I suppose the time is approaching for me to admit that I am not, and possibly never will be, a writer of short stories. At the very least, this current effort can no longer compete in that genre. I hold out hope that it might be a novella, but I confess to not knowing the requirements for that genre, and I can’t quite bring myself to find out.
- I posted a piece called “Ordinary Rituals: A Story,” but that was one of those classic cheats–an edited chapter from a novel.
- I finally challenged myself to write a story from scratch. It was to be a story about my grandmother.
- At the end of the month, I was still calling it a story and still writing.
October and half of November:
- The blog was silent.
November and December:
- I published one blog each month about problems with Chapter Nineteen of what, by that time, I had abandoned all pretense of calling a short story. I managed to make a few smart remarks about my high school boyfriend.
- I continued to write.
- I rescued from the flames of an old website several blogs about the artist Joseph Raffael.
- It crossed my mind that somehow combining photographs of my grandparents at two different stages might, as a cover, suggest a novel about a marriage over time. I spent the entire month and more juxtaposing and printing photographs for every friend and family member I know. I created a great book cover. I was taking a break from writing.
- I had to reorganize and rewrite Chapters Twenty-Seven through Twenty-Nine.
- I have just completed a draft of Chapter Thirty.
I am still writing.
And I did, finally, do a bit of research. I found this:
“A novella is a long short story or a short novel.”
That is the kind of thing that makes me want to start pulling my hair out.
Eventually, in time to save my sanity, I found something more specific:
“A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.”
On the tenth of February 2019 at 8:54 PM Eastern Standard Time, my manuscript is
I leave you to draw your own conclusions.