I tend to blog more when I’m starting a new writing project, as a way to feel like I’m doing something even when I’m not working. For me, blogging is a way to try out phrases and ideas. Even if I’m not writing fiction, at least I’m at my desk, staring at a screen, thinking about how words go together. Blogging is the writing equivalent of 30 minutes on the elliptical.
I’ve recently become obsessed with the idea that the best short stories are about a moment when something is true, or a truth about a character is revealed. So right now, I have a moment, but I’m trying to figure out who would be there and why. It’s confusing and difficult, and leads to a lot of moments of staring out the window and procrastination cleaning.
The more I think about this Moment idea, the more I think the short form is more honest than the novel. The length of the novel implies that you’re getting the whole story. But there’s no “whole story.” Things continue even after that whale hunt that changed everything. A short story doesn’t make a promise to tell the whole story. A short story is just a true moment in a person’s larger life narrative.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I’ve also been thinking about how pleasant this fall has been in Denver. It snowed in the first week of October, but then, for whatever reason, the weather has stayed in the 50s and 60s. Fall and spring in the West aren’t as fragrant and lovely as they are on the East Coast, where things are more verdant and fast-paced. Most of the trees turn yellow here, but every once in a while, there’s a tree that goes orange or red. Last month, I was a foodie for fall, and I took pictures of any tree that reminded me that fall in Denver was still worth having. You know me, always capturing the small moments.