This is the shortest story in Measuring Time & Other Stories (out this fall from Wiseblood Books). I wrote the first draft in 2012, when I somehow convinced myself to write a story of one long sentence. It wasn’t until July 2017 when the story–expanded to two sentences–found its home at Split Lip Magazine. (Go ahead and read the story. It’s short!)
There’s an adage that you should be careful what you say around a writer because he or she might incorporate something you say or do into a story. I’ll admit up front that my “writing senses” are always on; I really can’t switch them off. One perk of being an introvert is that I have “cover” for my observing and watching. I have sections in notebooks where I jot down what I’ve overheard and observed. Some of the those notes have been the basis of stories.
Ten years ago, I spent most of my summer drafting and revising three short stories, all of which are a part of Measuring Time & Other Stories. That summer I was also preparing for the arrival of our son, and so those three stories remind me of that season. Today, I’ll share some thoughts on the first of these stories: “Wildlife.”
For the season of Lent, I removed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from my phone. I also didn’t use those platforms on other devices or my computer. I did make an exception for a handful of scheduled posts and tweets related to some lecture and readings I gave.
I chose this particular fast with the hope that I would be more present in whatever I was doing, would be more attentive to those around me. Going into this fast I feared missing out on “important things.” As it turned out, however, my fear was unfounded.