I’ve put 11 short stories up now and it seems a good place to pause. Rereading each of them is a little journey of its own – to the story and to the place I was when I wrote it. I had forgotten how good some of them are. I had thought some of them were better than they are.
But I like seeing them on the blog. I like the idea that someone might stumble into them and have a read. Better than keeping them locked up like naughty children on my hard drive.
I think the best stories come out of some element of my past, usually my childhood in New York or upstate in Dorloo. Mind you, they can’t be considered autobiography because they simply didn’t quite happen the way I tell them. And I’ve got siblings who will declare, “That’s not how it happened!” and they are quite right. To be honest, it’s easier telling fiction than telling truth – you try telling the truth and no matter how honest and clear and unbiased you think you are, someone will come along with a different version and who’s to say theirs isn’t as true as yours? Maybe truer?
I remember getting bitten by a giraffe at a petting zoo nearly twenty years ago. Hurt like hell. I was holding my little daughter up to pet the supposedly gentle creature and it grabbed my hand with its tongue and had a chomp, crushing my knuckles together. Nothing broken, but it was sore for days. Unfortunately for me, there was a crowd of witnesses there who all attest that it was my daughter who was bit, not me. Including the daughter, who was rather traumatised by the event. But I remember it so clearly – I know it happened to me. Writing fiction is so much safer.