I’m back. I think. I hope.
But during my short sabbatical, I’ve managed to keep busy, writing, reading, and working like a mofo.
Also, I finally got around to recording some stories to post for those who want to hear them. This project took forever, as I had to record on days that there was little activity in this noisy apartment building (you can hear a dog barking on Patron Saint), and then edit out all the mistakes and profanity.
Here they are, with notes on each story. Enjoy, comment, and share!
This was the first story of mine to appear in Spark: A Creative Anthology, in Volume I. The idea came from two conversations. One was a discussion on Scribophile about writing prompts, and one was to write about your own death in the first person. “I’ll write the hell out of that one,” I said. When I was working on it, I remembered a conversation with Ernesto, my good friend and cybertherapist, about my fear of dying alone. He told me, “If you are a man of faith, you must know that you won’t be alone when the time comes.”
Read it online at Spark.
This came out in Spark, Volume II. The idea of the little plaster saint was inspired by a woman I saw on the bus one day, carrying a small St. Jude statue, which she was cradling as if it were an infant. That image floated around in my head until the day that I had to visit a friend of mine who lives in a small town near here. I had asked another friend to accompany me, but he declined, saying that it was a pit.
And it kind of is. It’s a little town incorporated into the city some years back, but still very much separate. It’s dirty, the streets are in bad repair, and there are people walking around who I probably wouldn’t want to run across after dark. However, even the darkest corners of the Earth must have good people, people of faith and hope, doing their best in the circumstances.
After this was accepted for publication, I began work on another story that revealed itself to be taking place in this same town, so I’m working on a collection. After I get those written, I’ll try to get them published in various places and then collect them in a book. I also have a collection of short vignettes that will probably be part of that project, which I’ll record and post later.
To the River appeared in the inaugural edition of Shadow Road Quarterly in Summer, 2012, and was requested for reprint in the upcoming Volume III of Spark. This is the first thing ever accepted for publication and the first I was ever paid for. So this is a special one for me.
Before I wrote this, I was thinking about how many things in my childhood I don’t remember very well. This isn’t due to any trauma, but rather that I’m so removed from it after so many years away from my childhood home that I honestly don’t know sometimes. I remembered my friend Seth and the river we used to swim in, the one that went by Veronica’s house. Then, I began to question my memory of that. Was there really a river there? I honestly could not be sure, and didn’t know the answer to that until after I wrote it.
Side note: As this was being prepared for Spark, Veronica’s mother passed, so this one’s for her.
See you next week!