Sunday, April 28, 2019

Huldufolk (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Birth stories--some of us are given them; others of us have to find them. This short story celebrates the discoveries. Huldufolk was inspired by Icelandic folklore. I hope you enjoy reading it...

photo by ldyck


When Mom tucked me in at night she told me bedtime stories. "It was a warm spring day. I sat in the park, overlooking the ocean. Out of nowhere, this woman appeared, deposited you in my arms and disappeared. Where did she go? Why did she choose me to raise you? These questions are yours to answer."
She called me her child of dust and magic. She called me a Huldufolk. 
Huldufolk? That word stuck in my ear, followed me.
After I leaned to read, I found a tall brown book among the others on the shelf--The Icelandic Heritage by Nelson S. Gerrard. This book inspired me to take pride in my race. Gerrard said we Huldufolk are superior to humans--in power and knowledge. He said we are able to hide ourselves from humans not gifted with second-sight.
When you realize the richness of your culture you become stronger -Chef Olvera

Huldufolk:  Supernatural Creatures Hiding in Iceland 
Wu Mingren

In Iceland, 'respect the elves--or else' 
Oliver Wainwright

photo by ldyck
On this blog in May...

Short stories: Two stories set in daycare centres and inspired by Mother's Day
Baby Rescuer published on this blog on Sunday, May 5
Annie published on this blog on Sunday, May 19

Special post:  Wednesday, May 15
Highly recommended writers' workshop (list)
Author Ellen Schwartz is coming to Mayne Island, BC(my island home) and on May 15 I'll publish  a list of the reasons you (yes, you) should attend her writers' workshop and author talk

Book Reviews:  Two award-winning books
Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
set in Canada 
won the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Sunday, May 12
Milkman by Anna Burns
set in Ireland
won the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Sunday, May 26

photo by bdyck

Sharing my author journey...

When is a short story not a short story?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Book Review: Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (short story collection)

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore is tailor-made for a creative writing course. The collection could be used for exploring form, structure (What is the difference between form and structure?), and genre. Most of the stories are contemporary. The exceptions are “Marconi” (historical fiction) and “Light Up the Dark” (magical realism). “Light Up the Dark” is my pick of the litter with its positive message. As told by a mysterious (and legendary) hero, “Light Up the Dark” is a tender story about the love a grandson has for his grandmother. Some of the stories explore the same themes as Atwood's Bluebeard's Egg—especially “Skywalk”. I think Atwood would be impressed by Moore's powerful language—especially pages 264 to 267. Though diverse in form, structure, and genre the stories have a commonality—Newfoundland. Most stories are set in that province and those that don't have a protagonist from Newfoundland—for example, “The Viper's Revenge” (set in Orlando, Florida).

photo by ldyck

Published in 2018
Published by House of Anansi

longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, in 2018

In her author acknowledgements, Lisa Moore thanks her students and colleagues—Lisa Moore is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Reviewing Something for Everyone for the Toronto Star, Stephen Finucan writes:  'Moore's great gift is her ability to make common the uncommon and extraordinary the mundane...Without question, Moore is a great conscience and compassion.'

Book Review: Caught

Scotiabank Giller interview with Lisa Moore

Next post...

Sunday, April 28 (at approximately 5 PM PST)

Huldufolk (short story)
Who is your mother? Where did you come from? These are easy questions for most--but not all.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Book Review: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood (short story collection)

photo by ldyck

Buy this Book

Bluebeard's Egg is an ideal book club read. There's plenty of fuel for literary discussion, lots of symbolism, lots of hidden meaning.

Author Margaret Atwood dedicated this collection to her parents and four of the twelve stories appear to be about them (Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother, Hurricane Hazel, Betty, and Unearthing Suite)--to a greater or lesser degree. All twelve stories in the collection focus on the relationship between women and men--our differences and, reading more carefully, our similarities.

A question to guide your club's discussion:  As viewed through the lens of this collection, what does it mean to be female--for ourselves, our sisters, and our mothers?
Maybe [the egg is] a symbol of virginity, and that is why the wizard requires it unbloodied. Women with dirty eggs get murdered, those with clean ones get married. (p. 159)
McClelland and Stewart published this collection in 1983 (during that same year Coach House Press published Atwood's short story collection Murder in the Dark and Salamander Press published her poetry collection Snake Poems) and, 36 years later, these stories are still relevant.


Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
published by McClelland & Stewart (2014)

Buy the book
In this nine story collection, the grand dame of Canadian literature writes for her age cohorts. I was delighted to discover that many of the stories were written about writing. In Alphinland, an aging author finds comfort from her lonely reality in the world she created. In Revenant, a senior poet dies but lives on in his work. In Dark Lady, the poet's female muse deals with his death. In The Dead Hand Loves You, an elder horror author confronts the toll his fame has taken on his relationship with three-decades-old friendships. Torching the Duties is a horror story set in a manor house for the elderly. In Stone Mattress an elderly woman finally takes revenge on the man who sexually assaulted her. Lusus Naturne and The Freeze-Dried Groom don't feature senior protagonists. Both fit into the horror genre.

I closed the book with increased respect and passion for short stories.

Book Review:  The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Book Review: The Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

Atwood was first published in 1961--Double Persephone (a poetry collection)--by Hawkshead Press (a small press)--when she was 22 years old. In total, she's published 71 books--including (20) novels, (8) short story collections, (8) books for children, (24) poetry collections, (10) non-fiction books and a graphic novel. And she has written for television, radio and stage. And she has...

Margaret Atwood's full bibliography

And she's not done yet...

Margaret Atwood is currently working on a sequel to A Handmaid's Tale.

Atwood has won the Governor General award and the Man Booker Prize and...

Special Award Spotlight:  Margaret Atwood

photo by ldyck

Next Post...

Sunday, April 21 at approximately 5 PM PST

Something for Everyone (short story collection) by Lisa Moore

longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize
stories uniting theme:  Newfoundland

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Your Favourites: a free short story collection by Leanne Dyck

photo by ldyck

From 2010 to 2020, I've shared short fiction on this blog. Recently I hunted down the stories (for this collection I defined 'story' as works of fiction) that received the most page views to create this collection. They're short and diverse--from horror to humour. It's interesting to see how my writing has improved and changed over the years. I hope you enjoy reading Your Favourites...


Whacked out Knitting
About those ugly sweaters, your aunt sends you
(knitting themed humour)


A Slave to Her Muse
Even if you want to stop writing, can you?


It Was Nothing
What are childhood nightmares made of?


Eve's Other Children
based on Icelandic folklore


Like Magic
a conversation influenced by St. Patrick's Day
between a child and an Early Childhood Educator


Tame Your Bully
when the bully doesn't win


Sarren's Curse 
claiming your writer's voice
(part 1 of 2)
(you'll find a link to part 2 in the post)


valuing your writing
(part 1 of 2)
(you'll find a link to part 2 in the post)


inspired by Tom Paxton's 1964 classic:  Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound


Authors in a Pub
Three mid-list authors complain about hard it is to be an author as they drink beer in a pub. Inspired by Monty Python.


How two brothers gained their independence.


not only to publish but also to improve your craft

Next Post...

Sunday, April 14th at approximately 5 PM PT

Book Review:  Bluebeard's Egg (short story collection) by Margaret Atwood

Is your book club looking for its next book? Look no further...