by Nick Bogdanich
Offered up for your enjoyment and edification, two short stories that explore the propensity for truth to change depending on perspective. The non-fiction piece that follows invites the world and everyone in it to adopt a more positive perspective on the creative process, despite its pitfalls.
“Oblivion’s Fugue” by Mathew Burnside (from Revolution House)
This short story is actually an interconnected cycle of flash fiction. Each paragraph stands alone as a story but the sum total of each paragraph builds to a mosaic of the protagonist’s life. I’ve been reading short story cycles recently and thinking about how the characters and settings in the stories I write have a tendency to bleed over the frame into my next piece. This story—or cycle?—seems to embrace this tendency.
“The Fate Of Fuzz” by Christopher Cassavella (from Bartleby Snopes)
The marriage counselor in this story tries to make sense out of a couple’s recent argument that has left the husband uncharacteristically agreeable. Unreliable storytellers give the events of that argument a tinge of magical realism when we learn that a living bird fell out of the clock Mr. H’s wife threw at him. I enjoyed the concept of this piece as a counseling session where we as readers must play the therapist and decide the truth from the sum total of two lies.
“On Writers’ Terror” by Sharon Rawlette (from Brevity)
The unreliability of inspiration makes creative writing more difficult than some of the other crafts your parents probably hoped you would pursue instead. Tired of “writers block” sounding too much like an excuse for laziness? This piece of creative non-fiction will give you the ammunition to argue otherwise.