Saturday, June 11, 2011


In an abstract sense of the word.

I've been thinking about the evolution of reading in my life. WHEN exactly did I start leaning toward the fabulous form known as the short story?

(really good definition of the form at *shock* Wikipedia)

Having read short stories in high school (and college before), when I started reading them outside of class aka for "fun" I realized I was hooked on this form...this idea of a story focused on a very precise moment, event, or situation.

In the Gloaming (Alice Elliot Dark)
Drawn in by the title story...which was made into a short film by HBO (circa 1997), my copy of the book via Ebay (my very first item online) arrived sometime in 1998. Unfortunately it seems to have disappeared. Maybe it's in storage? Maybe it will be found one day in a box in the garage? Either way, I want to revisit the collection now and see it with a set of "semi-trained" eyes.

Soft Maniacs (Maggie Estep)
Hearing Maggie read from her collection (alongside her poetry) early in 1999 was memorable. Not only was she brash and bold, she had a certain "I know who I am and what I'm doing" air about her. I quickly became obsessed. I also began writing "real" poetry using "real" words AND a short story about a stuffed tiger named Lorenzo. How embarrassing.

Georgia Under Water (Heather Sellers)
Lovely. I remember seeing the cover along the aisles of Barnes & Noble and stopping cold. I picked it up, brought it home (after paying), and promptly devoured it within two or so days. Again, I was in love with another collection of short stories. People would ask, "What are you reading?" I would reply, "Short stories." Never any follow-up questions after that.

I think these thoughts are important, because I write short stories, short fiction, short narrative...whatever you want to call it. And despite the use of the word "short" to describe the structure--they say it's harder than writing a novel.

And I know I've said something along the same lines on more than one occasion. But after a year of graduate-level learning (and attempts at writing more), I can't say it enough. So difficult.


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