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1,000 Words of Summer 2023, Part 2
7,000+ words, some excellent short stories, and a new review
Still going strong! 1,000 Words a day is not easy! But we are doing the damn thing!
For The Chicago Review of Books, I wrote about a novel I loved very much, K Patrick’s Mrs. S. Throw this book in your bag for a steamy day at Riis Beach. It’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie meets The Price of Salt, a comp mashup that nearly got cut in edits but I fought for it because, for those of us who have been waiting for a book like that, it’s the perfect description.
This week in reading
Still on my short story kick. This week’s included:
“Lawns” by Mona Simpson, originally published in 1984 in The Iowa Review and encountered by me in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories — the way the dread just builds as this story progresses!
“Julie” by Mariana Enríquez, translated from the original Spanish by Megan McDowell and published in Astra
“The Uncle” and “Documentary Style” by Kathleen Collins, from her collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
“Gender Studies” by Curtis Sittenfeld, published in The New Yorker in 2016
“Maly, Maly, Maly” by Anthony Veasna So, published in The Paris Review in 2021, though I encountered it in his collection Afterparties
“The Rally” by Molly Dektar, published in the Summer 2023 issue of The Yale Review
“Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro, from her collection by the same name
This week in writing
It is freeing to begin each day with a blank page and just write whatever story comes to mind. I’ve been following unknown-to-me characters, pulling in random memories, exploring story ideas I jotted down years ago and never followed through on. I’ve vowed not to go back and read anything until 1,000 Words is over, and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about what I wrote this week. Writing this fast, you just have to channel. I think that’s why I love this time of year so much. It’s when writing feels most magical.
I did take one day this week to write some backstory for the novel. I approached it as a standalone story, but I mainly wanted to explore how two of my characters met, nearly a decade before the events of the novel take place. I just played, had some fun with it.
Expect a wrap-up post next week. Love to you all and happy Pride! 🏳️🌈