Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Release: Hot Apple Cider Anthology

Nearly ready for release this anthology boasts an all Canadian cast of writers. The book was commissioned by World Vision as part of their "Girl's Night Out" events. Over 30,000 women across Canada will receive a copy of the anthology when they attend a "Girl's Night Out" event at a local church.

Oh, did I mention this anthology is written by Canadian Christian authors? Don't let that deter you. This is no preachy tomb, no doctrinal dinosaur, instead it is a message of hope, love, grace, and understanding regardless of whatever sociological label one could apply to them self (or someone else).

My short story The Stuckville Cafe is featured in the anthology. I've posted the first two paragraphs of this 3500 word story to give you a taste of Hot Apple Cider.

Follow this link to Amazon for availability and ordering (the book is not yet available, but you can pre-order and they will ship it directly to you [even if you aren't a Canadian!] when it is released)

The Stuckville Café
By Bonnie Grove

The town has a real name, but I call it Stuckville. Because, boy, oh, boy, I'm stuck here. Plunked down in the middle of nothing-to-write-home-about by a husband who wanted a change (so we moved here), then wanted a bigger change (so he left me). Now, I'm the sole proprietor of one rinky-dink café right across the street from the train tracks. I sell ice cream, espresso drinks, and Mexican food. I know the combination sounds cock-eyed, but most everything about this town is cock-eyed.

Don't think there aren’t times I think I should cut bait and run. But I suffer from the worst of human maladies - a double whammy of a total lack of a plan and an over-developed sense of responsibility. Like I said: stuck.
Based on previous posts, you may be wondering what juicy juxtapositions of language and meaning, sound and construction, the 'said' and the 'unsaid' can be found in this story?
There are places in the story that can be considered, if not a salute, at least a generous tip of the hat to writing gurus I have read.
At one point in the story a "train across the road blows long ‘whuuuuunnnnnk, whuuuuunnnnk’ whistles" as it "screels and skreeks" past the cafe. I owe this risky bit, this dance with possible overkill to the fortifying chapter on onomatopoeia from Arthur Plotnik's book Spunk and Bite.
At a different point in the story I describe looking at a hunky man's car: "I see his car out the window, a speeding bullet of a BMW." I admit I like this passage because it bothers my critique partner ("How can it be speeding if it's parked outside?)
There is a gentle passage in The Stuckville Cafe that simply pauses to notice the smallness, the glory of simple things. I secretly hope E.B. White would read it and nod, allowing a bend in the rules of engagement: "Gene throws his head back and laughs until it becomes a deep cough. He reaches into his back pocket, pulls out a hanky and hacks into it. I wonder how long it’s been since the thing has seen the inside of a washing machine. When he's done bringing up a lung he puts the hanky away and I sop up the coffee he spilled over the table and floor. I pour him another."
I read once, that writers should avoid using the immediate present tense except for brief, necessary scenes. Thus, I decided to write the entire piece a la Faulkner - one heart beat at a time.
I love the rules. I love to follow the rules (after all, they are rules for a reason). But I love to see how far I can bend or shape a rule to fit the fiction.
I'm enjoying the journey.

No comments: