From Resolution to Sideline
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - 10:13 AM
Last December, Linda Brewer, an administrator at a skin cancer lab in Tucson, resolved to write a short story every month in 2013. By year’s end she hopes to have them published.
I have so far found that working every day after work (or almost every day) is starting to seem normal. It helps me think about the story all the time, knowing I have to work on it when I get home. My friends are supportive (so far, so good). The big challenge is just the feeling that my brain is like a balloon that has come to rest against the ceiling of my skull — and I want it to keep flying further up to get the big picture.
I am having to just get used to sending these babies out before I think they're ready and then going on to the next one. Some of my friends who don't usually read short stories are asking smart questions about ideas and plot and it makes me think more deeply. Deep thinking doesn't come naturally to me!
Here is an excerpt from “Remedy,” the story I wrote in February:
Ben was reading a paper on lichen community structure when he heard a cough outside his door, a thick, deep-down smoker’s cough that provoked a sympathetic tickle in his own throat. He knew the cougher--Wendelle, the secretary he shared with two other biology faculty. Someone asked her a question, probably along the lines of, “Are you okay?” Wendelle laughed. Her laugh sounded like a more painful version of her cough. “Talk to you later,” someone said, and he recognized his daughter Katy’s sweet, unsullied voice.