A couple weeks ago, I interviewed Linda Boulanger, author of Becoming, a collection of faith-based, short-short stories. After the interview, a pseudonymous Internet hacker promptly distracted me by breaking into my hosting provider and swiping a friend’s domain name. So it took over a week for me to get back on track, but I’m actually reading Becoming now, which Linda was gracious enough to send me in electronic form. She’s also reading my book From the Ashes of Courage. (I say this in the interests of disclosure.)
At only about a third of the way through the book, so far, I’m liking these stories, because they have some good qualities. They’re all about characters with compelling problems, and each story has an uplifting message behind it. I do find that the conclusion sometimes feels disconnected from the conflict, probably because of how short these stories are, as though Linda didn’t follow the story through but rather shortcut to the end. And some paragraphs seem out of focus, as though they don’t really belong in the story, because they develop the character instead of the conflict. (When you’re writing short-short fiction, as with much poetry, it’s especially important—and especially difficult—to make every word count, because you have so few of them to work with.) But all in all, I’m enjoying Becoming, so far rating it at least 3 stars, and maybe even 4.
Here’s today’s teaser, from p. 13 (randomly selected by a random-number generator):
Without thought I straightened to my full height, chin held high, and wings in perfect position…
“She’s asked for a special angel to walk beside her through these years. She is wise enough to know she needs help…”