A friend linked me to a site of two-sentence horror fiction, and soon after I started “writing” two-sentence literary fiction. I put writing in quotes because I came up with all of these while working them and even ordered the wording and then jotted them down on breaks. This is my favorite:
I wrote this post after work when “Looking for Space” by John Denver came on. I started with imagining his tragic death but I moved to thinking about two friends with friends who died tragically. Primarily I wrote it thinking of offering comfort to the parents of one of these stranger victims, a young woman. I think of it more as a fantasy that any words offered could be comforting.
I love this one because this story has a happy ending, and I managed to be of some help at a difficult time for someone. I got lucky. I usually miss opportunities like this. I missed one just the other day when I said hi to an old lady and recognized she was distraught. but much as I almost didn’t ask these three simple words in the instance below, I didn’t ask in that instance, so I try to also use this story as a personal reminder of how to be.
This moment from my novel came in one of my final rounds of edits. It’s moments like these where you draw from meaningful moments in your life and effectively (hopefully, at least!) insert them into your fiction that makes writing books rewarding even when dealing with miniscule sales and a paucity of readers. It still aches but you can live with it and keep going. This goofy monster has been with me for as long as I can remember, though I only named him when I wrote this blog. I had no idea it came from my heart beating; when I was little I thought it was real!
The title of this last one wasn’t meant to be funny or incendiary. Comparing tragedies is absurd, but there’s also something absurd about the generations passing down a near obsession with the sinking of the Titanic whereas the Johnstown Flood has been nearly forgotten. Not sure if it’s realistic but I’ve heard discussion about spending millions to raise the wreckage of the Titanic. Meanwhile for a few thousand dollars a walking tour memorial of the Johnstown Flood’s path could be built. There’s a memorial building at the flood site but little else. Also I think David McCullough’s excellent account should be read in schools.
Hard leaving some out, especially stories about friends and family, and the Polio fun facts which I enjoyed compiling although I edited the “fun facts” out of the title. They’re all still there, though, if anyone has some time and feels like reading through. I truly appreciate the gift of your time in reading, and I’ve tried to do my best to honor that investment of time with these blog posts. Hopefully another hundred are on the way. I already have a few planned, one about zoos, one about sports, and one about genocide. I hope you’ll continue to stop by and read when you have the time. Thank you!