Regular readers know I love short stories, and dedicate an entire week in April to reviewing them. I love them even more when my friends write them—and receive rewards for doing so!
My former colleague and current friend Helen Liptak has done just that, taking runner-up in a recent short story contest for Funny Pearls, a British humo(u)r website dedicated to publishing women writers. She won the prize (and, as she told me, some pounds) for her story “Just Another Slow Day at the Diner.”
It’s a very humorous story, told as a frame story. The events are anything but “another slow day,” as the narrative weaves in some international espionage and even Albert Einstein.
The setting is clearly the early years of postwar America, when bored diner waitresses file their nails on the counter while popping gum and serving “java.” There are references to pin-ups and foreign spies, and lots of sassy dialogue from even sassier broads.
The sassy broads in this story turn out to be a couple of unlikely heroines, but I won’t spoil the ending.
Helen possesses a real gift for writing, especially what might be called “period” pieces, and she really captures the essence of this vaguely-late-1940s era time period (she did teach History, after all). There’s also a cinematic quality to this story, as her descriptions of really bring the not-so-boring diner to life.
I’ve asked Helen if she has an author’s website or blog, but she tells me it is still in the works. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, enjoy “Just Another Slow Day at the Diner.”