Saturday, May 3, 2014

i'm trying to be smarter than i am

I promised to post every day this month. And in my mind, I vowed to not give in to cheater posts - like, just choosing a quote to throw up here for days I didn't feel like writing, or something like that. Something substantial, something thoughtful, every day.

But then this afternoon I was talking to a friend about writing and how I have this "weird secret desire" (aren't most of our desires weird and secret in some way?) to write short stories, and she said that based on what she's read of mine (that being one piece) she'd assumed I already write short stories. And I heard myself saying, "Well I've had this idea for one, maybe I'll just write it and see what happens." This friend and I are in a writing/creativity group together that has its second monthly meeting next week, so I thought - hey, why not write it for that, but also for my blog. It will be flash fiction, just a few hundred words. I'll whip it up today, get it on the blog for the day's post, then tighten it up for the meeting.

Uh, wishful thinking. I'm a few hundred words in and nothing's really happened yet, it's all background (which I'm afraid I'll end up cutting in the end) so really I'm just getting to know the character, who is pretty intense.

SO. No short story for you today. Instead I have (drumroll please) chosen a quote for you! About writing short stories! (And making art!)
Stories expect us to be smarter than we are. We need to see what we could not see until, as we furiously squint and rewrite and squint and rewrite, we finally find our way to something that we had not seen before, and that is beautiful in the truest sense of stories - full, wise, satisfying.

And we are changed as well. Tired and exhilarated, we have been shown by our own words that the world is different from what we thought, and that our first thoughts - which had seemed so fine! - were only the beginning of a long road. It is an exceptional lesson that every story proffers. It is the business of art, always.
                                                                              -Erin McGraw, contributed to A Syllable of Water

Happy Saturday, friends.

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