But a month or so ago, I was fixing to send out a writing sample, and it occurred to me to make it better than a plain PDF—to make it sort of like a little standalone ebook. And then, not just send them out as a sample to whatever lucky person was asking to see my work, but to make them publicly available.
And—so I did.
Below are the first two Single Story Ebooks. Each one has two versions of a single story in it, an early version, and a later, revised, published version, along with a short essay about the writing of the story. I’ll probably have a few more over the next couple of months. They're available on Kindle….
From experience I know that hard travel makes people cranky and prone to make bad decisions, and crankiness and inept decision-making can increase when people are tired and forced into physical if not emotional intimacy. So, writing: imagine a tired and cranky man and woman. Give the woman a legitimate complaint. Make the man unaware/uncaring of her complaint. Stick them in a truck in the middle of the Yukon and see what happens...
The story grew out of a prompt that novelist W.P. Kinsella gave me in a writing workshop many years ago—a title, “Bad Guts.” In developing a story to go with the title I tried to imagine a morally exhausted man who does not want to go to work—and how, when he does finally go to work, everything falls apart. This story contains beer and clowns and heat and chitlins—a extraordinarily odd and volatile combination….