As 2019 began, I received exciting news: Wiseblood Books, a wonderful small press, will be publishing my first short-story collection, Measuring Time & Other Stories. The publication of this collection in the fall is something I’ve been looking forward to for years. The writing life is a long, slow journey, and this book is proof of that fact.
I read all good books this year. Well, I did start one that I didn’t finish, and you can read about that experience in an earlier post. That wasn’t a good book. But of all the books I finished, all were good. As a result, it was difficult to pick out my ten favorites, but here they are.
Disclaimer: only one of these books was published in 2018. Only 3 of the books that I read this year were published in 2018.
In the month since I finished a draft of a new story, I’ve been working intermittently on the second draft of a different short story. And as is typical of my writing process, I wrote the first draft four years ago. (It’s not uncommon for me to write drafts of stories at least a year apart.)
On Thursday night, I finished the first draft of a short story, and just as 20 years ago when I started writing fiction, I feel a thrill. I printed out a copy, wrote the date on it, and slipped it in my “Short Fiction” file folder that is 3-inches thick with drafts and revisions, pieces in varied stages of development.
Summer is always when my reading drastically spikes, a habit developed long ago in my childhood and also a result of the library summer-reading program. Since my early thirties, I’ve maintained a quasi-routine with my summer reading: a couple of novels, a collected or complete poems by a poet, a couple full-length poetry collections, and a book or two on the craft of writing. In addition, I throw in some nonfiction.