Further adventures in writing

You may remember my recent post about the week my wife and I spent in a hundred-year-old adobe hacienda in New Mexico last month. We went there mostly as tourists – it’s a beautiful part of the country – as well as parents of a son who was doing his pediatric rotation for medical school at the Scout camp there. But I brought along my laptop just to stay in touch. And while there, I managed to write from start to finish the first draft a short story, which I’ve titled “Diaspora.” This was unexpected but not unwelcome. I’ve since sent the story off to a magazine where I think it has a decent chance at acceptance. (When the day comes for me to host a creative writing workshop for a dozen or so participants, I will hold it at this hacienda. It is perfect: remote and isolated yet up to date and welcoming.)

When I spent a long weekend at our cabin in rural Missouri recently, sitting around the dying campfire watching the embers dance and flare, a new short story idea came to me completely unbidden. It unfolded in my mind the way they sometimes do, and the longer I stayed with it, the more fully it developed. I might have written a first draft there before the fire – my laptop was in the cabin only a few paces away – but I didn’t know all of the needed mythological details that I’ve since begun researching.

The story as I currently conceive it will be called “Afraid of the Dark.” I realize that’s not the most inventive title, but for now it works. It may give you an indication of the nature of the story. Now consider that I was deep in the forest, in the dark, sitting before a dying fire, with only my sleeping dog for a companion. I really wanted to stay with the story, imagining it further, but here was a case of the real world almost literally entering my imagined world. I was growing afraid of the dark, and though the rational me knew there was nothing in that dark, dark forest that I needed to fear, the irrational me decided it was time to crawl under the covers over in the cabin – with the door locked.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts

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