January 2014 cover image

January 2014 Cover

This page collects my posts about Matt Potter’s ambitious 2014 seriesĀ  from Pure Slush Books.

I will be reading one story each day, and commenting here about the experience. I hope you will join the discussion.


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2014 – January 4 – Ralph Rudinsky here…

It’s Saturday, January 4, but never fear, Ralph Rudinsky here… by Gloria Garfunkel.


Ralph Rudinsky here Chief of Quality Assurance for a large diversified corporation Orwellian Industries a big important job that’s hard to keep up with so it’s already January 4 and I still haven’t made my New Year’s Resolution because I have so much to do…

Thus begins the strangest, most energetic story thus far. Where yesterday’s story put us deeply into a character, today’s drills right down through that character until we come out his feet. This is an impressive stream-of-consciousness flash that never lets up, and never gets monotonous (as is sometimes the danger with this approach). You’ve got to Continue reading

2014 – January 3 – The Meet Cute

January 3 means “The Meet Cute” by Derek Osborne.


“It has been quite a week. Usually the boat is down by the islands this time of year but a series of contracts is keeping them up in Miami. They’re shooting two feature films and a Miami Blue episode. The Miami Blue crew, in particular, knows how to party.”

Here, we are dropped into character immediately, and invited to swim our way toward context. It’s an effective technique, particularly for a story centered strongly on character, which this one surely is. We meet Max, a widower in charge of this particular boat, as he is deluged by the demands of family (his sister, Pam, who is Continue reading

2014 – January 2 – La Ronde / Madge and Gina

Day two brings us “La Ronde / Madge and Gina” by Townsend Walker.


“That was it, that was it, it was all over for him, he hit me for the last time yesterday after his team lost the Orange Bowl in overtime and I’d said, honey, relax, it’s only a game. Only a game, he said, only a game, what the fuck do you know it’s only a game.”

And thus, we’re dropped into an intense situation, or at least the fresh recollection of one. The situation is not unusual at first glance: a wife beat up by an abusive husband, seeking consolation from a female friend at a local club. We learn fairly early, Continue reading

2014 – January 1 – The Miracle of Small Things

“The Miracle of Small Things” by Guilie Castillo-Oriard kicks off the series.


“There’s no stillness like the stillness of Curacao on New Year’s Day. Pointless tropical sun on deserted asphalt, every business shuttered, everything forlorn… to Luis Villalobos it feels like the cold shoulder of the world.”

The story drops us into the personal mystery of Luis Villalobos, who has apparently made the career-killing mistake of sleeping with his boss at the New Year’s Eve party. We catch up with him during his walk of shame (well, drive of shame) as he slugs his way home, while lamenting that he’s going to have to return to Momma after this. Insult to injury comes in Continue reading