My short story Grandpa’s Trees, that I recently self published on this site, was my entry into Luminous Creature Press’ Summer of Super Short Stories 2 Competition last week. As I said in the introduction to that post. The story had to be under 350 words, include the phrase “tell me a tale” and inspired by the picture on the right.
By now you have probably guessed I didn’t win but I got some nice feedback from the judge Emily June Street.
The Original Idea
From the moment I saw Vinoth Chandar‘s picture I thought of a dream sequence, especially the way the top of the tree seem to be fuzzing out like a flashback series on a bad American comedy. The question was how was I going to get there while also including the key phrase “tell me a tale.”
Talking of that phrase I knew I didn’t want to start Grandpa’s Trees with those words as that seemed the obvious thing to do. Rather I wanted the story to finish on those words which of course I managed to do. I even got in a wee bit of foreshadowing with the line:
I remember the day the image came to life, a perfect day of family and storytelling
What I hadn’t realised when I entered the competition was that Emily June Street was going to provide a feedback. However, when the Week One Winners post went up I was the first person mentioned with the following said about Grandpa’s Trees:
This story offers a striking contrast between its past and its present, full of a melancholy yearning for (simpler?) better times. Solid and authentic.
I think this is a fair description of the story especially the use of the word solid as I’ve been accused in the past by fellow West Lothian Writer Ian of always writing about alcohol or stories set in bars. Grandpa’s Trees is definitely one of those cases with the writing feeling safe and indeed solid.