Paul Valery said, “Poetry is never finished, only abandoned.” And I think I can say the same for my short stories. I am about to self-publish my first work of fiction. Some of these shorts have been in the can for years, others of them fell out of me recently.
Despite my many years of art-making (music, acting, photography) the process is still incredibly chaotic; it means regular visits to the existential equivalent of the sub-abyssal zone and the Himalayan summit of Meaning, sometimes in a single day.
Publishing a collection of stories is not unlike sitting around a table with your family during the holidays. You like some of them more than others but you are supposed to act like you adore them all equally. The ones you get along with the least demand the most attention from you. They all talk at once. And some of them, the more you visit, the more you like them and the deeper your relationship grows.
i am thrilled, exhausted, grateful, relieved and a little sad to be finished. I am genuinely surprised with how my process has developed, regardless of the final product. I am also so, so grateful to my friends and fellow writers who have generously taken the time to give me feedback.
A friend of mine, Mr Bennett Ralston, said to me, “what you are doing is difficult and lonely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.” Well, I’m doing it. Here you go, world.