March has been an unsettling month. It began with the incredible high of having my first short story published. It ends in confusion, and uncertainty, and doubt. But not, strangely enough, concerning my writing. This is not to say that I have become recklessly overconfident (or even confident), but I am beginning to have better faith in my ability to string sentences together in a meaningful way. Which is quite a leap when you consider that not so long ago I was seriously considering giving up writing short fiction altogether.
Consequently, in light of having been published (published!) and the supposed renaissance that the form is currently enjoying, I have become obsessed with all things short fiction, to the detriment of both my reading pile and the WIP. The reading pile has doubled in height with a selection of short story collections, and the WIP has ground to a halt somewhere in the middle of chapter six. On the other hand I am currently working on two (TWO!) new short stories, which may, possibly, have some potential. Or not. We shall see…
One of the collections I finished reading recently (devoured, in fact), is Etgar Keret’s Suddenly, A Knock At The Door. Apart from wondering how it is that I’d not come across him before, his stories have made me think, and think hard, about writing. I won’t bore you with my inchoate philosophical ramblings on the matter; they’re too tangled up with everything else in my head. But, his stories make you think, and make you think about how you feel. And he is not afraid to break your heart a little. Or a lot. One story in particular has stayed with me; What Do We Have In Our Pockets? is a little heartbreak of hopefulness that packs an emotional punch disproportionate to its size. And that is a part of the beauty of good short fiction.