Received great news from the ripping UK online lit mag, Literally Stories. They have chosen my story, “So Are They All” for a rerun on February 14, 2021.
In my travels around the virtual literary world these last six years, I’ve been able to meet a lot of special people. The crew at Literally Stories is just such a romp, such a cabal, such a band on the run.
FUN FACT: The plural noun for a group of bulldogs (British or otherwise) is… a FART of bulldogs. Now, I don’t know if this descriptor applies to the assembled writers, poets, editors, and artful dodgers at Literally Stories, but given enough ale, black pudding, bangers and beans, etc. — it may well be.
I do know that the literary caucus at that particular joint is certainly warm, but is (definitely) not silent, nor deadly — rather lively, I’d say — and would not abide by the evidentiarily assumptive phrase, “He who noted it, is he who floated it…”
They are sharp, funny, agile, devoted, and big-hearted. So to be twice touched by their regal sword of acceptance is an honour I do not take lightly. Not only will the story run again, but it will be accompanied by a couple of questions from the mysterious Leila, a writer-editor-interviewer with Salish Sea roots. (I think.)
Here are her questions, check out the Literally Stories site on Feb 14 for my answers.
Q: 2020 marked Cornelius and Rosa’s hundredth wedding anniversary*. An imbecile (such as Wolf Blitzer) would ask something like “What would they make of today?” Instead I wonder if you believe that the present is always so conceited that there’s a belief that the people in the past couldn’t cut it today? (Seems to me that Rosa would do just fine on social media, because she’d have interesting experiences to relate. Also, feel free to rant loosely, incoherently, as I seem to be doing.)
*Dec. 17, MJT
Q: Yes, A. Let’s play Jeopardy! Answer to the question is: Simply the finest thing ever to come out of the bakery.
SIDEBAR: What the loquacious Leila is referring to (Cornelius and Rosa) are two recurrent characters that come from a series of stories set in the fictitious Canadian Prairie town of Hartplatz. Cornelius (“Roy”) and Rosa Zehen are the grandparents, with Rosa being the materfamilias of the Mennonite staum of bakers, shoemakers, hockey players, and windmill tilters.
SIDEBAR SIDEBAR: Breaking News — The Zehen clan is represented in about forty short stories. Recently, I’ve pulled 29 of them together into a coherent collection that runs in a roughly chronological order from 1920 to the present and beyond, into a dimly viewed future. I have begun to query the collection, polishing and curating to offer the least kuhshiet-spattered grouping I can muster.
A shart of short stories? The collection is tentatively titled: “The Barkman Avenue Peace Accords”