A Year in Stories

As an experiment, I took Ray Bradbury’s advice and decided to write a short story per week. This, of course, quickly fell apart, as it’s hard to write so scheduled, but I reached fifty two stories on the year without any real trouble. I actually wrote several more stories but decided not to post them here. This was an ongoing list for the year of 2013. These may be some of the last short stories I share anywhere.

Short stories are a strange breed. Though I wrote about sixty this year and I truly love writing them, I think I mostly came to the realisation that I’m very bad at writing them. I think when my writing is at its best, there’s a tension between what is and what isn’t actually real. That comes through piling and juxtaposing beliefs, perspectives, and situations. Of the six novels I’ve completed, only one [which I’ll never publish] has a single perspective. Two of the novels have three, another has thirteen, one has twenty six, and another has twenty five, and it’s by stitching these sometimes radically different perspectives against one another that my novels work, and it’s where they reach beyond the words on the page. I can’t seem to do that with short stories, where I tend to rely more on images or peculiarities.

Don’t get me wrong, I quite like my short stories, and I’m very proud of many of these stories. I began this project as a personal challenge, but also in hopes of becoming a much better writer. I completed the challenge and I think these are some of my best stories, but I don’t think I can really see any forward progression in my style or ability. I put asterisks next to the ones I’m particularly proud of, and that actually makes for over half the stories here. I think many of the stories on this list are the best stories I’ve ever written, and I’m glad that they’re published here, but I think they’re more of something I do for fun, rather than because I think I’m going to do something exceptional.

But I think from now on I’ll just keep short stories to myself. If I do try to publish them, I’ll probably only focus on paying markets. One of the biggest frustrations for me has been how my short stories disappear from the world because the publisher has since disappeared. This has happened to my fiction and nonfiction, and I prefer to not see that happen ever again.

What can I say about short stories? They’re a very cool form and there are a great many people who write them so well. I just don’t think I’m one of them.

But, yeah, here is a list of the stories I wrote and published here in 2013. I hope you enjoy some of them:

52. I was born in a world without light* – 19/12/2013

51. Make me as Humans Dream* – 18/12/2013

50. The Forest in the Valley Past the Mountain at the End of the River Below the Moon* – 17/12/2013

49. Long Arms and No Beard – 9/12/2013

48. A New Life* – 8/12/2013

47. The Word for World is Whale* – 7/12/2013

46: I dreamt of homes for all of us* – 27/10/2013

45: Fire Fire Fire – 26/10/2013

44: Dusted Deathly* – 17/10/2013

43: Afterbirth* – 16/10/2013

42: Rift – 14/10/2013

41: Pretty when you Cry – 24/9/2013

40. The gods we build – 31/8/2013

39: My Newest Old Friend – 28/8/2013

38: Obese Dreams – 27/8/2013

37: The Pandrogynous Affair* – 15/8/2013

36: Driving for Witches – 24/6/2013

35: Oh, to be another!* – 22/5/2013

34: Things we never said – 21/5/2013

33: The Mystic* – 20/5/2013

32: My Revolutionary* – 17/5/2013

31: Playcrack the Sky – 16/5/2013

30: Myth of Ancient Love – 15/5/2013

29: The Devil’s Tears – 14/5/2013

28: Dancing Together, Dreaming Alone* – 13/5/2013

27: Eulogy* – 12/5/2013

26: Give me a life, she said* – 11/5/2013

25: Faces* – 10/5/2013

24: A River* – 9/5/2013

23: The Stars Shine but not for you – 8/5/2013

22: She kept the Ocean in a Shell – 7/5/2013

21: In the Time of the Buttmunchers* – 6/5/2013

20: We will Sing & Call you Mother – 5/5/2013

19: The Art of Dying – 4/5/2013

18: Return to me, Ocean* – 3/5/2013

17: Walk, and I’ll follow* – 2/5/2013

16: sic transit mundus* – 1/5/2013

15: All my Heroes are Russian Folksingers* – 29/4/2013

14: I wanted to remember* – 23/4/2013

13: My Body is a Witch* – 20/4/2013

12: There was a cat with a face* – 17/4/2013

11: Old Skin Dust* – 13/4/2013

10: Into the Air – 11/4/2013

9: Howl – 8/4/2013

8: we built a city and called it light – 4/4/2013

7: Blackhole Boy – 17/2/2013

6: Don’t – 10/2/2013

5: Our Future in Your Name – 3/2/2013

4: Dear Edward – 25/1/2013

3: A Haunting* – 20/1/2013

2: Affection – 13/1/2013

1:  Renaissance* – 6/1/2013

* denotes favorites

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