I am working on a collection of short stories. Wrote six stories a couple years ago. A challenge set out by the Grenada Writers Association. I think it was the month of February. Go. Write. Twelve stories in one month said Cemal? Sherry? My initial thoughts: ‘What the…’ ‘Nothing like setting up for failure’ ‘Why so fucking many? ‘Ok then.’ I finished the month at six not twelve and out of those six, three stuck around along with other story ideas scribbled down in my journal; story ideas converging Canadian and Caribbean worlds, themes of longing, an intense awareness of human loneliness and radical moments of joy and liberation.
The stories were put aside while I finished my novel, Big Island, Small. And today they surfaced. I spent the months of July/August reading short stories. I gobbled up every story written by Anne Enright, I re read Lisa Moore’s ‘Open’; Alice Munro found my greedy eyes on bookshelves upstairs and down in the house we were sitting; Annie Proulx’s ‘Broke Back Mountain’ came to me by audible while painting one hot humid afternoon; Elaine McCluskey’s ‘The Water Melon Social’; Claire Keegan’s Walk the Blue Fields; Edwidge Dantecat ‘Krik Krak’; and Olive Senoir’s, ‘Summer Lightening’. All fueled my determination to keep working on my own collection. I even wrote a publishing company who knows my work and she said send me anything you got! So here I am trying to stay in my seat for the moments I structured to write towards this collection. Long deep breaths and a big thank you Cemal? Sherry? Writers Association of Grenada for that subliminal task of writing twelve stories in a month! Go. Write. Twelve. Six. Three. Maybe you end up with one but at least it got you writing!