The Season for Short Stories (Part II)

SO HOW IS YOUR COLLECTION of greeting cards coming along? My February file is filled with Patriotism cards—which I had to research to find—because it includes Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday and Presidents’ Day (just so all of the other U.S. Presidents don’t feel left out). But the real biggie is VALENTINE’S DAY.

There are numerous short stories from every person’s life that can be told about Valentine’s Day experiences. Some of my personal favorites include:

  • The guy who went to three florists before he found the “perfect” presentation of red roses—in a crystal vase—for his girlfriend. What she actually received was a box of black roses.
  • The friendly neighbor who baked a cherry flavored red cake for the guy next door. The thick layer of icing was topped with peanut “flakes.” When the ambulance arrived and he was carried away, both of them were in tears.
  • The great-grandfather who sent his only great-granddaughter a “magic box.” The secret compartment held the first Valentine’s card he’d given to his wife—75 years earlier.

There are also the legend/historical stories. Many of these relate to people with the surname Valentine and are rarely told these days because the historical accuracy is lacking. However this leaves plenty of room for the fiction writer to imagine characters and events.

  • Christian tradition tells of “Saint Valentine” of Rome who had been thrown in prison for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Legend tells us that this “Saint Valentine” healed his jailer’s daughter, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed: Your Valentine.
  • About 270 AD there was a priest named Valentine who defied a law of Emperor Claudius II who “cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.” This Valentine secretly arranged marriages of young men and women who came to him. He was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14th, for his “romantic” efforts.
  • Ancient Rome also honored one of their pagan gods named Juno—the goddess of women and marriage. It was a custom for the names of the Roman girls to be written on slips of paper which were placed in a container. Then each boy drew a name of the girl he would be coupled with for the festival celebrations.

AND, for those who enjoy writing lighter short stories, consider the BIRDS.

  • This IS springtime, and the birds are looking for their mates and/or mating with their lifetime partners. From the Middle Ages until this very day, people have noticed the romantic melodies in the air. This lyric environment encouraged many humans to express their love in poetry, love notes and gifts of the beautiful flowers that begin blooming in this season.

One other event is celebrated in February that can inspire a wide variety of short stories—LEAP YEAR. Have you ever wondered about the complications that can come to someone whose birthday comes along ONLY ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS?

the book of dreams by richard malmros

Today’s look at greeting-card-short-story-development may have focused on the month of February, but I’m hoping these bits of information will inspire many ideas in your writing-heart. One such author, Richard Malmros—who published his book of short stories titled: The Book of Dreams—has given Readers a collection of shorts that are full of life’s adventures. His book is published in both paperback and eBook editions. Is it time for your short stories to be collected in a book—and published? ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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