For Our Short Fiction Class: Creative Responses to the Stories

You have been given tools for analysis (the YouTube videos) and these will be useful to prepare for our brief Zoom discussions or responses you send to me or each other. But consider more creative responses: These, too, may be shared with all of us via email:

1. Create a question related to one of your stories for the week. Write it down. Then take a reflective walk outside (keeping social distance) and really just think about that question. When you get home, write down the things that have come to you as you’ve thought about the question.
2. Write about something in one of the stories that struck you in a personal way: an incident, person, or something that connected with you and your life. Write an essay, a short fiction, a poem…whatever seems appropriate to you.
3. Make a collage in response to one of the stories. If you are able, take a photograph of it and attach to your email to all of us…with some brief title or name of story you are responding to.
4. Create a visualization: a map, a diagram, a chart or whatever in response to a story. As above, if able, photograph and send out to us all.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Washington Poet Laureate: Claudia Castro Luna

Become familiar with the work Claudia Castro Luna has been doing. Read her thoughts. See her Washington State map.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Woman in Green and Cristina Fernandez Cubas

Read about her in Wikipedia article and beyond. There is at least one collection of her stories available in English: Nona’s Room. If you are enchanted by Woman in Green, take a look.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

G.K. Chesterton: Do read about this writer

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Brain Pickings: suggestion for class

You will enjoy reading these newsletters. Go online and subscribe. Stimulating, beautifully curated thoughts, poems, short fiction for today.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Assignments for Week 1/Enjoying Short Fiction

.Watch YouTube lecture “Analysis of a Short Story.”

This is about 11 minutes long. You may want to take notes. This lecture will give you a framework for reading and responding to the stories you will read.

.Literary Elements.

Very simple discussion of how to identify elements in a story. You can make up your own “work sheet” based on this and use it to track the story you are reading.

.Assignment for WEEK 2 is to read stories and prepare to discuss their elements in our meeting. For best practice, write out your analysis and email to me and to others in the class.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

Syllabus for Spring 2020 Class in Short Fiction

Enjoying short fiction:  study and writing practice

LLyn De Danaan, facilitator


Enjoy reading fiction? Like lively conversations? Love writing?


We will read and discuss one or two short stories/or listen to spoken word fiction /each week.


Most stories are available at the on-line Short Story Project site. Access to computer in order to read stories is essential.


Resources: George Orwell: Politics and the English Language (an essay) The Short Story Project








Learn how to use Zoom.  Send LLyn an email : who am I and what I am hoping to learn in these six weeks plus:

my experience with short fiction, e.g. courses, favorite short stories, or…

Be sure you know how to access LLyn’s blog for her posts about the class. Visit once a week. You cannot post here.


Exchange emails if you are willing to read and respond to each others’ work this way.



Read or listen to the stories/poems listed below and prepare to discuss in class. See the web site,, for an outline of questions to answer of each story/piece of fiction we read.


Discussion: what is a short story (lecture and conversation)


What we will read


How to find the stories


How to prepare to respond to the stories: what elements to look for and include in your commentary







Cristina Fernández Cubas

The Woman in Green








James Joyce


Luci Tapahonso reads

Lois-Ann Yamanaka speaks





Jaroslav Hašek

How I Met the Author of My Obituary



The Story of a Sock




Nikki Giovanni “Nothing Makes Sense”












Prepare to discuss these.


You are invited to do writing exercises, respond to each story in writing, and/or  to try your hand at writing a short story during the six weeks of our class meetings. You may SEND email drafts to me and to class members and ask for response. Remember, short stories can be any length …under about 7000 words. One page, six sentences, two hundred words.


April 6-May 11

Mondays at 10-12



Pose questions to answer for each story (see outline for conversation direction)



For WEEK ONE: see below…… You will need this to read critically and prepare for class discussions. You will need this or something like it to get you going on your own short story.




Short lecture by LLyn De Danann

DISCUSS STORIES together (given the limitations of the technology)





Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

A Wall is not a Fence

A wall is not a fence 
A fence is not a wall.
A wall keeps feared things hidden.

It is tallAnd solidAnd allowsno lightTo pass

A fence is a suggestion.

Heed or not.

A wire or two, 
Some bits of string.

Two creatures, a pair of dogs let’s say, 
On either side of it can see the other,
Say hello or sing.

A bee   can    fly    right    through it.   Sting.

A wall is scaled 

A fence is snipped, 
Ducked under. 
A tongue can be stuck through it. Weeds clipped. 
Feathers and bubbles can be blown. 

On either side of walls, we sit with the unknown. 
With fences, everything is clear. And dear.

A fence supports sweet peas 

Or beans or holly hocks in rows. 

But on a wall, well,

Nothing grows.

Posted in Poetry | Comments Off

Going to Seed

Going to Seed

I’ve let the dandelions grow, and there are plenty. 
No more than buttercups, nor more than peonies. 
The lavender has jumped untended borders. 
I do not care. I’ve given up on order.

Still, bees and butterflies don’t seem to mind. 
And deer drop by to see what they can find.

The bourgeois seem to like to trim their edges 
And use a level when they prune their hedges.

Not I, I cannot stand the drudgery. 
I’d rather read a book than snip the shrubbery.

LLyn De Danaan

June 2018

Posted in Poetry | Comments Off



A boney bunch they are,


teetering, and wary,

toddling over slender self-made paths.


parading high above the dappled desert floor,

above the stalagmitic honey-caves

adorned with combs the size of boars

and sticky-drip-traps.

Above, they tramp.

Above the filagrees of palm

and desert willow

and the drizzled valley.

They think themselves creators of all this,

their universe

Because? Because all they see is of them

and ever more has been.

They’ve never heard the

bleat of foreign

mountain sheep

Nor news of other bovidae

Save one:

A bitter goat invader

wandered there and died of thirst.

A fellow coprinae, named Anza.

A Basque, they say,

successful til it

made a turn and,

lost its herd,

    its sure-foot tribe,

    its prong-ed kin.

And when his bones were clean

   and bleached

he looked just like the others.

LLyn De Danaan

June 22, 2018

Posted in Poetry | Comments Off