Tag Archives: short story

Blurred Reality

blurred-reality-cover

How much of ourselves do we put in our stories?

Something I asked on this site not long ago.  Responses varied from not much to everything, and I appreciate your candid answers. 

Here is my take:  from a writer’s standpoint, short stories have a certain effect on me, somewhat different from novels. They take a peek inside, if you will, reach the broken, the defeated, the cautiously hopeful and happy parts of the self.

BLURRED REALITY, a short story about family and relationships, did exactly that while taking shape, before it decided to be something else; to take a familiar yet different course. Sure, the story portrays people I know, but it’s not their story — it’s not entirely about them — because, as we know, art takes a form of its own in the end, irrespective of our intentions.  It grows into something sufficiently distant from reality in order to exist.

So, allow me, dear blogging friends, to present BLURRED REALITY, a short story, published by Solstice Publishing, now available in ebook format.

Here he stood, his life a muddle of thoughts worsened by anger that had been stealing his peace since childhood. He should turn around. Go home and forget. Life had been good lately—a wife, a baby on the way, a well-paying job. Behind this door, he’d find a drunkard who had mistreated everyone and robbed them of a sense of family.

For more, visit:  BLURRED REALITY

Writing, a Delicate Dance

dsc_0539

Blurred Reality is a short story that demanded more than usual. So, please allow me a moment of reflection before I send it out.

Short stories are like that. Different from novels — works that require personal bits but can spin into something else fifty or a hundred pages later — short stories demand more. To me, they demand more personal experiences, more understanding, more emotion.  

They demand putting oneself out there. And that can be difficult because it’s counter intuitive. We’re programmed not to expose our own experiences or those of our family members. Our psychological defense mechanisms are in place to keep us from doing exactly that.

But as an avid reader, I know full engagement is demanded. As a reader, I don’t want to be protected. I want to be transported, and the author doesn’t get to choose if I like where I’m going or not. Or at least that’s the illusion.

Emotional writing that doesn’t go there comes out as unnatural. Fake. And readers pick up on it, don’t they? They also pick up on over sharing, too much drama, so it’s all a delicate dance where every step looks easy, but it was meticulously studied and planned and hopefully understood.

Donald Maass advises that we mine our own experiences as writers. So, in the end, style or voice, those celebrated terms we hear so much about, boil down to psychology. Crazy, I know.

What do you think, dear blogging friend? Have you ever taken a big breath and jumped?

____

Image: thefivepointstar.com

My short story “Games” up at Red Fez

My short story, “Games,” up at Red Fez.  A mystery (not very long).  Hope you enjoy.