A new short story: Fate & Longing in Lisbon

Fate is a force that cannot be tamed. Like gravity, its law cannot be ignored or forgotten without tragic results for those who tempt it. One may be able to fool either for a few hours, and even begin to feel free from their effects, but eventually, fate and gravity will forcefully reassert themselves. 

Fate, like our Universe, possesses the power to create and destroy eternal beauty, leaving us as conscious beings to question whether or not we actually have the ability to exercise ‘free will’. Tragedy and luck act equally on our helpless hearts as we drift weightlessly past nascent stars that direct our life’s journey, or careen helplessly into black holes that can swallow us whole, crushing our hopes and dreams. A life that Fate does not touch is an existence void of joy, and void of heartbreak. 

Last November, Fate whispered in my ear while I was sleeping. She told me a story that I had never heard before. (Yes! Fate is a woman) Just before I woke up she said to me, “Go to Portugal. Write my story!” I woke my wife and told her the story, smiling and laughing in the dark. Before I got out of bed that morning I was resolved to go to Portugal, knowing very well that if I disobeyed, Fate could just as easily turn on me rather than make my dreams come true.

The fabled ‘electricos’ of Lisbon’s undulating neighborhoods

Of anything I have written, Fate and Longing in Lisbon has been for me the most enjoyable story to tell. Some might say it is out of character for me to write a short, romantic comedy. But again, I didn’t create this story, I am just acting as Fate’s ghostwriter.

Lisbon Cathedral

Usually, when I finish writing a piece, I am elated and feel a great release, whether it’s a novel of one hundred-thousand words or just a simple blog post. But, after I finished writing this short story, I was sad. I actually grieved when it was done. I had enjoyed getting to know the characters of the story, the culture and history of Lisbon and the music (oh, the music!) so much that I thought that I would turn it into a longer story, maybe a novel, just to extend my own enjoyment. Fate emphatically said “No!”

It is her story after all. Who am I to change it?  

I hope that by playing to Fate’s vanity, and giving her all the credit for this delightful story, and putting her name in the title, that she will whisper in my ear again very soon and lead me through another wonderful creative process as joyful and fun as Fate and Longing in Lisbon

Praca do Comercio, Lisbon

Fate on Longing in Lisbon will be available from 29 May through Amazon.com in e-book form for Kindle or the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.

If you can’t wait until 29 May, I invite you to read a new excerpt of the story each week until then by clicking the following link: Start Reading the New Story

I am also happy to offer you a Spotify playlist that conveys perfectly(!) the mood and magic of Lisbon, and this story. You can search in Spotify playlists for: Fate and Longing in Lisbon.

Listening to this playlist while reading the story will transport you in heart and spirit to the ancient streets of Lisbon.

Bom Caminho! 


Val on location in Lisbon

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2 thoughts on “A new short story: Fate & Longing in Lisbon

  1. Looking forward to the book! I love the extra insight you provided to researching and writing it. You’re feeling of sadness is the same feeling I have once I finish a blog post about a great vacation period. I’m glad that it’s written but I’m sad that it’s over.

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