“Becoming Human, A Short Story Collection” is my first publication. It was written over five years, taken from mostly true experiences…save for a small handful I created out of thin air. There is a part of me that harbors some sardonic wit; never to offend, but it is right there. It’s part of my personality from growing up with a large Italian family. I married an intellectual who can surprise with dry humor, but it was my son who had a knack for stand-up, changing dialects, and telling a story with high hilarity. It is no wonder he has chosen the film industry as his creative outlet.
Becoming Human was an act of love like most writing efforts over time. Some of the stories reveal people very close to me having surreal experiences, and some are observable characters in real life struggling with their destiny. If there is a message in life, I will find it, unearth it, and polish it with a story that will leave my reader saying, “Ah-Hah!”
We all need to be riveted out of our stasis in everyday life, and stories of human drama can be the instigator. We need to laugh, cry, snicker, or be shocked. I believe these emotions have to jar us into reality, or – as in some genres – jar us into an “other-dimensional” reality.
Perhaps one day I will write stories about the worlds beyond ours. Some of my stories come from personal dreams. The avenues through which tales weave in and out of our existence are endless, are they not? Think of our ancestors, the first storytellers.
I have had scores of people who have read Becoming Human who were in tears, in full entertainment, and/or in awe. One reader told me she was using a chapter to present to a classroom for study. Stories of people in peril get our attention. People stuck in a perceived loveless marriage make us curious. People yearning for that which was lost make our hearts shiver. People who are hopeless with a diagnosis bring out our compassion. These are the kind of stories I love to develop.
There is always a message, even if there is no redemption. We can change a belief inside of 1500 words, can we not? None of us are exempt from those epiphanies. Not if you fall into stories.
Becoming Human, A Short Story Collection
- one woman’s view of neighborhood antics
- a man’s description of eight close calls with death
- a heart-wrenching look into the life of a musical conductor who suffered a loss
- a mother and adult son on a comedic shopping spree
- a connection with a disgruntled cyber-friend
- family and friends trying to keep the peace at a baby shower
- grief and forgiveness at the end of a life
- childhood friendship on a farm that ultimately brings distress
- an aging woman’s dark night of the soul
- an experienced female nurse who makes a shift in employment from hospital to doctor’s office
- a Los Angeles sheriff who works a task force in gang territory
- an irresponsible male truck driver who never wants to grow up
- and many more!
Elizabeth Cart shifted from the professional world of trauma nursing and teaching to writing. Becoming Human explores the honesty of grief and loss, self-reflection, and the laughable eccentricities of life. Elizabeth has finished two novels that are forthcoming.
Visit and read her blog at http://www.elizabethcart.com.
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