Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Writing Faster: The Force That Won't Take No for an Answer

If you are reading this, I will have found it.  An image of the speed of light, the illustration, however quirky, of my writing faster.

I may have mentioned this before, but it hasn't stopped. If my experience can get anyone out of writing doldrums I'm willing to repeat myself. Fiction, is what this pertains to, short stories.  In the past I had trouble ending fiction. I struggled to for the "perfect" solution so "the end" was earned. I was pretty insecure, too.

Sometime in a late-winter haze I read Maxine Chernoff's Some of Her Friends That Year: New & Selected Stories (Coffee House Press).  (Which is back on library shelves so I can't be more specific; it's not, however, the specificity of naming any one story but the aha that matters here.)

I remember being upset with her.  She ended that story too soon. (I said to myself).  And it works! (I added.)  And so I realized I could leave my stories "open" in the way a poem is left "open."  Leave them wanting more. Or maybe I was simply ready to realize.

This year I've written five (5) new short stories and started the sixth yesterday.  The first five are "go's." They work, although are not finished.  This year line-ups of authors' names have returned come to me from my vigorous and loving reading qua devouring books in my teens and twenties:  John Cheever, Isaac Singer, Flannery O'Connor, F. Scott Fitzgeral, Isaac Babel, Peter Taylor; many others but all from, say, twenty and thirty years ago.  I can't know their exact influence but I know they are my foundation. 

The End.

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