You know what a reach-around is, right? Well, in honor of Saturday’s release of Torquere Press’ fourth annual Charity Sip Blitz, each participating author is reviewing another’s story in a big, friendly circle.
You can start here with my review of KIL Kenny’s terrific “How Does Your Garden Grow?” and then work your way back to Kenny’s review of Kathryn Scannell’s “Salvage Operation” or forward to M. Durango’s very kind review of my “Last Dance.”
MY REVIEW of KIL Kenny’s “How Does Your Garden Grow?”
A rough-edged narrator, sparky humor, and a high-stakes take on the theme of “It Gets Better” combine to make KIL Kenny’s short story “How Does Your Garden Grow” a delightful read.
In this engaging ‘hail fellow ill met’ tale, Kaz and a group of friends from a Midwestern Pride organization rent plots in a community garden on a landmark farm. Excited but ill-prepared, Kaz soon finds himself locking horns with the green-thumbed tenant of the adjacent plot.
Devin has been through the wringer, and Kenny shows empathy and restraint when describing Devin’s recent past, injuries, healing, and heart. His prickliness is a highlight of the story, as is Kaz’s gruffly befuddled response to Devin’s attitude toward him. I especially appreciated that the injured Devin wasn’t a saint and that Kaz didn’t handle him with kid gloves. The very real emotions in this story definitely drew me in.
When the community garden is threatened by that age-old bully of farmers everywhere, the weather, Kaz and the Pride group rally to help Devin and the other gardeners protect their investment. It’s in the course of this external struggle that Kaz and especially Devin are finally convinced that with an open heart and a boon companion, things really can get better.
About the author: K.I.L. Kenny has tried her hand at everything from grocery clerk to corporate vice president — not always in the trajectory one might expect — and along the way has developed a stash of exceedingly various (and exceedingly superficial) knowledge wherewith to torment the hapless authors she edits. She indulges her most sadistic side by teaching English composition, and in mellower moods kicks back with salaryman yaoi. Her hairdresser calls her a people person, which just goes to show that “only her hairdresser knows for sure” is a load of bunkum. She lives in New York, but left half of her heart in Baltimore. Find her online at http://katie-kilkenny.livejournal.com/.
Kenny’s story is part of this year’s Charity Sip Blitz from Torquere Press. “How Does Your Garden Grow” and more than 30 other stories were donated by their authors and all proceeds will benefit the It Gets Better Project.