The story takes its title from the Yes classic, “Roundabout,” a song that has stuck with me ever since my freshman year of high school when I bought a cassette of Fragile. In the opening scene, two characters–college freshmen–are having a disagreement over the song. The main character is Timothy Ford, also the protagonist in the story “Wildlife.”
Other than the title work, “Measuring Time,” this is the oldest story in the book, originally drafted when my wife and I lived in Portland, Oregon, in the mid-2000s. During this period, I discovered Ann Beattie, Lorrie Moore, and Louise Erdrich, great writers all, and especially great writers of the humorous. The stories I was drafting incorporated more humor than in my prior stories.
This is the opening piece in my forthcoming Measuring Time & Other Stories (out this fall from Wiseblood Books). Minot, North Dakota, as the title indicates, is important to the narrative, with the ending scene depicting the protagonist, Hannah, arriving in “The Magic City,” as it’s known. (The story was originally titled “To the Magic City.)