Kentucky women aren’t supposed to be barren. It goes against every stereotype, every myth ever propagated. Sylvie Garcia reasoned she had to be some kind of genetic throwback to not be able to get pregnant in Kentucky.
Do you read short stories?
I’ve a whole collection of short stories by Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty and Alice Munro. When Mama was dying I tired of reading her books on how to improve her life, which it seems to me is nearly all that fills the shelves at Christian bookstores, which is where people go to shop for books for people who are dying.
I mean did Mama really need to work on her personality? Improve her financial future? Did she need to know how to pack for heaven?
It may not have been depressing for her but it was all kinds of depressing to me to sit around and read to her books about heaven. It was like reading a book on Tahiti to a person with a ticket there. I couldn’t go with her, so reading about her upcoming destination only frustrated me.
So I took Flannery O’Connor and started reading short stories to Mama.
She busted up laughing.
She likes Flannery’s style.
“You can’t write like that any more,” Mama said.
Not that I could ever write like Flannery, I couldn’t, but what Mama meant is the language Flannery used. She’d be run out of town on rails if she dared to write about folks in this era the way she wrote about them then.
Mark Twain, yep.
Anyway, I read short stories. I like them. I thought I’d try to write some.
Something during a trip through Kentucky clicked with me and I wrote a short story.
I don’t know if it will resonate with anyone but I had a good time writing it.
You can find it here if you are interested. Amazon is the only place you can get it.
Feel free to tell me what you think. Maybe I’ll write more.
Do you have a favorite short story writer?
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Mother of Rain (Mercer Univ. Press). The sequel, Burdy, will be released in 2015.