Even though my first book was nonfiction, I actually started out as a novelist. In 2012, I graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts. I was in the process of reworking my first novel when I realized that I needed to step away from the story to clear my head. During what was supposed to be a short break resulted in Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits. Now, I’m getting ready to publish my second photography book, which covers the subject of mannequins.
Just as I was getting ready to start my third book, COVID-19 spread throughout the world and halted my progress. I’ll admit that I felt disappointed, but one of the things I have learned as an artist has been adapting to change. The arts is one of the least stable careers for a variety of reasons and therefore the only way to have longevity is to be able to adapt and transform. As a result of the lockdown, I had to choose a different route for my third book. I have decided to return to my roots, which is fiction.
During my two years as graduate student, I wrote many short stories. After graduation, I put them away because I wanted to focus on my novel. Until recently I never thought a lot about reading short stories or even going back and finishing the ones I wrote in school. However, because I’m so busy, I’m actually developing an appreciation for short stories. It’s much easier to get interested in a story that I can finish in a sitting. Two collections that I really enjoyed were The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis and Roger Caras’ Treasury of Great Cat Stories. Reading these collections inspired me to go back to my short stories.
Even though I miss documentary photography, I feel that I at least have an outlet for my creativity. It’s forcing me to go outside of my comfort zone and learn something new. My hope is that I’ll have my short story collection ready for the spring of 2021. That may seem far away now, but in the world of publishing it’s not very far away at all. I’ll keep you posted!