Category Archives: Short Stories

Chicks, real and fictional

In my last post I mentioned going with my female intuition.  I believe and trust in it, so recently I was reading some short stories,  while actually thinking about writing a blog post on something besides politics or foreign policy for a change, when I came across this very cleverly written short story that garnered being labeled “early feminist literature” or perhaps it’s chick lit.  The story, “A Jury of Her Peers”,  written in 1917, by Susan Glaspell,  was loosely based on a murder case she covered in her career as a journalist, with the plot centering on a man strangled in his Iowa farmhouse, where the only suspect is his wife.  Glaspell originally wrote the story as a play, Trifles, with the unfolding plot brilliantly showcasing how the men in this story do not take women seriously, especially homemakers and dismiss the things women deal with as  “trifles”.  I sure don’t want to delve into some feminist debate or as this story unfolds the morality of the choices the two women make, but instead, the way in which the male and female characters interact while observing the same crime scene rings very true to real life.  Without giving too much of the story away here’s a short passage:

“The county attorney looked at the two women they were leaving alone there among the kitchen things.

“Yes–Mrs. Peters,” he said, his glance resting on the woman who was not Mrs. Peters, the big farmer woman who stood behind the sheriff’s wife. “Of course Mrs. Peters is one of us,” he said, in a manner of entrusting responsibility. “And keep your eye out, Mrs. Peters, for anything that might be of use. No telling; you women might come upon a clue to the motive–and that’s the thing we need.”

Mr. Hale rubbed his face after the fashion of a showman getting ready for a pleasantry.

“But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?” he said; and, having delivered himself of this, he followed the others through the stair door.”

Now for a look at the secret lives of real chicks, check out G. Murphy Donovan’s exposé, “Attila the Hen”, in his entertaining tale from the coop:

“In all hen parties, there’s usually a bird that ruffles too many feathers for whatever reason. So it was with our Hillary, the runt of her litter. Our petite one is so named because she is more than a bit shifty, ambiguously unpopular, and annoying in ways that only other hens appreciate; in short, a victim by default midst cool gals with attitudes.

Alas, unlike lady lips, chicken lips are lethal weapons. The big hens started with Hillary’s comb and then pecked her bald. “Pecking order,” in the bird world, is no metaphor. Nor is hair pulling. When we saw blood, we had to separate the runt from the rest.”

Ok, let’s waddle on back to the female intuition topic.  Here’s a bit from a 2013  Scientific American article that explains some new research:

“Men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus, but their brains really are wired differently, a new study suggests.

The research, which involved imaging the brains of nearly 1,000 adolescents, found that male brains had more connections within hemispheres, whereas female brains were more connected between hemispheres. The results, which apply to the population as a whole and not individuals, suggest that male brains may be optimized for motor skills, and female brains may be optimized for combining analytical and intuitive thinking.”

My infallible female intuition tells me y’all are ready to nod off now.  Have a good night:-)





Filed under General Interest, Short Stories

Story of the Week: The White Silence

Story of the Week: The White Silence.

Here’s an excellent Jack London short story from The Library of America’s Story of the Week.  You can sign up for a weekly email at their website.

Leave a comment

Filed under General Interest, Short Stories

G. Murphy Donovan’s Thanksgiving Tale

As should be obvious, I am a huge fan of G. Murphy Donovan’s writings on foreign policy, national security and intelligence matters, but his stories about his childhood ring with so much honesty and good humor that you almost feel like you were right there observing the events he relates.   He has a blog, which is on the Blogs I Follow list on the side of this page.  Here’s the link for his work at the New English Review.  One of my favorite pieces is Irish Pizza, but he added a new one, The Cranberry Rumble, which resonates with his love for his family, while dealing with the real life traumas and dramas that most writers avoid.  His writing reminds me of one of my favorite American writers, O. Henry, who also utilized the short story format,  telling richly layered stories with extraordinary characters taken from the most ordinary circumstances. (List of O.Henry stories here)


Filed under Food for Thought, General Interest, Short Stories