The wordsmith paints a picture much the way an Artist replicates what he sees and feels by employing the aids of paint and canvas; where the writer uses words to paint the story. One mode of storytelling teases and tantalizes the eye, while the other opens the realm of thought for vivid depiction. The mind’s eye is empowered through words. Words have the ability to carry us well beyond the confines of our present reality into worlds of the unimaginable, while pressing in on our emotions and challenging the boundaries of our experience. Through words, the drama of scrutinizing our thoughts, feelings, and motivations are played out in countless scenarios, layered and colored by the subtle nuances of life. To our amazement, there are numerous expletives one could use to describe a flea dancing on the head of a pin. Such is the nature of verbiage; with its endless mind-bending extravagance that trickles, then flows, and ultimately runs away with our imagination. Step by step, precept by precept, we are led through a tangle of ideas, each embracing its own narrative. The images of expression being infinite, leave the writer with an exhilaration of creative joy close to ecstasy. Such unbridled power is a heady prospect, calculated and relished for each eloquent morsel conceived. Writing is, alas, the beginning and end of itself, the flower of thought caught somewhere in the middle.
Time and circumstance rule the days of our lives. And, like the unrelenting waves that continually lap against the shore, we are forced to engage the joys and sorrows, disappointments and challenges that are forever set before us. It is in the ever-present, knee-deep “Stuff of Life” that we are called to define our destiny and ultimately become who we were always meant to be. However, it is through the amazing, profound diversity of our human experience where the magic and mystery of storytelling springs to life.
Janice McLeod, the author of “Bridges,” who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, brings her special insight and experiences to the genre of the Short Story. Convinced that humans are the most complex and glorious creatures in God’s creation; there is a fascination concerning the passions, and motivations that drive the human spirit to either growth and actualization, or defeat and failure.
“Bridges” presents the reader with five tantalizing stories of trial and triumph; each staged at a unique location and era of time, with life-like characters, who provoke us to laughter and tears as they struggle to explore and define the surprising realities that confront them.
The first story, “The Floating Heirloom” answers the question; what happens when two middle-aged women seasoned by time and life experience, escape their otherwise normal if not predictable lives, and cruse the high seas in search of Paradise. During their short adventure, they manage to solve a mystery, bringing two unsuspecting families together in a most surprising and unusual way.
The second story, “Here and Beyond,” reveals that just when time and circumstance are perfectly aligned in a sublime sweetness almost inconceivable, fate steps in the breach between reality and perception changing two lives forever. In one devastating moment, two perfect strangers are caught in the unrelenting jaws of the unforeseen and struggle just to survive.
The third story, “Legends and Legacy,” Introduces us to Tess Harper, who with her passion for anthropology and professional expertise, inadvertently leads her vacationing family on a quest for adventure and the prospects of solving a mystery associated with an ancient Indian legend. We will meet the surprising stranger who helps her decode the secrets hidden in the windswept echoes of time.
The fourth story, “Savannah,” asks, if love truly transcends all time? Crawling from the deep void that had come to define him, Sonny Boone, a young man from the South, fights to regain the life he once knew. He labors against a shadowy underworld, trapped in his own mind, searching for redemption, clarity, and wholeness. He is but one soul passing through this verdant realm; loved, known and remembered, with his own unique story to tell.
The fifth story, “Behind the Gate”, tells us what can go wrong, when you take a Scottish Farmer and place him in a gated retirement community in Florida. Hang on to your seats; you never saw this coming!
Bridges, a wonderful, entertaining collection of short stories, will keep the reader captivated and spellbound. Join the growing fan base, who delight in these amazing adventures, and now look forward with great anticipation to volume ll, soon to be released in the Spring of 2019.