In 1953 the Queen was crowned, Everest was climbed and I was born. In celebration of that momentous occasion, I created this book of 53 53-word stories.
Actually, the first sentence is correct but the second isn’t. I entered a Flash Fiction contest, wrote my 100 words and didn’t win. Knowing that nothing is for nothing and everything is for a reason, I pondered my loss for 3 days and then decided to write 53 53-word stories, each to go with a sign I’d photographed over the years.
Why 53? No reason, really. It just sounded a nice number. Then I remembered my birth year and knew, absolutely, that this was divinely inspired and my wise and humorous words would be read and admired down the ages. Actually, that’s not quite truthful, either.
It was a nice change from writing 80,000-word books for the writing was soon done. But don’t let the shortness of words fool you - they’re deep and they deal with topics we don’t like to talk about - killing, suicide, abuse, death, ageing and judgement, sadly. They’re also about nicer topics - humour, forgiveness, kindness, miracles, walruses and seagulls, happily. There’s also true stories and stories of life and how to live it without fear and with effectiveness. Strangely, as some have found, something may just happen in your life that is echoed in these pages, something that gives you a clue to get through an improbable drama, an intransient problem or a pesky person.
The variety of stories ensures there’s something for everyone with a fascination about how life works, what we do to make it not work and how to have it working better. Those realisations can come from humour, horror or a simple sigh of acceptance. Be gentle with this book and with yourself. Both deserve another look, another chance and another smile. You didn’t arrive on this planet to live in misery and fear. This book may help you see life differently and to live it peacefully. That’s my hope.