My first category here at this blog I named “Riddle, Poem, Tale, or Joke” and it included brief pieces that were short-short stories or other creative writing. (The story of how the category came about is here.) My thinking was that I would just do freewriting, or very very very rough drafts, and polish them later. And that was fine. For a while. Until more people besides my initial 3 visitors started to read the blog. Then I became self conscious about these fledgling works of fiction and stopped posting them here.
But every so often an idea occurs to me and I feel a hankering to write it out—and make a commitment to it by posting it here.
Well, I have two such drafts sitting in my drafts folder right now. I’ll post them soon. But first I just wanted to reflect a little about what I have already written, because when I first posted those other pieces I provided no context or explanation.
A two-part piece I posted called “Friday at the Front” still gets several hits a week even though it has been some time since I first posted it (Part 1, Part 2). I am not sure what folks are getting out of the two posts. (No one has ever posted a comment about them.) The piece is a take-off on a short story by Neil Gaiman called “October in the Chair” (in Poe’s Children: The New Horror, edited by Peter Straub, 2008, Doubleday). I think of my story as making some statement about topics related to the theme of this blog (e.g., racism, race relations, gender). But exactly what that statement is is something that I did not think a lot about before or during the writing of the posts. I could make some ad hoc claims now about what that statement is. Or I could just hope that I achieved something in fooling around with Gaiman’s stroytelling style and that people will have a moment of pleasure reading it.
Except that one of those posts I was talking about in my drafts is a follow-up—now it is Saturday’s turn at the head of the conference table. Where the first time I just freely wrote and worried about message later, now I am stepping more cautiously. I would love to be more intentional about message, but I do not want the message to take over to the extent that the story is crap. That’s not a thought process that builds much creative confidence. But I will be going for it. It’ll be posted sometime soon and then I’ll just see.
The second draft story-post features a suburban, middle class, professional Black woman. You may think that this suburban, middle class, professional Black woman is me. You would not be correct. I definitely know this fictional woman. Quite well. I have written about her before—In “Water Under Bridges” and “Inside-Out,” for example. And she may have had some initial experience that is very similar to one I have had in my real life. These blog posts may, like in some movie disclaimers, have been “inspired by true events.” But just so you know, they are not 100% fiction-free, not 100% about-me. Which is why I classify them in my category just for these types of posts. Anyway, the draft I have follows this fictional woman as she consolidates aspects of her life…with unintended consequences.
Should be fun. In fact, both of these have been fun to think about and begin writing so I hope they are just as fun to read and (hopefully) talk about.
Tune back in soon at this same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…