365 Challenge: 31 Stories for January

The first month of my 365 short stories is down and it's a total success.  Here are some initial thoughts on the experience thus far.  
Stack 1 of anthologies to read this year.
Stack 1 of anthologies
to read this year.

This Is Fun

So I wasn't entirely sure how this whole thing would go but I must admit that I am enjoying the experience.  The reading, reflecting, and writing continues to be rewarding and I'm amazed at how often I read something, reflect on it, and change my mind about my initial response to the story.  Particularly when I go to write about the story on this blog and begin explaining it and my reaction, I find that I'm apt to change my rating as well as how I feel about the overall story.  Of course, this shouldn't be surprising because I talk about this kind of thing in my classes all the time.  I think I still love the fact that I can surprise myself with moving past my initial response.  

Oh the People You'll Meet!

The exposure to new and familiar artists is also enjoyable.  I'm discovering new authors to explore and put on my to-read list while also finding other interesting works by authors I've long been familiar with.  Funny enough, there are even some authors whom I'm familiar with that falter slightly (Ray Bradbury actually comes to mind but I'll be curious what happens when I read one of his anthologies that's in the stack).

The Write Stuff

Of course, all this reading and reflecting has me appreciating writing all the more and the different ways authors spin their tales.  It has me thinking more deeply about the creation process and the larger purposes involved with these short stories.  Certainly, some are just for entertainment's sake but others go further and I'm enjoying that.  And it's also helping me to reconnect and re-approach my own writing.

More Than Just Reading

Stack 2 of anthologies to read this year.
Stack 2 of anthologies
to read this year.
I love that some of the readings are leading me to other cool things such as episodes on anthology shows (e.g. The Twilight Zone), old time radio adaptations, and the like.  With each story, I tend to avoid doing any research to further understand it, but I do try to find the text online if it is available.  In some cases, I discover there is other media related to the short story.  It's fun to discover these add-ons to the stories as I get to further explore the story's impact and development.  

Reading Aloud

Some of the stories I have been reading aloud.  Either to my partner or just to myself.  This is actually really fun and I find myself enjoying the act of reading aloud more and more.  It's encouraging me to consider doing a few narrations for Librivox.org.  We'll see where that goes!

Not Reading As Much Else 

This focused reading has of course led me to read less than I usually read.  The biggest cost has been my graphic novel reading which has dropped significantly.  I've had a stack that I haven't made my way through as quickly as I usually do.  

I look forward to what February will bring in terms of reading and I look forward to hearing how others are finding this little adventure of mine.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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