I posted the last Lazy Allen story in January 2017, the 17th in the series. Even though the closest they ever got to publication was on my little stories site, I’m glad I got them out of my system and stuck them somewhere where people can read them if they want to, and looking back on them today, they mostly pass my personal sniff test. I received barely any feedback on the stories, which I take to mean most of the people who read them didn’t find them all that compelling, but reading some of them again today, I’m proud of the effort.
I don’t think of myself as a writer but some of the ideas for these stories were cluttering up my brain for some time and I really enjoyed trying to form those thoughts into compact little stories. Some of them are very short, shorter than what we think of as short stories. What do you call those, short short stories, or maybe flash fiction? I don’t know. Although they are individual stories, they share characters and all somehow or another revolve around the relationship between two musicians, Lazy and Staashu.
Curiously I read far and away more novels than I do stories. I started by thinking of these slices of Lazy’s life as fragments of a novel rather than as a set of stories but somewhere along the way I became mired down in the muck and they sat around as fragments for quite some time. At a certain point I thought, okay, forget about the big picture for a little while and start focusing on the fragments. Work on the ones you really need to get down and hammer away at them until they’re clean and true.
As soon as I got back to work, it was like a floodgate opened and I was able to write a group of stories dealing with many of the same ideas and characters and treatments as the novel I began working on.
I had not looked at them in months but I ventured over to the site tonight and re-read a few. I’ve been thinking about writing again, so I thought it would be a good idea to go back and spend time with the material I previously created.
The thing is, I’ve been considering taking another crack at writing a novel, and I’ve began making some preliminary notes about the characters and bits of a story. I know this is perhaps crazier even than making paintings. I have no clue how to go about getting anything published even if I manage to complete it. I guess if I find my way through the thing, I could do what I did with the stories and simply float them out there in the blog swamp somewhere, maybe as a serial. 570 people visited my stories site, which seems pretty dismal to me, but then it’s 570 people more than if I kept the stories in my head and never put them down at all.
I don’t think I have the confidence as a writer to send around a manuscript even if I complete one. It seems as if there is a better chance to win a lottery than find a publisher. Besides I really wouldn’t know who to send the thing to. For now, I’m not going to worry about any of that. I think it’s worth trying to get it all down if I can and figure out what to do with the thing later. If I get anywhere with it, I’ll let you know.