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1967 by Tony Concannan – A young boy has a decision to make—spend time with his father watching the Red Sox game or go with his friends to the movie—a seemingly inconsequential act like those we all face in our lives. For Brian the result is not what he expected and he might never recover from the, in his mind, wrong choice. This story provides a wonderful insight into the mind of a young boy and how our lives are impacted by the choices we make.
THE MAGIC SEAMSTRESS by Nadia Greasley – Emily Shaw is anxious to leave her rural town of Adams, away from her mother and sister. She is nothing like them and is forced to endure her last prom dress fitting at the Magic Seamstress. But through the ordeal of getting her dress, she gets a life lesson in the process.
FRANCIS by Dan Jorgensen – Francis is a whimsical look at life along the Northwestern seaboard. A fanciful relationship between a homeless man and his environment with the personification of a fog that is reminiscent of Wordsworth and ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Francis forces us to think but the thoughts are all pleasant.
WAITING FOR STEVEN SPIELBERG by Lisa Lebduska – This is a magnificent glimpse into the life of a would-be screen writer, Rachel, and her friend, Bobby, a laid-back chauffeur who provides a beautiful counterpoint to her intense outlook on life. This story is hilarious on the surface but ultimately reveals a complex and poignant relationship that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
IRONWORK by Susan Lowell – The author has created a darkly humorous tale of an artistic loner who deals with the absurdities of the world in his own unique way. It is 1999 and Rascoe is coming face to face with the millennium—or is he? This is a marvelous story, well written and entertaining with matchless characters in a world that only Rascoe could create.
FOUND AND LOST by Ernesto Marcos – A fascinating tale of a woman, whose pattern of behavior, unwittingly leads her into an impossible set of circumstances. This story has the supernatural overtones of an Edgar Allen Poe tale. Well written with a fascinating plot. The ending is very abrupt and makes one wish that different decisions had been made when there was still time.
CARTOONS by Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni – A poignant episode in a young woman’s life is described with strong emotion and a healthy dose of wry wit. The characters are vivid from the not so heroic Timothy, to the good friend Pam, to the poetic but imaginary ex-boyfriend, and the guiding force of Carla. Everyone has advice on how to solve Jackie’s problem, but in the end, she has to figure out how to heal on her own.
PREJUDICE by Barbara Mujica – This is a very well written story about stereotypes and how we react to them. It is timely because of the setting and theme. It is provocative and yet never preaches merely laying the reality out before us and letting us, the readers, decide. Just what we look for in a meaningful short story.
MAN WANTED IN CHEYENNE by Richard McPherson – Jake is an aging wrangler, a modern day cowboy, expert in all manner of dealing with horses. When his working-ranch job is eliminated he finds the perfect job – but there is a catch. Jake and his best friend, Bucky, are in for a totally unexpected ride, and the reader gets to go along. Just delightful!
HOLDING HANDS WITH THE CLOCK by Richard Perreault – Cynthia is waiting for news from her doctor, news that will set the remainder of her life on either a path of hope or despair. She looks for ways to delay the inevitable truth, whatever it might be, as she reflects on a life that contains some regrets. A fantastic ending that reveals insights all of us must ponder as we grow older.
HOW TO EAT RAW OYSTERS by Judy S. Richardson – It is the early 1960’s and Jenna wants to spend her 16th birthday with friends and a special trip to American Bandstand but her over-bearing father has other ideas. This is a great story told with humor and insight into a teenage girl and her family and a glimpse into family life in the 1960’s.
IDENTIFICATION PLEASE by Alexandra Rochman – A woman reminisces about what life brings us and how we identify ourselves in various ways at different stages of the journey. Funny, honest and well written the passage from one phase of life to another always ends in the same place.
LET’S GO by Elena Schacherl – Antonio is in a nursing home, but he is ready to return to his own place and cannot understand why no one will listen to him. He finally manages to escape, but what he discovers is much more—or maybe less—than what he expected. A fitting tribute to the frustrations of aging.
AIR EAGLES by Ted Scott – Three best friends from high school were all good athletes and their group, the Air Eagles, an important part of their lives—but time has a way of changing relationships–altering beliefs and feelings. When trying to recapture some of the memories one member of the group experiences an astonishing reunion with the Air Eagles.
DEAR DAVE by Nancy Wick- A tender love story of two old friends who maintain a long distance relationship over an entire lifetime of moves, career changes, marriages, children and all of the episodes that make us human. Through it all they are always there for each other. This is a beautiful story–Oh that we could each have such a friend.
CALL ME MR. GRUMP by Martha Worcester – Wonderful short story through the eyes of an elderly man who gets the reputation of being difficult; a trait that he doesn’t deny and, in fact, relishes. We understand why as the story unfolds. Aging is a very personal thing and sometimes our friends and relatives can’t understand.
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