Oh man. I’ve finally gotten around to reading a novel by Joy Williams. I’ve read her short story collections and reread them. She just floors me. But now I’m reading The Quick and The Dead. Oh it’s an odd novel. I’m not getting “caught up in the plot”. You never do with Joy Williams. You get caught up in the language, the dialogue, the places and the characters. Joy Williams is funny too. Am I the only one who thinks this? Woman makes me laugh. It’s such a wicked, biting sense of humor. I think she’d be funny to talk to.
John Minichillo told me that Joy Williams once bought him a beer. I’m so jealous.
I mean, maybe this isn’t supposed to make me laugh, but it did:
“He felt as resourceful as the Cub Scout he had once been. He hoped all his cub mates were dead, the little bastards.”
So I’m reading The Quick and The Dead very, very slowly because I love Joy Williams’ sentences. Sometimes her stories are devastating. I wonder if this novel will be devastating. I don’t get the sense that it will in the same way some of her stories are. “Honored Guest” kills me every time.
It’s Short Story Month
I love that short story month exists. I’m writing a short essay for David Abrams’ blog, The Quivering Pen. I’m thinking a lot about what short stories mean to me and it’s funny, but as a writer, I am a relative latecomer to the marvel that is the short story. I’ll say more about it on David’s blog.
In honor of short story month, I thought I’d link to a few of my stories which appear in my new collection, TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT (I’m also going to link stories that I love by other people). That first printing sold out so fast I feel almost as if the book has disappeared. But it will be back soon and I hope lots of people read it. The thing about publishing a book, for me, is that it creates an incredible urge to go hide under the covers. What is that?
I think it’s that I feel so exposed. Uncomfortably so. And yet, I truly do want people to read my stories. Writing is my chance to speak up and say what I want to say in a fictional way. In a family of talkers and storytellers, I am the quiet one. My publisher, Molly Gaudry, at The Lit Pub has given me some author questions and I’m taking a ridiculous amount of time answering them. I have to talk about This. Writing. Myself. Myself as a Writer. And Me as a Person. It’s daunting. I go very quiet. Can I just write a story instead?
A Story by Me
One of the stories in TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT is “Snow” which appeared originally in the lit journal, New South. The editor of New South surprised me by taking two of my more experimental stories. This one originally was one very, very long paragraph. I broke it up here, at Fictionaut, to give readers’ eyes a break. I have a sort of love affair with snow and winter. I like shorter days and the perfect, slanted light that happens around 4:30 and the way a new snow transforms a landscape and the world gradually becomes breathtakingly foreign.
Click on this pretty picture to read “Snow” by me.