300 short stories: story 270

story: “Light as a Feather”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Abu Dhabi

note: First weekend back from the USA

a line:  “Their story bored her. Their infertility bored her. It was the same as a million other people’s, some of whom she’d met in waiting rooms, all eying each other, as if there were only so many babies and the criteria for getting one hadn’t been made clear.”

theme(s): Miscarriage, dementia, mothers and daughters, marriage

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300 short stories: story 269

story: “Jerks”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Abu Dhabi

note: First weekend back from the USA

a line:  “The man I love now wants to know if I’ve ever gone out with someone as smart as I am.”

theme(s): Relationships, men and women, love, sex

300 short stories: story 250

story: “Kiss Me Someone”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Dubai

note: The title story.

a line: “Of all her exes, and the number is legion, this one was the most extreme in all regards.”

theme(s): Fidelity, compassion, aimlessness, marriage

300 short stories: story 249

story: “Girls Only”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Dubai

note: I’m usually not into bridal stories, but this is the non-bridal bridal story.

a line: “And Cleo, surprising herself, said because that’s what girls do. They do stupid and hurtful things until they figure out not to. And his expression was filled with the kindness of a parent. It was the closest thing to forgiveness any of them would receive.”

theme(s): Friendship, girlhood, womanhood, assault, rape, wedding day

300 short stories: story 245 & 246

story: “Popular Girls” & “Their Mothers”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Casa dolce casa

note: I am grouping these two stories together, because they are both written in the 1st person plural (a rarity) and they both come from Shepard’s collection Kiss Me Someone, though I don’t think these “mothers” are the mothers of the “Popular Girls”; I also think “Popular Girls” is a much stronger and more interesting narrative. The POV also works better in “Popular Girls”; this story gives me that “Gossip Girl” thrill, but when I was younger, that kind of thrill was blended with a slight-envy, now after I have been around great wealth for so long, a lot of those feelings have changed.

P.S. Shepard is going to be my teacher at Tin House this year.

a line: “She says with a sweep of her arm that when we grow up, she’ll dress us all. Her father lives in a castle. Her grandmother was the queen of Holland or something like that.”

theme(s): Wealth, prestige, friendship, loyalty, men and women, hive mind