Back when I first got the notion to become a writer, it was short stories that I wanted to write, more that essays. So, that’s what I concentrated on most. However, as my writing life played itself out, it was my essays—and later, my book reviews—that received publication; although two of my stories did each make Honorable Mention. After a couple decades of what felt to me to be failure, or at least, falling short, I decided to focus on what was working, essays and reviews. Roughly about the same time, poetry was becoming a rising star, thus pulling me further still from fiction writing.
Well, I’m thinking my fiction writing may not have been all the way gone, after all. Just a few days ago, I came across a book I’d feared I’d jettisoned, having probably included it among one of my many boxes of books contributed across the years to our library’s semi-annual used book sales: Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich. Too, I’ve had some time away from writing fiction, and I’m thinking I may have achieved enough distance from where I once approached doing it, that I might now be able to circumvent what had been my fatal flaw: not allowing my characters to struggle and suffer. Too, I’ve been getting the itch again to tell made-up stories.
All this said, my reading of such, shorts and novels, has been comparatively dismal, last year or two. I still subscribe to no fewer than four literary ‘zines, as well as New Yorker—solely for it’s short stories. Lately, I’ve gotten further behind in my readings than ever. So I guess it’s possible that’s it’s merely the idea, the image of writing fiction that I’m feeling drawn to. Won’t know until I take pen-in-hand, and see.
In other news, my esteemed poetry colleague, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, was recently appointed Western Slope Poet Laureate. Here’s the best link I could find, although you’ll have to scroll down a skosh to get the actual announcement.