Here's the link to my short story, published in the Foundling Review this week:
Foundling Review, Issue #1, May 2010 - HAIRSPRAY
Reader's reactions to this piece have been interesting. As a writer, I don't believe in coercing readers to feel a certain way about a story. The words should speak for themselves, and it's the readers' right to take away what they will. I hope that's what makes the story fun... that it can be interpreted in different ways depending on what the reader wants to see.
Something to ponder: HAIRSPRAY was also accepted by a horror magazine. Would you have had a different take on it had you read it there?
Short stories are damned hard to write. Telling a story in so few words is really hard for me, but I'd like to get better at it. I'm considering an advanced short fiction class this summer if the first draft of the current WIP is finished. It would be nice to try something different. (Something that doesn't have chapters would be a start.)
I recommend novels all the time, but in keeping with the theme of this post, here's a short story recommendation: THE TELL-TALE HEART by Edgar Allan Poe. I hadn't read this story since college, and I totally forgot how amazing it is. I read it out loud to myself the other day and actually got goosebumps. And now I can't stop thinking about it, which is how I know it got under my skin. I don't remember having an emotional reaction like this in college... and since the story hasn't changed, it must be me.
It's frighteningly perfect. Read it here on Google Books ("flip" to page 3):
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe