My upcoming book of short short stories, Shake Away These Constant Days, originated as a project called Our Band Could Be Your Lit, in which I wrote a story under 1000 words every week. To generate this much content, I based the stories on songs suggested my musicians and writers from around the world. The original idea was 100 songs, 100 stories: find the creative common ground between two mediums and cultivating the virtue found therein.
Until September 25th, I'll be doing a blog post a day about the stories in the book. After that, it's all up to you.
Exclusive to SATCD. Even when excluding failed experiments in Catholicism, faith never did me much good. Even this book wasn’t supposed to be a book, wasn’t something I really believed in until I saw it happen.
I had never written anything like “Bloodlines” before—an oblique story of addiction told backwards in three parts—and upon finishing it I really thought it would make a difference in what I was hoping would be a writing career. But nobody wanted it. I’ve had over a dozen rejections on it, almost all form letters.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but at some point it would make sense to maybe retool the story a bit, wonder why it keeps getting rejected. And I never do, which either makes me ostentatious or stupid. Either way, it’s not genius.
As far as stealing goes in this one, I took the spelling of “family” as “fambly” from the name of a Grandaddy album. The use of Lima, Ohio is a reference to the wrestler Al Snow’s billed-from hometown. Not sure where I got the Secretariat stuff from. My mom’s mom wasn’t named Pearl, but my mom’s mom’s mom was—holla back, Zombie Pearl.
Regardless, I’m proud of this, my one hold-out. I still think it’s a seriously heavy-hitter in my back catalog, even if I’m the only one.
Tomorrow: A story named "Focus" that is based on the song "Hyperballad" by Bjork. Suggested by writer Reosenbaum.
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