Saturday, January 20, 2007


I once wanted to be a great writer

It must be an urge every kid who graduates from college goes thru: try to write the Great American Novel, get it published, and enjoy the fame and fortune that comes afterwards. Okay, I was never quite that naive: I just wanted to make some money to live on for a year or two; but I figured that I was smart enough that my writing would somehow prove to people generations away from me that I was a genius, and children in countless schools would be forced to read my collected works -- just as I had to read in school, decades ago, various authors best forgotten.

A little more than 10 years ago, I put up a few things I had written on my web page. It's been so long since I've updated it that I hesitate to do so now: my web page is an electronic fossil, a snapshot of what the World Wide Web looked like in the first years of the Internet revolution. I looked at the page because I wanted to read, after over ten years, the two poems I had translated, and two of the three short stories I feel might be publishable. (I still need to upload a copy of the third one to my website.)

Such as "Scholfield", a short-short story I wrote a month or two after attending Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, when I felt most inspired to write fiction. And reading it for the first time in many years, I'm not only surprised that it expresses certain ideas or feelings that I've felt in the last six months, it expresses them at least as well as I could do now.

Someone once said that we all have one story in us. I guess this was my one story; it makes all of my contributions to Wikipedia just so many entries in the change log.



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