A Hatful of Rabbits, a collection of my short stories, is now available for sale at Amazon.com and soon at other places as well. It includes seven previously published stories (including my Writers of the Future Honorable Mention) and three never before released tales. I hope you will pick it up, read it, enjoy it and pass it on to others. Oh and it’s only available in e-book format (for now) and runs a hefty $0.99. You can’t even get a Crunch Bar for that anymore and my stories are so much sweeter than candy. Thanks for giving it a try.
In the story Alchemy, I attempted to write something dark. It was an adolescent pursuit I suppose, though I was far past adolescence at the time, but still an interesting experiment.
The story centers around a central flip. Religious extremism and what it causes people to do has been a central issue of the last decade. This causes many to place the blame for the acts on the beliefs behind them. In the story I posit someone taking a scientific principle to the extreme, mangling it and misinterpreting it and committing a horrific act. I enjoy it for its simplicity.
Interestingly, when some who know me read this story, they became quite concerned. The distance between teller and tale that is evident and even frustrating to the author is often invisible to the audience. After some brief reassurances that I was fine and that no cats had been harmed in the creation of the story, life moved on. Still, I wonder sometimes if they haven’t put me on a watch for any unusual behaviors.
It’s funny. When I published The Apple Tree I was very excited to see the direct reaction my fiction would get on a site that featured comments. Ironically, though an irony apparently totally lost on some commentors, some people were more interested in my misuse of words than the story itself. I’m by no means a grammarian. I often tell people the either/or choice my college gave me: Sociolinguistics or Grammar. It never seemed like much of a choice to me. I know enough to construct the sentences in a way that feels right, and if a few rules get bent along the way, so be it. At the time, I was embarrassed. I felt like I’d let people down, wasted their time. Then I realized, like Ashley in the story, I was giving too much power to words. Words can’t wreck cars or kill people, but they can make you feel really bad about yourself. Especially when they are forbidden or formulated into rules to use as weapons. Ashley and I are stuck in a world where the damage is done, we just have to pick up the pieces and live with it.
P.S. The word, never spoken, in the story is … ain’t. 😉
Here’s a story I published a couple years ago called Held Up. In 2008 I found myself suddenly interested in the world of economics when it all began to collapse. It’s funny because a lot of the fallout is just hitting my personal life now, three years later. I wrote this story, which is not meant to be overtly political, just to question the way our presumptions about institutions rub up against our presumptions about individuals. We give corporations the full rights of man, yet we don’t hold them accountable the way we would any individual. Indeed if one was to meet a man whose only motivation was profit and would commit all kinds of crimes and/or have laws rewritten to achieve that goal, we would call him an asshole. When corporations do it and destroy themselves in the process we rush in to save them. Playing with these ideas gave me a greater understanding of the 1930’s when all the heroes were either gangsters or western outlaws.
The story was inspired by an idea that’s been floating around in my head for almost twenty years: the simple conversion of money into lifespan and how that would affect how we view economic issues. It took more than a decade to develop the courage to believe I could do the idea justice. I hope that I did. Incidentally, the working title was Time is Money which is way too literal to sell, but did tickle me at the time. I hope you enjoy the story and feel free to come back and comment.
My story “I Don’t Believe in Fairies” is up now at Big Pulp.
Check it out: http://bigpulp.com