I wasn’t a short story reader. During high school I was busy being seduced by poetry and classic novels. The first time I remember reading a short story was for an assignment for a class at the local community college. We were reading Raymond Carver’s Where I’m Calling From. As a high school student with genius test scores, I only read two stories. After all, I was too busy reading Angela Davis to do more than I needed to.
Yet, after dozens of moves, often cross country, I still had the book. Periodically, I would pick it up and roll its pages through my hands. Then, I began to write my first novel.
One day while staring at my thick manuscript, I realized I didn’t have a clue as to what the hell I was doing. So I wrote a short story for practice, and then another. I found them natural and difficult at the same time, like poetry. The power was in the details and those details called to me. They were a testing ground and I slowly fell in love. I was sleeping beauty waking up to a world of short stories just waiting to be read.
Short stories don’t seem to be something people naturally pick up to read anymore. I think they are something you come to on accident or… after writing a story and falling in love. That is the main reason I founded this podcast and website. I’ll admit it; I am selfish. Learning, obsession, and community were needs I had and after listening to dozens of podcasts, the gap was clear.
My vision is ambitious and I don’t apologize for it. I toss around sentences like, “I want to create more literary readers,” “let’s kill the impression that literary fiction is stuffy,” and “I want people to rediscover the fun of literary short stories.” But my deepest darkest goal is to become a better reader, become a better writer, make good friends and explore this art that I crave.
I am beyond excited and a little intimidated. Surrounding myself with great co-hosts helps to calm my nerves. The excitement is growing and I can smell a storm rising. It’s a strong storm full of surprises and it whispers, “go ahead, close your eyes and jump.”