My goal this year is to read a good short story every day. I firmly believe the quality of your writing is only as good as the stories you read. The brain is a machine and when you read, it is filing away unique sentence structures, unexpected metaphors and vivd descriptions for later. When you sit down to write, your brain will auto-suggest whatever is on file. If you only read crap, your library will be scanty and filled with cliches. The more quality literature you read, the larger the arsenal at your dispoal.
I started going through Pushcart Prize and stumbled upon this gem by Tina Louise Blevins called, “God of The Ducks” from Gettysburg Review, Autumn 2012. Luckily, you can read it online Here.
Not often does a short story make me laugh or cry, rarely does it do both. The characters are so fleshy and familiar, they seem like relatives. Blevins has that rare ability of telling a story about normal people going through everyday circumstances to reveal poignant truths about mortality and ultimate meaning.
“God of the Ducks” was the only work Blevins ever published. At 29 years old, shortly after finishing her MFA, she died. Definitely, a loss to the literary world.