Poignancy: the quality of evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret.
It is a strange thing, I think, to relish poignancy, but I do, when I read the right story, and it fills me with a new understanding about life that comes through a sorrowful moment, especially, for me, if the sorrowful moment is followed by a little hopefulness.
I had this thought the other day, after I had read a particular short story by a writing friend, Annalisa Crawford. We’ve never met in person. I’ve only read her words, but yet, she “gets” life and shares it in such a way that I am awed.
What I wrote on Facebook about it the day I read her story:
When you read a short story by a talented friend and you nod and think, yes, this is why I read. This is why I write. For that moment of poignancy, or thought, or understanding, or awe, or determination that comes from the words.Tweet
Because that’s how Annalisa’ stories hit me, with awe, revelation, thoughtfulness, wonder, determination, and understanding of the human condition.
When I had this thought, I had just read her short story, “Adventures in my Own Back Garden,” as part of a newsletter freebie, which is also a part of her upcoming collection of short stories: The Clock in My Mother’s House. (I pre-ordered it and recommend you do, too.)
It was also the day after I read a short story, by a writing friend who I have met in person, someone from my own critique group. Cindy Cramer Vincent doesn’t have any collections of stories out yet, but I am sure she will someday. If you haven’t read her work, I recommend “As Soon As I Finish This Chapter” as a starting point, or “Do-Over” published by Short Story substack.
Writers like Annalisa, Cindy, and so many countless others (the list would be so long, it wouldn’t fit here), inspire me to relish words, to read their work again and again, and to write and hope I can find a way to share my own hope, determination, thoughtfulness, revelations, and understanding of humanity.
If you noticed, both the writers I mention her write short stories and also longer work. While I love the novel form, I think short stories can capture specific moments in time with a forcible impact in meaning.
Do you write short stories? Do you read them?
I hope so. Because I think the stories above are worthwhile reading. Because I write short stories I hope are also worthwhile reading.
If you like science fiction and fantasy short stories with a little bit of poignancy, a little bit of peering into the darker parts of the human condition as well as the lighter parts, you might like my new short story collection: 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains. It comes out on January 3rd, 2023. Pre-order today.
If you would like a free short story sample from the book, sign up for my newsletter.
As always, wishing you a warm and wonderful day, as well as a Merry Christmas!