Where I live it is already 23 December and I am about to go out on a buying trip for presents. I’ll be going with my family which means there will be a variety of shopping styles. My style is almost slash-and-burn. I know what I want, and I am going to buy it. Shoppers, please forgive my unintentional rude behavior when I do not emulate a deer in the headlights look as I stare at the lights and promos. I pay attention to price, the cashier, and the nearest coffee shop where I can sit down and retreat to a less noisy place while my tribe completes their much lengthier search (although for me, a stop at a bookshop is enough).
While I am sitting in the coffee shop, I need a collection like this. VERVE FLASH by Janet Fix (editor). Described as a “multi-genre anthology” that “builds a short road to big fiction,” the collection allows me to complete several thought pieces between bouts of pulling out my wallet to select different credit cards as limits are reached.
The collection offers works of seventeen authors contributing from one to five stories each. I won’t even try to list, count, or comment on all of them here but I will comment on ones that meant most to me. There are four thematic divisions: Relationships, Psych, Intrigue, Life, and Death. Each selection is under 2000 words. There is also a helpful “About the Authors” section that includes helpful links for readers to follow their favorite authors. The section takes up about 10% of the publication. I received this collection free through Book Funnel with the accompanying signup to an author’s mailing list. I give this collection five Amazon stars because I believe you can’t miss with a collection such as this. There is something for everyone. I will only look at the one or two I liked best in each selection.
THE HOUSE THAT ME BUILT ***** Angie Gallion** There are two mysteries, one is at the end of the story. The other is a question from the title. Who is Me?
SECOND SHIFT ***** Rachel Eliason** For me, this is absolutely the best story in the collection. It has hope, redemption, and a very import social issue of today (the revelation of which would be a spoiler).
CARISSA ***** Angie Gallion** An excellent multiple personality study and more. Can you guess how many personalities emerge in this story?
THE MONSTER IS REAL***** Rick Sanders** Best story in the Intrigue section. Guess who or what the monster is (and yes, it is real).
SPINNING ***** Angie Gallion** This is one of the most depressing short stories I have read. There could be tears here.
LIFE AND DEATH
THE STAIRS ***** Owen Roberts** The best story in the Life and Death section with a moral lesson for almost anyone of us on the journey.
LESSONS FROM A KICKING COW ***** Phil Emmert** This story pulled me back to real life today. It was a wake-up call for those who live only on Twitter. Not mentioning any names like the Twit-in-Chief but just saying.
I found this to be a fun read while dashing from store to store. There are many, many selections to read. I found two that I couldn’t understand, and I won’t mention them to avoid my embarrassment. I only found one that I thought was not remarkable enough to include in such a great collection. Same comment. Overall, this was fun, and I highly recommend it.