August 18, 2009
Who's Got Short-Shorts?
I've got short-shorts. I've had them for years. They're denim, button fly—I moved into a new apartment in them over a decade ago. For some reason, I can't get rid of certain clothes. I still have the top I wore, too—sheer, gold, from Bebe. I'm strange. I know. But short-short stories—I've had those much longer. My first published collection of shorts was Girls on the Go, which had 69 stories. Oh, wait, maybe my first collection was Bondage on a Budget—there are 69 short stories in that one, too. I have 69 shorts in Down & Dirty. (Yeah. Me and 69. We go way back.) And 45 in Down & Dirty 2. Got a Minute featured a story for each minute of an hour. Frenzy has 60, as well, from 51 different authors.
Why do I like short fiction so much?
Because I have the attention span of a flea.
Maybe. But really—I like to be able to dip in and out of anthologies. To read a book in bites.
There's also such skill involved in being able to tell a story in a limited space. When I was a freshman, I beat out over 300 students for a coveted spot on the radio station. The studio director said my 50-word essay was the only one that didn't begin: "I want to be a deejay because..." Mine was a 50-word murder mystery in which my mother stabbed my father for spinning Neil Diamond discs, and I dedicated my life to playing progressive rock.
The same year, my Ancient Greek history class was given an assignment to describe a character from the Iliad or the Odyssey in 100 words. I wrote a 100-word personal advertisement from Zeus. "Married Greek God seeks wood nymph..." I've said this before, but my piece was read aloud in a room of 500 students by the professor who said, "This is how not to get an A in my class." I got a C-. And dropped out of school for awhile. (Bitter? Me? Never.) I simply went and worked on a newspaper where people appreciated my off-beat style. And I never lost my flair for short-short fiction.
I'm going to be giving away a few copies of my short-short books today. How can you win? Tell me about a quickie you had—the best one, the most memorable, the one that exists only in your mind. You know me. I'm easy. Just remember my rules: over 18, no incest, no bestiality, no kidding!