June 27, 2020
I turn 27 , the 27th of June. It took me 27 years to write this. 27 years to pick up the proverbial pen. But I'm here at last.
I have been reading some short stories by O. Henry, which serve as good archaeological evidence that simple writing is the best form of writing. These are simple tales. Most are written hurriedly, and do not end well. But they are wholesome because they are told with an honest heart, with wit, with nimble and springy words that are poured on the page, rather than measured to fit it. They make for a nice, hearty entertainment overall.
While they are not the polished, well-fitted and upholstered prose of the variety that is taught in schools or even posted on Medium blog, I think it would be okay to say it was the kind of things O'Henry would'be written on his personal website if he were alive today (and he chose to be a writer).
Here are two samples by him: two extremely rubbish stories that are almost not stories at all and are carried merely by prose that is heartfelt, even over a century later.
The Voice of the City
There is no head or tails to this story at all. Its just a nice piece of rambling. It starts as a man trying to find "the voice" of New York and then proceeds to have encounters of the kind that are found in old people's WhatsApp videos. But the ending is good, it certainly can't be called bad.
The Pimienta Pancakes
This is a more traditional O. Henry short story. Two characters begin to talk and then one -- called Jud -- goes on to tell a story to the other from his past, involving pancakes. There is a twist ending that you may begin to at least vaguely guess right at the outset. The prose is witty, almost like a TV comic skit, once Jud gets into his tale.
Naming characters is something O. Henry is poor at. You may find names and entire stories made of corny cheese, but they are enjoyable. What more can you want?