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.
(Read "This Illusion" over at Prime Number Magazine)
Exclusive to SATCD. Big Star really only fired the same few longing-related synapses over and over, so I knew immediately that the story was going to be about a guy and a girl and a disappointment sitting comfortably between them. What I ended up with was a guy dating one of “exactly four-dozen registered female magicians in the United States.”
I remember being obsessed with magic when I was younger. Not real magic—I’m obsessed with that now, though it’s even more fruitless than the other kind—but magic tricks, the kinds done with prop metal rings and slight-of-hand. I had books and learned some tricks and, until I decided I wanted to be a pro wrestler, was convinced I would be a magician someday.
Obviously, this never happened. I knew a magician in high school tangentially. His sister was in my grade. His license plate said MAGICEJ and he was kind of a fucking dork. The ghost was long given up, but that wasn’t very endearing.
I’m sure there’s a bit of GOB Bluth in here somewhere, but mostly it’s just a bunch of stuff I made up. I may have gotten the idea for a “female magician convention” from a porno. If that doesn’t actually exist, someone should make it.
As for the story, I think it was a bit of a turning point in my writing. After years of doing it accidentally, I finally figured out a way to be a little funny while still having that feeling of a big, functionless Midwestern heart somewhere at the center of it all.
Tomorrow: A story named "Where Is Your H?" that is based on the song "Smile & Wave" by Headstones. Suggested by writer Tim Trenkle.
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