Earlier today, I finished a new short story I’d been working on for a couple of months, “The Trousers Had Opinions of Their Own.” This was one of those peculiar stories that came to me out of nowhere. Or not: if you’ve read my novel An Ideal for Living (it’s okay if you haven’t; neither have most other people), you’ll recognize some of the tropes. In any event, I’m very happy with it, at least in the sense that as a first draft, it isn’t terrible. Once I’ve polished it, I think it will be very good. Perhaps even one of my better ones. I plan to submit it to a certain publication before I leave for Australia next week (the deadline is 12/31/2017, and I will not be able to work on it while I am away), but fortunately I think the first(ish) draft turned out rather well.

Am I the only author who thinks that the language of writing needs an update? Now that 99.99% of us use computers to write, we don’t really have clear boundaries around drafts any longer. I am not nostalgic about this. The language needs to be updated. That being said, I am not ready to propose an alternative yet. I’m just aware that we need one.

I now have five short stories in circulation, waiting to find good homes:

  • “The Trousers Had Opinions of Their Own”
  • “Darjeeling”
  • “Everybody’s Cleopatra”
  • “These Are the Days of Miracle and Hunger”
  • “Love Is a Poisonous Color”

I was also circulating an excerpt from Inhospitable, but I’m going to stop doing that now that the book is only about 5 months away from publication.

Also: Have I mentioned (the word “announced” sounds a little pretentious) that the next book (of fiction, anyway) will be my fourth collection, and that unless I come up with a title I like better (which I doubt will happen), it’ll be Love Is a Poisonous Color? This just feels right; I’m not sure when I’ll decide I’ve got enough stories for it to stand alone as a book, but that’s the glue that will bind them together. Assuming the world doesn’t end (these days, that’s something we actually do need to take into account), look for that in 2019 or thereabouts.