Friday, February 25, 2011

Circling - by Tom Piccirilli

At long last, Shroud Magazine has arrived on my doorstep. With excitement and curiosity, I opened to the first story. My goal is to write a review for every published work in Shroud's history. Why? Because Timothy Deal puts out a great magazine that should be in everyone's stack. The artwork is fantastic; the stories are amazing.

What should be expected from a Bram Stoker winning editor? What kind of short story does a novelist like Tom Piccirilli put out? This was my chance to see.

"You pull one thread of your life and realize that everything is connected."

What an opening. It sent goosebumps down my spine. Who doesn't feel like life is all connected in some weird, unexplainable way - at least at some point in their life? There have been so many times that things just seem to fall into place, and other times life goes so horribly that there has to be a lesson of some type. We really do grow as we get older. Do you look back at your life and wonder who made your decisions?

So the first line had me hooked. I wasn't sure where he was going with the story, but I wanted to see the circle.

Tom Piccirilli writes beautifully, using phrases I wouldn't have thought of. His sentence structure and voice was distinct and real. You start to see, at least as an author, why people say you have to read more than you write.

When you see someone execute a story like this, you see how far you have left to go.

Tom's tale points out how so many things come full circle. How there are so many people out there who are just like us, with the same fears, anxieties, ambitions, and doomed blood; they might actually be alternate versions of ourselves - running the same gambit we all do.

His story makes you think.

There were parts that were sad, and more sections that were just gross, but the story was very well written. You can see how  Shroud built its name.

Timothy Deal did a great job editing this piece. I didn't find myself thrown out of the story once. Since most of my readings have consisted of newer authors, the stories can often be sluggish or forced.

Tom pushed the boundaries of what should be acceptable in life, but he never dragged you out of his world.

Kudos to Shroud and Tom Piccirilli. If you haven't read Shroud before, you might want to reconsider it. This is a new favorite magazine of mine, and for good reason.


Austin James said...

That is a pretty cool opening line for a short story. I'll have to check this magazine out.

Horror stories are my favourite type of short story.

Kate @ Candlemark said...

Heck of a first line...I'm going to have to give this a read.