Saturday 20 April 2024

The Story Behind the Story for the Anthologies - Spring Paths & Summer Paths (coming soon). Sandra Bunting and Chuck Bowie.


This week you will read the SBTS from two talented authors who are part of the Seasonal Collective and contributors to the Path Anthologies.

The most recent being Spring Paths.

Both Chuck and Sandra have been guests on the Scribbler before and I encourage you to check them out.

Sandra HERE &  Chuck HERE.

Read on my friends.



Sandra Bunting is the author of two collections of short stories, two poetry books and a non-fiction book besides having work included in anthologies and literary magazines. She works as an editor at the Irish-based literary magazine Crannog, and offers editing and proofreading of manuscripts through her own Gaelog Press. 


Chuck is both a writer and an author, with eleven books/novels published. While he mostly enjoys writing mysteries: Suspense-Thrillers and Cozy Mysteries, he also writes short stories. All of his books are well-reviewed, and he has sat on the boards of the Writers’ Federation of NB, The Writers’ Union of Canada, is a Fellow of the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts, as well as being acknowledged as a member of the Miramichi Literary Trail. His thriller series chronicles the adventures of an international thief for hire, while his cozy series (written as Alexa Bowie) follows the adventures of the owner of an arts centre as Emma solves the crimes that swirl around her centre: The Old Manse. 

Chuck lives in Fredericton and on Miramichi Bay.


Title: Anthologies.


Synopsis from Spring Paths:

Sometimes, a compelling short story is all you need. Let our tales of gods, ghosts, alien worlds, mystery, secrecy, love, loss and horror get under your skin for a while.

Nine North Atlantic writers have collaborated to create this anthology, the third in a series of multi-genre fables that will entertain, possibly unsettle, and cause you to think about the present in which we live.

Curl up on the sofa and allow yourself to be lost in the pages of this fascinating book.


The Story Behind the Story

Sandra: One of the most evocative images of summer when I was a child was a blue sky, a meadow full of yellow wildflowers – probably dandelions and buttercups - and a clothesline of pristine white sheets flapping gently in the breeze. We all know that this description is now generally a thing of the past. Dryers are just more convenient in our busy lives. But I wanted to work around the idea of a clothesline. My story in the forthcoming anthology Summer Paths, the fourth in a series put out by The Seasonal Collective, is called Clean Laundry.

Through the story, I wanted to explore several themes. I set it in a rural community and wanted to break the myth that country people were old-fashioned. Technological advances are as prevalent in smaller communities as they are in big cities. However, I wanted to see what could happen if one person moved into the community and tried to change the way things were done.

Reflecting on that theme also brought to mind a memory of being in the company of women when I was a little girl. I remember one time sitting with them in the kitchen as they spoke in horror of “a clothesline thief”.

I usually try to sneak in mention of some issues that I feel passionate about, namely creativity and the environment. I feel that it is vital as a human to in some way be creative. I feel creativity could help answer some of the world’s problems. Another issue is the environment We are so fortunate to live on this beautiful earth but we don’t look after it.

Clean Laundry is a light-hearted homage to summer, which also lights on serious topics that can be contemplated at a later time. How do I weave all these themes together? Enter into summer. Enter into the pages of Clean Laundry.


Chuck: When the Spring Paths Melt from Spring Paths.

I had a dream many years ago, where the City of Fredericton flooded. I had gotten a casual job emptying a store basement on Queen St, down by the river during an unusual spring flood. I wondered what would happen if the spring freshet hit at the same time as the Grand Falls, Beechwood and Mactaquac dams all breached. Many years later, I added Climate Change and my recurring dream became a bit of a nightmare.

When I awoke, the simple dream of the entire city being under water became a speculation project for me. Would I have a protagonist? Just one? Would they be starving or scavenging? Scavenging, I thought. Would they die (alone)? Or would there be hope? Would it be a cautionary tale of Man’s foolishness? I didn’t want to do that. Rather, I wanted something immediate, human, and real enough to touch the reader.

I wanted the reader to be in the rowboat with the one who might be the last human in the region.

So that became the story. But I’ve always been as concerned—perhaps even more—with the How of the story. How can my character review their situation, and then summon the will to get out of bed in the morning? What to they do every day; does every minute, like that of ancient man, have to be about scrabbling for food, warmth, and shelter? How do they put one foot in front of the other, in the hope that things will get better, when it probably won’t?

But that’s how the human race managed to survive, isn’t it.

So I wrote a story about a brave young man who hoped that things would get better. He did the little things to engender optimism within his soul. He measured, daily, the height of the water above a specific rooftop. He checked his shoreline every day, placing a rock at the water’s edge and noting where the waterline had previously been. He got out of bed each morning. And he hoped.

Readers sometimes ask me how I make my stories come to life. One of the responses I offer is to explain that I watch the details of my day, and note how the details enrich the story; make it real. Remember how I told of emptying a flooded basement of a downtown shop? I was up to my chest in water, carrying boxes, and I walked past a light switch, three inches above the basement water. And then I looked up at the bare ceiling bulb illuminating my work. And then back to that almost-flooded switch. See? It is those details that add a bit of zest to my stories. Sure, I destroy three dams, but I also place a rock at the waterline. Just to give you hope.


Websites.      Sandra    Chuck 

 The Scribbler recently posted the STBT for other contributors to the Anthologies. Check them out if you like.

Angela Wren

Gianetta Murray

S C Eston

Pierre Arseneault

You can get your copy of Spring Paths ( and the others) HERE.


Thank you both, for being our guests and sharing your inspiration for the short story contributions to the Anthology. We wish you continued success with your writing journeys.


And a HUGE thank you to our dear readers and visitors. We do it all for you.

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