I decided to compile a list of 10 of the 50-word stories that I think represent my best work.
When going through all of the stories from Year Two, picking out the best ones for inclusion in Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two, I kept coming across stories I had forgotten about. I wrote somewhere around 200 stories over the course of the year, so that's to be expected!
Every now and then, one of these stories would surprise me and make me laugh or smile. It's a rare thing to get to read something you wrote as if you were seeing it for the first time, so those experiences made my sojourn through the archives a lot of fun.
Among all of the stories I've written, there is the expected range of quality. Some are good, some aren't so great, and a few, I think, are real gems. I installed the star-rating plugin to help those gems rise to the top of the Popular Stories widget in the sidebar, and the Top Stories page, but with over 700 stories on FiftyWordStories.com today (somewhere around 525 of them written by me), there are definitely some gems that will slip through the cracks. I can't expect every new reader to go digging through the entire archive to find those gems, so I made a list that might help.
Here are the 10 best stories I think I've written for FiftyWordStories.com, in reverse order:
10. Showers and Tellers - February 25, 2011
9. The Apple and the Pear - January 6, 2011
8. Don't Call Me Savior - January 29, 2010
7. Lemon Zest Cookies - February 10, 2011
6. Claim to Fame - October 12, 2009
5. They Taste Like Bitter Grapes - December 4, 2009
4. The Man Who Couldn't Stop Breathing - August 26, 2010
3. Horse-Whale Hoedown - November 12, 2010
2. Lie-Baby - February 8, 2011
1. The Magical Cup and a Terrifying Beast - December 2, 2010
Six of the stories on this list are included in Volume Two, along with 124 others that would probably all make my top 150. Why not order yourself a copy? It's only $12 + shipping, or $3 for the ebook.
Which of these 10 stories is your favourite? Would you build your own list differently? I'd love to hear your Top 3, Top 5, or Top 10. Leave a comment!
- There's drama!
- I figured the Sherlock Holmes stories would focus almost exclusively on Holmes decoding challenging puzzles and deducing things from the merest slivers of evidence. There's plenty of that, but there's also a lot of character drama and twisting plot that I wasn't prepared to find. It isn't necessarily all that powerful, as far as proper stories go, but it's there, it's gripping enough, and it diversifies the reading experience.
- Dr. Watson is a real person.
- He isn't just a wallflower or a wooden plank, playing the everyman to Holmes' brilliance. I'm glad: even first-person narrators need to have character.
- Sherlock Holmes does cocaine.
- Ok, the stories were written in a different era and all that, but... really? The excuse is that Holmes has such an active mind that when he doesn't have a mystery to solve, he needs chemical stimulation to keep his mind occupied. Blech.
- I haven't seen the word "elementary" even once so far.
- I'm not sure whether I just have to keep reading, or whether the catchphrase comes more from TV and movie adaptations. I'll let you know if and when I find out!
I decided to make a short list of the five players who I thought were the best passers in the National Hockey League, in no particular order. Feel free to disagree and debate!
The Best Passers in the NHL
Nicklas Backstrom (shoots Left), Washington Capitals
- Set-up man for Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin.
- Season so far: 18 assists in 25 games.
Joe Thornton (shoots Left), San Jose Sharks
- Set-up man for Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau.
- Season so far: 17 assists in 21 games.
Henrik Sedin (shoots Left), Vancouver Canucks
- Set-up man for Daniel Sedin.
- Season so far: 25 assists in 22 games.
Martin St. Louis (shoots Left), Tampa Bay Lightning
- Set-up man for Steven Stamkos.
- Season so far: 21 assists in 25 games.
Sidney Crosby (shoots Left), Pittsburgh Penguins
- Set-up man for, well, kind of Evgeni Malkin, but only on the power play, really.
- Season so far: 23 assists in 26 games.
Points of note:
- All five of these players shoot left.
- Only Henrik Sedin has more than an assist per game.
- Sidney Crosby is the best goal-scorer of this group, and also has the least skilled wingers, despite which he is second in the league in assists and first in points.
- Backstrom is the youngest of these players. He has been having more success passing to Semin than Ovechkin this year, surprisingly. Look for his assist numbers to increase when Ovechkin (who only has 10 goals so far) turns the rockets on.
I made a list of the 50 books I would most recommend from my own collection. The list only includes books that I both own and have read.
I posted the list as a page, because I intend to update it periodically as my opinions change and as I read more books from my collection.
Feel free to share your opinions about what you’ve read, what you’d recommend, and what you think I should read that might find its way onto this list!