Pauline Presents… A Little Light Reading

Detail from The Accolade by Blair Leighton
The Beautiful Princess

Medium might be best known as a platform for non-fiction and commentary on the latest news, but it’s also a great place to publish short fiction. Well, I think so, anyway, so I’ve devoted one of my publications almost entirely to it. You’ll find short stories, both fictional and factual on …and other stories.

Today I thought I might introduce you to a few of my more light-hearted stories, not all of which are confined to …and other stories.

In one of my writing classes, we were asked to write a modern fairy tale. When I was young, my favourite story book was called something like The Big Book of Princesses. I loved those stories, but I couldn’t actually relate to those pretty, blonde princesses, so I wrote The Beautiful Princess for little girls just like me.

I’m of the generation that grew up in a house with a big, black telephone securely attached to the wall and watched the evolution of the mobile phone from car-phone, to brick, to flip-open Motorola, to the iPhone. I’ve also watched with bemusement how attached people have become to their mobile phones. You’ll see a little of that bemusement come through in my story Disconnected, which was written, I must admit, just before the introduction of the iPhone.

I was a great fan of Star Trek Voyager, not least because of its strong female characters, but one thing that always baffled me about the series was its uneasiness with ordinary, natural human relationships. Voyager had a contingent of over a hundred men and women in their prime, a long, long way from home, yet somehow, they never managed to get it together. In Lovelorn: a Star Trek Voyager story, I speculate on why this might be the case.

When you spend any time researching William Shakespeare, as I did for my novel Not Wisely but Too Well, you realise how little documentary evidence we actually have to go on. You begin to wonder whether Shakespeare would be remembered at all today if his friends had never thought to publish his plays in the First Folio. In Search of Shakespeare is a foray into an alternative future and time travel, which speculates on ‘what if they hadn’t?’

You’ll find a few more short stories in …and other stories, and if you have friends who enjoy a little light reading, please pass this newsletter onto them.

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