from Measuring Time: “Tomorrow Morning is Never Soon Enough”

Today is the last post of 12 discussing the stories in my forthcoming Measuring Time & Other Stories (out in September from Wiseblood Books). For the past months, I’ve been sharing the composition history of these stories that I’ve worked on and lived with for years. I’ve enjoyed journeying back in time and reflecting on these stories, and I’m excited for readers to enter the fictional worlds I’ve created.

“Tomorrow Morning is Never Soon Enough” is set in one of my favorite places: Big Stone Lake, specifically on the South Dakota side of the lake. Along with “Wildlife,” and “On the Hi-Line,” I drafted this story during the summer of 2009. Kade Mills, the point-of-view character, is camping at a state-park cabin with his high-school friend, Luke Elliston (who appears in “Measuring Time”), and two female college students. All four are college freshmen.

Without divulging much about the story, I can say that this has been the most challenging story for me as a writer, in terms of content. I wrote so many drafts of the story’s pivotal and most-intense scenes. And when I wrote that first draft 10 years ago, I could in no way have anticipated the #MeToo movement.

As with any story, I never set out to “make a point” or to “offer a thesis.” This is not to say, however, that I view my stories as “point-less” or without a theme or themes, but only to say that I don’t write story drafts the way I would write drafts of an argument or an analysis. Rather, a theme emerges within the process of drafting, revising, and editing.

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