Winter Arrives by Roz Marshall

I[/drocap]t’s spring break in our wee corner of the world. As such, we decided to take a reading vacation to Scotland with the first novella in Roz Marshall’s White Cairns Ski School series. Which I must say, it has been some nice light reading compared to some of the other things that have hit my desk recently. That’s like it’s own vacation, really.

I love to ski, so I’m really bummed out that I missed out on the ski season this year in the US. The record-awful cold combined with burn-out from the day job meant I didn’t actually go outside very much this winter. Huge mistake, but I digress. Winter Arrives is, ultimately about skiing, even though in this novella, the ski season hasn’t started yet. Rather, Jude Winters finds herself suddenly in charge of running a ski school after her husband kind of skips town. I say kind of because he didn’t really leave, he just didn’t come back when he was supposed to. Oops. Continue reading…

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

Of course we would start with Hemingway, and of course it would be with Francis Macomber. It couldn’t be any other way, really. The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber was the first short story I ever read. That isn’t true. There plenty of times I was forced to read condensed classics, abridged into easily digestible morsels. Those public middle school mistakes made me distrustful of shorter works because they often were insulting. My opinion at fifteen was short fiction was for chumps.

When I think of my evolution as both a reader and as a writer, my introduction to Hemingway was an important milestone. Important enough that I can remember it eleven years later. Francis Macomber was the first short story that challenged me and revealed all that could be possible in just a few quick pages. It started a love affair with brevity that is still running its course. Continue reading…