Short stories, take a bow

May is short story month. I have no idea who decides matters like this, but why not? Short stories, please take a bow, and let me say a few things in your favor. — One often hears that people prefer reading novels, that short story collections don’t sell, that publishers therefore hesitate to take the risk. All this may be true. In a novel, we enter for the long, deep involvement and we feel the reward of hours invested. Each story in a collection, on the other hand, takes new effort to discover what’s going on and who’s in it. Perhaps it feels like a fragment rather than a whole, perhaps it feels unresolved. Still, a good short story can carry weight out of proportion to its size. Continue reading

Books “near final” and finished

Yesterday I completed what I promised to do when I applied for and got a Manitoba Arts Council grant last fall – and only one day beyond the five months (December through April) I’d projected! What I promised was a “near final draft” of [tentative name], a novel in which [one sentence description]. It exists now, a manuscript of some 114,000 words, and needs a rest. As do I, to take some distance so I can see what “final” may involve, and to gather energy for the steps beyond that, which include others deciding what I’ve got and if it’s any good. In the meanwhile, I’m deeply grateful to MAC for the financial support and affirmation, and for the powerful motivation that external expectation provides! Continue reading