William Thrift has spent most of his life in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, but has traveled extensively in the US and abroad. Upon graduation from the University of South Carolina, he spent many years as a corporate regional manager. He currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina. He has always had a penchant for writing, but has recently garnered accolades for his fiction, placing 2nd Runner-up in the 2011 and 2012 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for his short stories: The Summer of My Faith and And The Sun Sets On Walker Street. Three other works were also finalists in the Faulkner Society’s 2013, 2014, and 2015 competitions. His short story, Squirrel Stew, was awarded 2nd place in the 2013 South Carolina Writers’ Workshop’s Carrie McCray Memorial Literary contest and was subsequently nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In his spare time he enjoys writing songs, singing, and playing the guitar for musical ensemble, Smokin Van, under his nom de musique, Smokestack Willie. He cooks at home with his wife, Ginger, and serves as secretary of Columbia’s historic Cottontown neighborhood.
Winners and Victims
Will I crash from the sky and burn to death? Am I really the social pariah that I think I am? Will I ever get out from under the thumb of my oppressive parent? Why did I lose my fingers, and how will I go on in this crippled way?
These are some of the questions supposed by the characters depicted in Winners And Victims. As in life, some prevail and some suffer setbacks that might give Job pause. The short stories in this collection depict winning and losing, elation and suffering, despondence and dauntless optimism. The characters suffer, lose, prevail, and win sometimes in small ways and sometimes in life-altering ways. On the surface of it, the outcomes may be interpreted as acts of fate, or God’s will – random and coincidental. But although these characters are visited in positive and negative ways by chance, the reader may notice that they (as do we all) possess the autonomy to alter our own fates. If we only believe that we can.
A Retrospective of Culinary Features Appearing in Columbia Home & Garden 2008-2013
A tasty writing assignment has evolved into a collection of articles featuring chefs and restaurateurs in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Published individually under the heading “Columbia Cooks” in Columbia Home & Garden magazine between 2008 and 2013, the articles are not simply restaurant reviews but focus instead on the stories behind the people and places that diners have come to know and love in and around Columbia. Each chef or restaurateur was asked to contribute a recipe for the readership (or home chef) to try. What resulted were personal offerings by such noted Columbia chefs as Fulvio Valsecci of Ristorante Divino, Billy Prato of Dianne’s on Devine, and the beloved Tronco family. Imagine being able to serve your friends and family Tronco’s Pecan Pesto Risotto, or Chef Fatback’s Strawberry Cobbler, or Rosso’s Clams Fra Diavolo. Each of the people in these features has something to offer through their stories and recipes, and that is their essence – giving back to the community by striving to make the best food in the best atmospheres that they can. Bring that spirit into your home through these articles and recipes.
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