So I already shared the link to my latest Story being published by Bread & Beauty. Thing is, that story gestated from a moment in Corsica. I had traveled there with a fellow soldier after my first deployment to Iraq. It was a beautiful island with hot beaches filled with tourists and a green spine filled with jagged mountains. That's when we saw the car stalled out in the middle of the highway.
We pulled over and Helped her to push the car off the road (well, she was an old lady and thus was at the steering wheel, we were the muscles). She had claimed, through some interpreters, that she had been there for a long time and no one had helped her. Helpless this matriarch wasn't, as when we dropped her off, she got out of the car yelling and sending her clan (I assumed) scurrying.
It was a memorable moment for its humanity. Years later, fresh out of the Army, I wrote "Just Smile "(free for a short time, so get the ebook while you can) as a fictional way to include some of this moment, but also to speak about redeployment.
Looking back, I can see my influences (fresh off Hemingway and other kinds of MFA influences of the "focus on the minutia not the SES" et al) and how I was writing something true, but that it was something that was well aware of the role of the veteran and what society expects in terms of trope (and in terms of feedback, how soldiers act when inside, because going to the military is not some action of pure honor done in a vacuum).
The more recent one is also a story that stems from this moment with the old lady we helped. And it is also subject to the same function as "Just Smile", albeit with different values. I was more influenced by Borges. And I also thought that to focus on the individual is something akin to a blindness these days. There was no way to tell a story about the world without zooming out. And to that end, I was able to move out as much as possible, using book reviews and the idea of apocrypha (timely in these days of fake news, though it's always, really, been with us).
I'm not sure if you as a reader see all this, but it is interesting for me to look back and think on where I've come as a writer. Multiple narratives seem to be the best way to tell a tale to me.
What do you think?
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