Warming Fires

Warming Fires – Stories for All Seasons

written by Jeff Kunkel

17 short stories, fiction
First edition 1997
Second edition 2014
Crispin Books, Milwaukee, WI

We need stories like these to help us make sense out of our lives….

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Kunkel tells the stories of these Wisconsin folk with a gentle good humor reminiscent of his fellow storyteller from Minnesota, Garrison Keillor.”

Dr. Ron Parker, California-Nevada Review

“…stories filled with memorable characters in vivid place-settings.”

Green Bay News-Chronicle

Warming Fires is a collection of short stories with a vivid sense of place and memorable characters.  Each story is carried by a distinct voice and unfolds with humor, action, feeling, and surprise.  The characters – farmers, ministers, industrialists, teachers, hunters, newlyweds, children – even animals – get into trouble, and this trouble creates an opening for fear or faith, awareness or action, both in the character and the reader.  God, often unnamed,  moves through these stories in a free and unpredictable way…I  hope these stories become “warming fires” for you, lighting up the night, crackling, flaring, glowing, shooting sparks, warming flesh and blood.”

Jeff Kunkel, from the Preface of Warming Fires

Beginning  of the Title Story, Warming Fires.

          “Don’t go,” Inge said.
  	 “I have to lift the nets,” Gustav said. “They been out three days.”
          “Wait till your brother can go with you.”
  	  “No telling how long he’ll be laid up.”
    	  Inge gave up.  “God hisself can’t change your mind once it’s made up.”
     Gustav left Sand Harbor at dawn, alone.  Gulls circled his fishing tug, urging him on with their harsh cries.  They knew his boat and the reward which awaited them if they followed him to his nets, twenty miles out, a hundred fathoms down, down where the moon-eyes swam, the sardines of the Great Lakes, which Gustav and his brother, Penny, netted, salted, iced, and shipped to New York City.  Fair weather clods floated across the red and purple sky and chunks of drift ice bobbed like half-sunk barrels in the dark green water on that morning of February 9, 1939…”