• Martha J Allard

Fairy Tale Logic: My secret project

It's not a secret that I love short stories. Reading and writing them. A great short story can explode in your brain, all at once, in a way that longer fiction doesn't. Writing short stories is a way to stretch, and explore, without committing. I love to write them because you can see all the borders of the thing at once. It's a chance, as Brian Eno once said (of music), "To crash your plane without getting hurt."

But mostly, I love good short stories, because they can be tiny pieces of beauty to carry with you, out in the world.

That brings me to the secret part of this post. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I've struggled with writing. In the beginning, when I was sick, I couldn't focus, couldn't track a big project. But I needed to write. It was almost the only thing I could do. So I went back to short stories. As short as I could make them.

All kinds of things happened then. Words spilled out onto my page, and I filled up notebooks with tiny pieces of flash.

I'm still working on them, between wrestling with the novel that is finally almost complete. I expect to have enough stories for a short collection by the end of the year, hence the cover above.

Because last year felt like living in limbo, and this year is getting off to a shaky start, I'm going to try to post more updates on work, if only to keep myself accountable. So. Fairy Tale Logic will be out in January of next year. Below is an excerpt.

Adelia remembers her youth as if through a kaleidoscope. Tatters of silk and lace. The image of a strong girl with a thick fall of dark hair lingers at the edges of her mind. Adelia catches her wild laugh, but it’s faint. Now frailty envelopes Adelia in its artic, needle-like embrace


She tends the hearth; she clears away cobwebs. In the evening she sits and yearns toward the warmth of the fire. Echoes catch her, laughter, like scraps of music in her mind. Adelia is too tired for the past. For anything at all, except regret. Sometimes bitterness. It’s exhausting to hold a grudge against time and isolation.

A slim silver hook rests in her lap. Waiting. The reflection of flames dance along the shaft, turn the hook to a tiny piece of moonlight. A single sliver of magic left to her.

--From: Crochet

If you are looking for some stories in the meantime, please check out my first collection of full-length short fiction here:


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