Accordians and Short Stories

A short-short that I wrote a while ago has come back to haunt me in the best possible way. Like an “itch that won’t scratch,” it continues to unfold and expand on the page. It’s hitting me in small doses, one scene or one flashback at a time. In that sense, it is the short-short process repeated over and over until the accordian-ed story has expanded to breathe in a full breath of air. With that air comes the life of the story and it is now that I feel I’m starting to guess what these characters might say next, where they’d like to go, and how they could react.

If I hadn’t pursued my MFA, I think I would have missed this opportunity. Individual effort and dedication are a great part of the degree—true—but it was my advisors and other faculty in the program who helped hone my way of seeing, sharpen my critical eye, and foster my patience with the process that has gotten me to this point. Even one year after graduating I am still learning from them, still rereading some of their notes, and even still in touch with a few of them.

In another week or so, the graduating class of June 2008—my class—is due to check in with each other about the six months goals we’ve been setting ever since we earned our degrees. We’re a small clan, only six, but our work spans the three genres and we maintain jobs from bartending to professorships, parenting to gardening, and often more than one at once. But before all of that, we’re each writers.

My nannying job is on hold for 3 weeks, as the family is going on vacation. I have a few odd jobs here and there during that time, and 4 arts essays to write. Otherwise, I’m hoping for a love affair with this story. I can’t wait to see where it leads!

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