Monday, December 26, 2022

Reader's Diary #2063 - Patsy Collins: Gone by Boxing Day

 Though it has "Boxing Day" in the title, Patsy Collins' short story would be better classified as a Christmas story as it involves finding a perfect present for a sweet, albeit impossible to shop for, mother. 

It's quaint, with a happy ending, but it's still a solid piece of writing with great character development.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Reader's Diary #2062 - Daniel Scott Tysdale: The End is in the Middle

A huge fan of MAD Magazine, I was intrigued by Daniel Scott Tysdale's idea to write poems a la "MAD Fold-ins," the idea being that you can read most of the poem on the page and then fold the page in order to get the final line. (For those not acquainted with MAD Fold-ins, Al Jaffee would draw a photo with a riddle underneath and you could fold the page to get a new image and the answer to the riddle.)

Still, MAD Magazine was also known for juvenile puns (ex. New Kids on the Blech!) so I was unsure what to expect about the quality of poetry.

Make no mistake and gimmicks aside, Tysdale is the real deal. Yes, some poems have humour but not all. And there's lots of poignant ideas, emotion, and creative turns of phrase throughout this collection. Besides the fold-in angle, some of the poems also try more traditional forms. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Reader's Diary #2061 - Adrija Joy: Coming Home to Mother

 Written by a child, "Coming Home to Mother" has a simple plot, but hints that Adrija Joy may have a writing career ahead of her.

It has a somber tone, not unlike Dickens, and just the right amount of details, the only thing left would be for the author to expand upon the tale. As it is, it leaves a very intriguing mystery. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Reader's Diary #2060- Shreya Ganguly: The Christmas Party

 Unfortunately, Shreya Ganguly's short story "The Christmas Party" had two strikes against it for me and I was not able to overcome these to enjoy the story. 

About someone hoping for a Christmas party that never materializes, it's largely a domestic, old-fashioned kind of story, the kind that I've never really appreciated. To me they're just boring, though that's a personal preference and not necessary a critique.

The second issue, however, was the wordiness and word choice. It felt like a high school assignment where the teacher emphasized using a lot of adjectives and a thesaurus.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Reader's Diary #2059 - Edgar Calabia Samar: Renon-San

In Renon-San, a short story by Edgar Calabia Samar, a Filipino man living in Japan is surprised to be befriended by a Japanese man who can speak Tagalog. 

The Filipino guy is skeptical of the other's motives, but goes along with him regardless, slowly getting won over. There's a twist, that I won't give away.

Love the setting, tone, and voice in this story.