Like many writers, my first completed works of fiction were short stories. Immediately upon finishing my first short story, I fell in love with the form. Why? Because it allowed me in one sitting to express something vital that needed expressing–in the case of my first story, something about finding purpose in life. It was like a poem, only not a poem, different, more story, while still leaving much for the reader’s mind to ponder. For many years, I wrote only short stories and poetry, knowing that some day I wanted to write something longer, but that for now, I had some vital ideas that I needed to get out, in one sitting. I’m really stretching the truth when I say “in one sitting”. Though the initial story usually comes that way, I’ve been tinkering with one story in particular for fifteen years and others for varying lengths of time. I have a collection of thirteen stories now that I am editing and compiling into a yet unnamed collection (though I have a few possibilities).
I did eventually try my hand at “novels” and that seems to be where I spend a lot of my writing time now.
For the next month or two I’ll be focusing on this story collection, sidetracking to other projects only when I need a diversion, so I’ll probably blog some about the project. I’m also finally going to finish the book The Art of the Short Story, which I’ve read about half of so far.
Last night I tinkered around with what the order of the stories should be and came up with the concept for an opening story. It will be good to “finish” the collection. Though all the stories are fictional, they’re all quite a bit closer to my own experiences as woman and as a human being than the longer works of fiction I have in the works. I feel like I’m tying it all up, you know, so I can put it away and get on to other things for good.