The opening paragraphs of both Solitaire and Waiting for a Latte stand out like a painting in my mind. The description of the winter and the rains that Portland is known for are but two little things Jaan Seunnasepp uses to accurately and artistically capture the feel of the city. He uses this language throughout this collection to weave together a blanket that you can wrap yourself in.
. . .
Waiting for a Latte is the perfect fare for someone hungry to eat at the buffet of witty cynicism. Goodie Two-Shoes is a quick, delicious appetizer that will leave you hungry for the entrée. It is a the prefect blend of dark humor and serious story telling.
“Jenni Plochka?” the worn woman in a pink bathrobe read the card in a harsh, tobacco and booze voice. The blue “Vacancy” flashed through her cigarette smoke. She frowned suspiciously. “Don’t get many BMWs here.”
“Just wanna crash. Gotta bed?”
“OK. But we paintin’ and wirin’, so th’only room is an old one at the end.”
It was a real effort. The Pages program did not seem to want to do things correctly so I wound up editing xhtml and other data files by hand. About four days of work. 😦
The big drag now is that no one can give me any idea as to how long we have to wait for iBookstore Quality Assurance approval. Some blogs are saying 30 days or more!
Here is the link to the Lulu account where people can buy a PDF version. That is readable on almost all systems.
Click the cover image to go there.
BUY via Lulu.com 50¢ Flash – v1: Twist
– 3 short stories: Jaan Seunnasepp
– drawings: Katrin Orav
– photos: J M Manness
– editor: Alex Stevens
THE ROOM: Jenni P. checks into a secluded motel, unaware of what will confront her there.
POOL HALL SCENE: Michael is down on his luck until he plays a stranger.
THE BOTTLE OF TOKAJI: University student Greta returns home to find her roommate has opened a very special bottle of wine.
—- from the intro by editor Alex Stevens
This first volume of 50 Cent Flash Fiction will bring you into the fun, interesting, and intriguingly bizarre world of Jaan Seunnasepp. Jaan has a unique, dark sense of humor is playful with his writing, which makes for fun reading – you can’t help but smile or laugh out loud.
Jaan makes your feel as if you’re right there alongside his characters. Add his sense of drama, and you’ve got yourself a solid bit of writing. The theme for this volume is Twist. Each piece should give you a little something you don’t quite expect, and keep your literary taste buds craving more. There is humor, fear, excitement, and rage — a whole gamut of emotions.
How to assess other people’s work graciously and fairly.
As Sir Ken Robinson thoughtfully observed, we live in a kind of “opinion culture” where not having an opinion is a cultural abomination. At the same time, the barrier of entry for making one’s opinions public is lower than ever. The tragedy of our time might well be that so many choose to set those opinions apart by making them as contrarian and abrasive as possible. But what E. B. White once wisely pointed to as the role and social responsibility of the writer—”to lift people up, not lower them down”—I believe to be true of the role and social responsibility of the critic as well, for thoughtful criticism is itself an art and a creative act.
We need to relearn the skills of making criticism constructive rather than destructive, and we need look no further than the introduction to John Updike‘s 1977 anthology of prose, Picked-Up Pieces, where the beloved author and critic codifies the ethics and poetics of criticism by offering the following six rules to reviewing graciously and fairly.
University student Gretta returns returns home to find that her roommate has opened a very special bottle of wine.
The usual January drizzle greeted Gretta as she left the bus depot and walked to her bicycle. She clipped her pack to the bike’s rack, pulled her knit cap over her dark hair and started home. As the day slowly brightened, she was thinking of hot tea.
When her companion took in a sudden sharp breath and looked down at the table, Jill sensed that something was very wrong even though she could not see Gretta biting her lip. “Uh-oh!” she exclaimed.