For the month of April, I am, once again, participating in Camp Nanowrimo. Last year I wrote 40,000 words (Mimi Gets Away with Murder). I really can’t comprehend how people write their 50K words in a few days for Nanowrimo because 40K in 30 days nearly killed me! This year I am going to write 31 different short stories (at around 1000 words each) and I’ll post them each day here on the blog. I’m just going to post what I write and they will be awful but that’s okay.
I read somewhere this week that there are three acts in the creative process. Act One is the writing, painting, composing. Act Two is the performing/publishing/submitting/posting. Act Three is the viewing, the reading, the response to the work.
I believe that Act One is still the only one that matters if we’re interested in meaning-making while the other two come into play if we decide that’s what we want to do with our creative work.
I’ve written a few short stories but I am a rank amateur to say the least. I’ve been doing a bit of research, as writers do, on the structure of short stories and reading loads. The New Yorker has so many to choose from. This one, Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian was the most popular for 2017.
I’ve been raving about The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula le Guin. Please, writer or not, take the time to read this incredible story. I also read Raymond Carver’s The Cathedral this week. It’s a famous piece, first published in 1983 but it has a much ‘older’ feel to it. Many of the short stories I’ve read lately have twists and turns. I was surprised by the subtlety and deceptive simplicity of The Cathedral. I admit, I had to read it twice because first time around I was waiting for some kind of twist, perhaps a stabbing or confession…but no in the end, just simple beauty.