During the early months of 2020, I was getting ready to start my third photography book. Sometimes life has a way of sending you on a detour. The pandemic shutdown happened, and all of my plans were put on hold.
Even though I'm an introvert, the extra time that I was spending at home and the lack of interaction with people started to get to me. I knew that I needed to start another writing project so that I could take my mind off what was going on in the world and continue to produce work.
One night my mother suggested that I gather all the short stories I wrote during graduate school and edit them for an anthology. I was skeptical of the idea at first because short story collections aren't big sellers. People generally prefer novels. However, I started considering some of the advantages publishing a short story collection. For one thing, the genre isn't already saturated with competition. Second, it's time consuming and very difficult to get short stories published in literary journals. Most literary magazines don't pay writers for their work, and their readership isn't as large as it was years ago. Finally, people don't read as much today. Therefore, it might be easier to appeal to a broader spectrum of potential readers if they don't have to delve into a 400 page novel to be entertained.
I had a lot of fun revisiting my short stories and writing new ones for this book. In fact, it was therapy for me because I needed something fun to keep my mind focused on something positive and creative. The reason I ended up calling this book The Stories of Our Lives is that all of these stories cover an aspect of life to which I think we can all relate. These stories are about loneliness, the aging process, and overcoming failure.
Since I had such a great experience writing this book, I'm strongly considering creating another collection. Time will only tell.