A Curious Dream

A Curious Dream - proof-reading ms

16 September 2011 | Comments (0)

These days I’m proof-reading the manuscript of A Curious Dream.  Re-reading these stories is such an odd experience.  While the collection has ten new stories in it, it also contains selected stories from my two previous collections, My Life as a Girl in a Men’s Prison, and Tiny Lies.  I wrote these stories years ago, in fact, between fifteen and twenty-plus years ago, so re-reading them is like visiting a past version of myself.  Disconcerting, discombobulating… both those things.

I like these stories - I wouldn’t think it was worth re-publishing them alongside the newer stories if I didn’t.  And they have a broad range of subject matter as well - from a story told by the wife of a murderer, to a story about a young man who keeps getting his girlfriends pregnant, to a contemporary vampire story.  This is good.  There’s lots of sex, which somehow surprises me - I think sex is one of the things I’ve found it harder to write about as I get older.  Maybe it’s to do with having young kids and suddenly thinking, eww, what if THEY read these stories, which seems much worse than the prospect of being read by my parents.  I used to worry about what my mother would think, but I never worried enough for it to stop me from writing exactly what I wanted to write.  And now, with my own kids as potential future readers - hmm.  Much tougher somehow.

And so on I go, proofing, cringing, laughing, and sighing.  Red pen and post-its and fed-ex.  A totally analogue experience.  There’s a lot of pages here.  Twenty-five years worth of writing short stories.

A Curious Dream:  Collected Works

15 September 2011 | Comments (0)

I have a new book coming out in Canada in October - A Curious Dream:  Collected Works.  This is a selection of previously published short stories alongside a dozen new stories, including two pieces of what I think of as near-memoir and a section on digital stories.

It’s been interesting putting the book together, revisiting my collections Tiny Lies, from 1988, the first book I ever published, and My Life as a Girl in a Men’s Prison, published in 1997.  Both books contain stories that seem like relics from ancient times - cassette tapes! going around to someone’s house because they don’t have a phone! - opening a weird window to my own past history as a writer.  The new stories include a series of linked stories all about the same character.  The collection is big, nearly 500 pages.  I do love the short story as a form, and it’s been great to have this chance to publish new work alongside older stories. 

You can buy the book in Canada from booksellers as well as online.