Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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Connections–Do you read short stories?

I haven’t written short stories for some time but since I bought a kindle a few months ago I’ve found I like reading them more than novels. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the kindle format or just because I’m busier these days.

I spent a very large chunk of my life bringing up five boys so I’ve always been busy and always managed to find time to read novels, so not busy-busy, but maybe it’s because my brain is more occupied these days with my writing. Occupied in a different way–I assure you it was very much occupied bringing up the boys!

Or maybe it’s the format. No page numbers. No feeling the book in your hands and seeing how far you have to go at a glance. But you can see what percentage you’ve read, so it can’t be that.

Perhaps I’ve just become more particular about what I find enjoyable. I know I’m very put off by poor writing, as I’m sure everyone is, but I found my most recent library expedition, even with favourite authors, disappointing.
I’ve downloaded a few short stories for the kindle, some good, some bad, but at least if I don’t like something I don’t feel I have to give it 100 pages just to make sure! It’s only a very small time investment to read the whole thing. Maybe that’s the secret.

After selling a couple of short stories to a USA audio magazine I decided to go through all my short stories and put some on Amazon as a collection. I’ve called it ‘Connections’, which is the name of the first story and also applies, in a way, to all of them. It’s what life’s about isn’t it?

I was going to put one on my blog but I realise they’re all very different so one story wouldn’t give you much idea of the book overall. Instead I’m including a few samples here. If you’d like to have a look at Connections, it’s free now. If you like it, reviews would be very welcome. (If you only like one story, feel free to review that one only!)

CONNECTIONS

Sophie’s heart was speeding up as the train was slowing down. She had a momentary thought, about the human heart as an alternative power source. It was a pump after all, wasn’t it? And surely that would be great for the planet; the greenies would love it. The self-distraction wasn’t working; she was still nervous as hell. Shit-scared, actually. She didn’t have to go through with this. She could just take a look and keep walking. He was probably some old sleaze.

STUDY IN BLUE ©Christine Gardner

George Arnold got up at six thirty Wednesday morning. He had set the alarm for 6.45 but his inner clock had woken him at six. He lay under his warm eiderdown for half an hour, thinking through his plans for the day, then he jumped out of bed and ran for the bathroom. He allowed himself an extra five minutes in the shower since he was up so early and he soaped his obese body thoroughly, lifting up his hanging belly to lather underneath, making sure he was scrupulously clean.

GOING HOME
© Christine Gardner

“Get the hell out then!” she screamed at me through the screen door. So much for worrying about the neighbours. That was another ‘home’ I’d lost, the third in as many months. This one had lasted exactly two weeks; two weeks of tip-toeing around the house so as not to disturb the ‘man of the house’ who worked nights, and trying to avoid his blatant advances when he was awake.

BROWN DOG (Available permanently free at Smashwords)
©Christine Gardner

It was the ugliest dog Luke had ever seen. He was standing at the edge of the sea, not really contemplating suicide (but oh, what a seductive sea it was, just walk on in and don’t look back). The dog ambled over to him and just sat beside him, uninvited and unwanted. It was skin and bone, with long legs like a greyhound. All brown, with no relieving patches. Just an old brown dog. It whined and wagged its tail back and forwards across the sand.

‘Connections’ is available now.