“Broken Windows” is out as an e-short story!
I can’t believe I’d originally started this story twenty years ago, in 1997. I’d only written four double-spaced pages. I rediscovered it last year (2016) when I was revisiting all my short stories for my blog. As I read those four pages I was overtaken with emotion—in just in those four pages! That Saturday I’d written the rest of the 22 (I’d actually written 24, but edited it down) double-spaced pages (5,000 words). While I had been working on it…revising it…revising it…I kept getting emotional each time I’d finish reading the story.
Last year I submitted “Broken Windows” to the Longmont Public Library’s anthology, and it was accepted. I decided to not post it for free on my blog like I’d done for a host of my other stories, but to instead publish it as its own KDP Select ebook-only format (like “Clowns“). I went back over it this last year as I got things together…and again…it brought me to tears.
So fine…it’s going to be one of those stories.
Once again, I had Lon Kirschner do my cover. And, once again, he did an incredible job! After working on the story, I felt like it had great potential as a “single” short story. I also had a particular vision for its cover (nothing specific, just some loose ideas)—but I couldn’t even do a cover if it wasn’t its own product! That also led to my decision to release it as a single. But once Lon got hold of the project, he again knocked the cover out of the park!
I love this cover!
Over the past year, I’ve heard more and more about how short stories are making a come back. I’d even read a handful of some really good anthologies last year. Of my own work, I thought “Clowns” was a really fun story, thought it would take off in some fashion…but it hasn’t (yet—I still have hopes for it!). I characterize it as “a fun little scare for the whole family!” Really, you oughta read it! So, now I’m releasing this one, which has more emotional appeal versus horror. Fractured families….ghosts…redemption. And it’s very Twilight Zone. Extremely so. The only “horror” is the emotional horror that some families go through in stories like this—which to some are not stories…but the actual lives they endure. And it’s brutal. Horrendous. Usually there’s little recourse for families that go through problems like this…but in my story I create a different outcome for all involved.
I really love this story…it’s moving, emotional, redemptive.
And it’s got aircraft. Which I love.
But damn it, it brings me to tears every fricking time I read it! So, I hope it will also be one of “those stories” for you! I reread the story for this release and have finally been able to not shed a tear reading it…though I did still well up inside.
Finally, I thought, I could get through it without tearing up!
I’ve also included “Broken Windows” into my 2017 short story collection, Do The Dead Dream? Of the entire collection, this one story has perhaps been poured over more than any other, so, geez, there better not be any errors (thanks, Joyce)!
If you do like “Broken Windows,” and you can swing it, I ask that you also consider purchasing the Longmont anthology, of which “Broken Windows” is also a part, to help support the Longmont Library. This anthology, titled You Belong 2016, Words and Images from Longmont Area Residents, is not available online, but at this time you may contact the Longmont Public Library:
Head of Technical Services/Systems Administrator
Longmont Public Library
409 4th Street
Longmont, CO 80501
But this version and the one going into my collection are different than the one in the Longmont anthology. It has been heavily reworked and changed in areas…better fleshed out…so if you get both, you won’t be reading exactly the same story! But I hope you enjoy both versions!
Steve Kenworthy and the rest of the Longmont library staff are great people and they’ve been gracious in allowing us writers to have nonexclusive contracts with our stories to publish elsewhere! Thanks, again, Steve!
Please be on the lookout for my first-ever short story collection, Do The Dead Dream? I am now looking to release it in early October.
And damn it, I hope someone else out there besides me sheds a tear!
A major heartfelt THANK YOU to Jimmie Butler and Joyce Combs! Jimmie pointed out a major “flaw” that was “obvious” to me, but not to readers, and that helped better flesh out the story. Joyce…Joyce has been my indefatigable cheerleader for all of my stories, but she and I have gone over this story more than we can ever count! Thank you both for your indispensable support and critique!