Short stories to read while you’re holed up

It has been a strange few weeks for the world, including for people who write and read books and who might’ve had their lives and schedules disrupted. Indie bookstores around Toronto, where I’m at, are doing their best to deliver to customers, and authors are going online to read fiction or poems or talk about their work with readers. Considering how isolating this all can feel for some folks, I hope that some of this can keep us connected and inspire writers to keep at their work while they’re at home.

If you want to drink whiskey and play Skyrim all day and night, that’s all good. So is finishing Netflix and going through your catalogues of old movies, or watching the Raptors whoop up on everyone during their playoff run to become NBA champs. I’ve been on the screens with friends around the land as well, warbling at each other digitally some nights, and that has made me less weird.

Given that books cost money and not everyone has it, or that they might be harder to come by depending where you live, I started to think on all of the short stories out there that you can dig up online from journals and such. So, I gathered up a bunch of stories by writers that I know and/or admire and who can write their asses off, and I’ve got them listed below for you, with links to each and all…

(Note: There’s no pattern to this other than my scanning through my shelves, some of which have writer pals grouped together, in case you are worried about the pile of dinks at the start.)

COWAN by Kris Bertin
THE VERY FIRST GIRL IN THE WHOLE WORLD TO WIN THE DAKAR by Amy Jones
COMMON WHIPPING by Naben Ruthnum
GOAT by Andrew F. Sullivan
WHAT YOU NEED by Andrew Forbes
AFTER ‘WHILE by Cherie Dimaline
HASHTAG MAGGIE VANDERMEER by Nancy Jo Cullen
ESPERANZA by Trevor Corkum
THE GODDESS LISA by Erin Frances Fisher
NEVER PROSPER by Liz Harmer
MOM IS IN LOVE WITH RANDY TRAVIS by Souvankham Thammavongsa
THE ORIGIN OF THE LULLABY by Canisia Lubrin
THREE TSHAKAPESH DREAMS by Samuel Archibald
FIREBUGS by Craig Davidson
A SONG FOR ROBIN by Heather O’Neill
WE WALKED ON WATER by Eliza Robertson
A LOVE LIKE IN THE MOVIES by Casey Plett
DON’T COME IN HERE by Andrew Hood
SPIRES by Tamas Dobozy
COMPLICIT by Khalida Venus Hassan
BENEATH THE TAPS: A TESTIMONIAL by Anakana Schofield
ONE HUNDRED KNIVES IN THE AIR by Pasha Malla
THE MANY FACES OF MONTGOMERY CLIFT by Grace O’Connell
DIFFICULT PEOPLE by Catriona Wright
MULTICOLOURED LIGHTS by Jess Taylor
WHAT BOTHERS A WOMAN OF THE WORLD by Seyward Goodhand
WAR OF ATTRITION by Carleigh Baker
ACCIDENTAL by Julie Paul
PROPERTY OF NEIL by Téa Mutonji
KIINT by Bill Gaston
LIVES OF THE POETS by John Metcalf
GAIL IN WINTER by Alex Pugsley
I WANT IT ALL, I WANT IT NOW by Ian Williams
LIPSTICK DAY by Leah Mol
THE NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS by Jack Wang
THROWN OVERBOARD, MANACLED IN A BOX by Cody Klippenstein
1 DOG, 1 KNIFE by Daniel Scott Tysdal
RIVER HOUSE by Amanda Leduc
CHASER by Daniel Perry
HARD TO KNOW by Sophie McCreesh
SUMMER ’16 by Natasha Ramoutar
BLISS by Sofia Mostaghimi
MASADA by Kathy Friedman
NEW YEAR’S EVE 1984 by Troy Sebastian
GOAT MOUTH by Pamela Mordecai
NEUTRAL BUOYANCY by J.R. McConvey
IN THE DARK by Sarah Meehan Sirk
HAPPY TRAILS by Kerry Clare
SWIMMING LESSON by Jessica Westhead
HEART LAKE by Rudrapriya Rathore
LAGOMORPH by Alexander MacLeod
HAD IT AND LOST IT by Ryan Paterson
HAROLD by Michael Melgaard
HOW LONG AND WHAT A MARVEL by Zoey Leigh Peterson
BUTTER TEA AT STARBUCKS by Sharon Bala
IMPERFECT HOMES by André Babyn
THE HOUSE ON MANOR CLOSE by Kathy Page
LATE BREAKING by K.D. Miller
WHAT CAN YOU DO by Cynthia Flood
SHOW ME YOURS by Richard Van Camp
MORIAH by Paige Cooper
THE MOST PRECIOUS SUBSTANCE ON EARTH by Shashi Bhat
THE STUNT by Michael LaPointe
I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE, AND REAL by Sara Peters
SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB by Megan Gail Coles

There are so many more out there that I’m sure I missed or couldn’t find links for. But I wanted to get this up now and I’ll add more as I go. These are mostly Canadian-based writers, but I may add others to the list, as I do have a lot of faves from elsewhere. One thing about Canadian journals that I gotta give them props for is that they have a lot of work available to all online, and that is pretty cool for the authors and their readers.

I hope you find something good in there, and please do what you can to support writers and booksellers during these weeks. Many of these folks have books you can buy if you like what you read, so check those out if it floats your boat.

Cheers friends, stay safe and batten down the hatches.
Hardcastle

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