christmas Eve to join her husband Michael and daughter Joan at their cottage. A few years previously, Amy had insisted on going back to work after feeling trapped in a family situation that required her to stay at home and look after Joan following a tragic illness. When Joan went into remission, Amy saw her opportunity to escape from the drudgery and endless sacrifice she felt at home by searching for a job in the work-a-day world. Michael had difficulty in understanding Amy's need to get away from home and the marriage was in danger of falling apart. To make matters worse, an office relationship was building up and tempting Amy into a fantasy world. Her trip to the cottage that Christmas Eve became a near tragedy when dreaming of another life that might be hers, Amy became distracted on snowy remote country roads and her car careened into a snow bank. With no possibility of getting the car back on the road and the cold and snow increasing, Amy now saw her family as her anchor and didn't know whether she would have the chance to put things right with them. When a light appeared in the sky she thought her end had come. "Amy had read about the light and the tunnel that was part of the experience of dying and she yielded to its radiance, giving herself up to the angel who was guiding her to God. She said a brief prayer, asking God for forgiveness for her past and that he would take her directly to himself. She closed her eyes and relaxed into the Christmas light..."