We're making progress! One month down and I've kept to the goal. And while I'm wiping some sweat off of my brow now, there's still a long way to go. Last week's read was Afternoon by the Pacific Ocean by Kristín ómarsdóttir out of the collection Out of the Blue: New Short Fiction From Iceland.
I picked up this collection in Reykjavík last year after hiking around the southern coast of the volcanic hotspot. It's a tradition: grab a short story collection when I visit a new place, and it provides a nice wave of nostalgia when I pick up the anthologies to read after being home for some time. This was no exception.
Afternoon by the Pacific Ocean read, to me, as more of a short vignette then a story. Which is not a bad thing. It allowed a glimpse into the life of Marilyn Monroe and her friend Greta Garbo as she paid the actress a visit on, you guessed it, the coast of the Pacific Ocean. While the piece is short, bordering flash fiction, it provides a clear insight into the lives of these two characters and what matters to them. And one of the biggest challenges in writing is providing a connection between the characters and the reader. ómarsdóttir does this with ease.
Following the characters through their afternoon, we see the little things that make them tick and what matters most to them, including the relationship between themselves. And that's what I think makes this piece shine--the intimacy. Not just between Marilyn and Greta but again what we as readers feel for these two. Well done and well written.
Now, for next week, we return to Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror with a story picked out randomly by my mother-in-law Liz, so big shout-out there (whoo whoo). For those following along at home, that random pick ended up being How We Escaped Our Certain Fate by Dan Chaon.
Until next time, cheers and all that good jazz ; )