Friday, March 4, 2011

Finished!!! – The Best American Stories 1985



The Best American Stories 1985

Start date – Sept 10 2010

Finish date – March 4 2011

So, in closing, here is the breakdown for BASS 1985

It took -

5 months 22 days

or

25 weeks

or

175 days

or

125 week days

Which works out to:

One story every – 8.75 days

Gender profile of the anthology - 10 men and 10 women. (hummm – suspicious)

Stories from representing certain magazines more than once. – The Missouri Review – 2, The Paris Review – 2, Atlantic Monthly – 3, The Virginia Quarterly Review – 2, Esquire - 2.

Wow, almost 6 months to complete this anthology. Well, I suppose that “life” had a little bit to do with this. I will forever associate this volume of the series with the birth of my son. Even with this wonderful association, this volume was a hard read. I was so distracted by everything, and there really weren’t stories to pull me through.

There were standouts –

“The Sudden Trees”, “You’ve come a Long Way Mickey Mouse”, “Fellow Creatures” and “Angela”.

I couldn’t synch up my reading with my drive to write about a particular story. I finished several other novels as I struggled through this volume – most notably, Resurrection by Tolstoy.

Now that I’ve entered into a new phase of my life…a new chapter…a new segment, I’m ready to attack the next volume with vigor.

Bring on 1986...PLEASE!

The Skater - Joy Williams



There is a huge difference between being told that you must somewhere and you making the decision to go someplace. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve lived a fortunate life in this regard.
Under the shelter of my parents, they were pretty liberal in allowing me to make my own decisions…and of course…allowing me to live with the repercussions.
It was my choosing to attend a university pretty far from home.
It was my choice to live in New Jersey after graduation.
It was my choice to move to Romania when I did and to return to America (with a wife) when I did.
And it is our choice to live the life we live under the circumstances we have created for ourselves.

The Johnstown Polka - Sharon Sheehe Stark



It’s not too often that I appreciate a story that’s written in a dialect. This story is an exception though. Although I will say that that fact that it was written in a dialect that I enjoyed reading, I focused more on reading in that dialect than getting anything aout of the story.

If I came away with anything, I would have to say that it would be this.

Someone always has had it worse than you. Be thankful for what you have…no matter how profound you feel your loss is.

Lily – Jane Smiley




Jane Smiley - September 26, 1949

One of the first things that I stressed to M when we started dating YEARS ago was the importance of clear and open communication within our relationship. When we had disagreements, I encouraged her to confront me, and I wanted us to discuss our problems or feelings as soon as they surfaced. I hope that I am remembering correctly, that when I proposed this free flow pathway of discussion that it caught her a bit off guard. I don’t think that she was ever in a relationship (a friendship or dating) similar to the one that she had just entered into.

No that we have been married for many years now, I never have to prompt her for any sort of dialogue…not do I feel any need to hold any of my feelings back. Sure, at the beginning of our marriage there were a couple of cases where we had to remind each other that we had to talk things through right away. We knew that it was never healthy to let things sit and fester.

Of course we’ve has some disagreements and arguments…but we’ve taken the time to work them out in a healthy manner.

As we’ve grown and as our family has grown, the need for communication has grown ever more important. Our feelings about growing our family – the decision when to have children all involved a great deal of open and honest discussion. Now, we are presented with all sorts of situations where we have certain anxieties that arise, whether it has to do with the baby, a job, lack of money…anything – the need to get it on the table in a speedy manner is paramount.