Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some examples of characters and issues in my short stories


As promised in my previous post, here are some examples of characters in my stories and dilemmas they face.

In COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: A SHORT STORY ABOUT COLLEGE SPORTS IN OUR TIMES, athletic director Walter Wiggins of Lone Star State University (LSSU) is caught between a rock and a hard place.  He knows the only revenue source with growth potential is television, and he aggressively and successfully negotiates better and better TV contracts to keep his program afloat financially.  But expanded TV contracts put more games on the air and threaten to erode the season ticket base, potentially costing the school millions in lost ticket sales and loss of brand image.  Loyal fans like Will Spencer and his large family now have the option to follow their beloved Hornets from afar.  This may not be an endearing story to die hard college football fans, but it is a reality faced by more and more athletic directors at schools with major sports programs.

In EXTRA CREDIT: A SHORT STORY ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA, Professor Nathan Carter seems caught in a time warp.  He still thinks that a student should only get one shot at each test and that the grade of C represents average performance.  All the students and many of his faculty colleagues at Midway State University (MSU) have different ideas.  Extra credit and do-overs are commonplace at the school, and many MSU students have never made a C in their entire college career.  A clash of cultures takes place when a graduating senior competing for a prestigious award takes a course from Professor Carter in her last semester at the school.  Is the professor out of touch and hurting the student's opportunity for professional recognition, or should he hold to his standards?

In JOHNSON AND JOHNSON: A SHORT STORY ABOUT ATHLETICS AND ACADEMICS IN COLLEGE SPORTS (forthcoming in late summer or early fall 2012), two unrelated men with the same last name work at the same university and share the same driving passion for professional success.  Coach Johnson and Professor Johnson are both upstanding citizens who are well respected on campus and in their field.  Unfortunately, they get caught up in an ethical dilemma involving star athletes.  Their individual perspectives on the issue are very different, but not in the way you may think. Who will do the right thing?  What is the right thing?

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