Collected Writings - Vol II is another eclectic collection of shorts, this time ranging from the slightly humorous, ‘A New Dawn’, a story revolving around the pivotal effect that Dawn’s chance meeting with a flasher has on the both of them, to the more poignant, ‘But For the Grace of God’.
As with Vol I there should be something for everyone.
‘But For the Grace of God’ is a hard hitting social commentary not only highlighting the plight of the homeless but also the differing reactions people have to the situation. One of the main characters is Albert, a recent widower.
We view Albert’s situation from a slightly different angle in the story, ‘A Quartet of Seasons’. This is a spin-off from the previous tale and follows the life of Albert in the months after his wife’s death until his meeting with the homeless man at Christmas.
‘A Touch of the Serendipitous’ continues the story of Robert and Jacqueline begun in ‘A Chance Encounter’ in Vol I.
‘Timothy’s People’ is a story told within the framework of isolation but this one brings a more magical, uplifting Christmas feel with it. Another, Christmas themed tale is ‘A Letter to Santa’ which includes, if only in passing, a reference to Brexit. It refused to be ignored.
‘That’s the Way To Do It’, doesn’t fit any particular category; it’s just a story. Its subtitle’d, Punch, Lord of Misrule. Hopefully, by the end of the tale you’ll see why.
The last six stories are a suite based loosely around the collective title, ‘The Times Challenge’. Between January 13th and February 17th, 2019 Times Newspapers published six photographs from its archives in The Sunday Times editions. Each photograph was accompanied by a short story written by Alexander McCall Smith.
The Times then challenged its readers to submit stories with their own interpretation of the pictures. Readers’ stories were limited to a maximum of 1,000 words each. These six stories are my interpretation of events.
The volume is almost finished and due for publication this coming Autumn.