As some of you may know, I have a collection of short stories coming out with Westland this year. (Probably next month!) I've always been drawn to the format of the short story--perfect little universes where you can go fully macro-mode, zooming in closer and closer to the character. I wrote some of them four years ago, when I was away in the hills, trying to restart my writing.
Cold Feet happened, and work stuff happened, and I had sort of forgotten about them, until I had a bored afternoon, and was going through my "creative writing" folder, and came across my stories again, and they were still... good. At least, I thought so. The writing didn't make me cringe, as old writing sometimes does, the stories still felt fresh and tight, and so I sent them off to an agent friend, who sold it for me, and I wrote a few more--I put ideas on post-its, just a few words to indicate what I thought: "Michael Jackson kid" for example, that turned into a story about a reclusive superstar who died and is told from the point of view of his daughter, or "cat prostitute" about a cat who lived with a prostitute in Bombay, and likes to walk the streets herself. You get the idea.
A few weeks ago, my friend Karan Khosla, who is a super talented musician and in a few bands, asked if I'd like to a spoken word thing at a gig he was playing. The story had to be under three minutes, and he'd accompany me on the guitar. The Good Thing and I chopped one of my 8000 word stories into 800 words--no small task!--and then we put in breathing breaks, so I remembered to catch my breath and read slowly, and I rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed till I knew it almost off by heart. My reading aloud skills have never been great, which kind of sucks if you're a writer, so I was glad of the practice too.
All this to say, I finally uploaded it to YouTube! It's the adaptation of a longer story, but it had to be complete, so I tweaked the middle and the ending. Video off my phone, so it's not AMAZING, but I did put in subtitles so you can "read" along.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.