I want to make it clear that I will be writing a fresh batch of fiction this year, but much of the fodder for this prose will come from non-fiction. Is that a surprise for you? Don’t let it be. I have always been drawn to news, slice of life sketches, scientific journals, biographies, and a myriad of other non-fictional sources for my stories. I don’t think this makes me unique, but I am aware of what makes my creative bulb switch on.
I’ve armed myself with a stack of newspapers and a pair of scissors. I really do like to clip out interesting stories, quotes and so on. I can come back to them at later times. I’ve read that Newt Gingrich was a fan of this archival approach as a young chap. I don’t know how that makes me feel knowing that we have shared a collective collating strategy, but it is what it is.
I also plan on doing some essays based on childhood, short-run flavorless jobs, political essays, and many more extended wine notes. I think I am going this way for two reasons. 1) Because a number of people, close to me, who have read Shades of Luz think that is a memoir. 2) I think I have a knack for writing essays and I want to blur the boundary that has come to be known as creative non-fiction.
Well, I want to first answer that point about some people close to me who think that Shades of Luz is a memoir. It most certainly is not although I did, for a short while, sell stuffed animals on the street. That was a wacky experience if ever there was one. I probably should go into greater detail about that time and perhaps this year I will. It might help me to know if something new about myself. No promises. Worst case scenario, it will make an interesting writing exercise.
I also plan to do more flash fiction writing (microfiction)— more pieces under 750 words. There is great beauty in toned prose where all the gristle is trimmed away and all you have is the true grit of the writer’s soul.
P.S. I welcome any comparisons to T.C Boyle, Stuart Dybek, and Chekhov.