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.FICTIONS. BY LJONES

Beauty in Vignettes

By LondonIvy, member

Sep 14, 2011: The writing reflects the characters. Most of them are common, everyday people who are not writers, and it shows in the prose. But this doesn’t mean there’s not beautiful paragraph here and there that is astounding. No, the prose never gives way to being writerly. It is mostly written in the character’s voices and at their skill level, yet the beauty comes purely from people experiencing their lives and describing it honestly and truthfully. It made me reflect on how perhaps people who are not trained as writers (and I’m talking about the first person narrators here, not the author themself) can show more honesty without being restrained by writing conventions. Sometimes it makes for something interesting, and these pieces made me reflect on the fact that the act of writing unto itself is a near magical and ancient medium of communication, restrained not by technology but by mere language and the skill of the writer. The language of this piece is unadorned but not simple. It says everything it needs to say in all the words it needs to say it.

I read the 9/11 story, and it is one of the few pieces of this kind that truly reflected the hurt and anguish of the tragedy without resorting to melodrama. There is honesty and truth, and because of that the piece works and is beautiful. There are no false machinations of the writer forcing the event into pretty words. It’s simply a character living her experience, and the reader experiencing it with her. There are many excerpts I could pull out to prove my point, but I don’t want to spoil it. The best part of these shorts is finding the beauty in what seems to be average experiences.

Overall: I liked it, and I think other people will like it. It made me feel and experience moments in the characters’ lives with concise prose.

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IMPROVISATIONAL OBLIVION

Good writing, nothing time consuming

By ubersoft, author of A Rake by Starlight

Aug 18, 2011: Improvisational Oblivion is a site where the author posts short stories, snippets of prose, some poetry, anything that strikes his fancy. He’s a good writer, though he has a tendency to write long stretches of back-and-forth dialog without identifying who is saying what, and many of the stories I read were entertaining. They ranged from science fiction ("The Queen of Purple and the Broken Finger") to somewhat more straightforward ("Carmen in Orange County") to the supernatural ("Why Don’t I Just Introduce Myself Properly").

The writing is solid and engaging, and a number of the short stories are interesting, but they’re all short stories and the topics are all over the map. If you’re looking for work with a continuous narrative thread you won’t find it here, but if you have some time to kill and you’re looking for entertainment that won’t demand vast quantities of time there are some nice stories.

The site was last updated in 2009, so I’m not sure if the author has plans to continue updating, or if he’s moved on to another site.

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.FICTIONS. BY LJONES

I am filled with envy…

By Sarah Suleski, editor, author of Sidonie

Aug 31, 2008: Laura Jones ability to write short stories and vignettes fills me with not a little bit of envy! Mostly I admire the skill and I love scrolling through my LiveJournal Friends’ list to find a snapshot of story. I’m never sure when I’m reading pure story and when I’m getting a cleverly disguised blog entry. Are her characters just characters? What inspired this latest scene? But you can never just assume that everything is a scene from real life, names changed to protect the not-so-innocent—much like the WFG tagline says, .fictions. reveals truths reality obscures.

It’s hard to focus on any specific storyline, as this is a collection of separate stories rather than a novel or serial tied together by character or place. The stories most often focus on young women, college aged, like the author herself. Very often there are intimate portraits of relationships, sometimes bordering on romantic, sometimes painful. Sexual themes are never told in graphic or lurid terms but some stories leave you with a disturbed, troubled feeling as they touch on unpleasant situations or histories.

The stories about writer’s block are my favorites, as she takes the very moment of frustration and turns it on its head, making a story out of the inability to tell a story. But no matter what tale, or not-tale, she is telling, I always stop my scrolling to read.

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