Now that my work schedule has changed, I’ve started to miss what I have come to call my “short story Saturdays.” This past year I was more busy than usual with writing, trying to keep up with my usual daily writing while adding on the challenge of a part-time masters program for creative writing through distance education. I started to wonder, with so many actual deadlines and two novels I was going back and forth between, how I was going to start writing the short stories I was being challenged to write through my studies.
Usually by Saturday, I was pretty zombie-fied. I had my only morning class of the week, and being used to an evening teaching schedule most of the week, I never seemed to get more than four or five hours of sleep the night before. This proved to my advantage, however, as this state of tiredness meant if I went home, I’d do nothing but zone out on the internet, which I simply did not have time for. Instead, I found my “magic writing spot,” an astronomy museum here in Taipei, and for one of the first times in years I wrote by hand, using glossy notebooks acquired from a Japanese Stationary Store. From those writing times came my first short stories in years, some of which I was able to use as part of my course work.
Even though it seems my short story Saturdays may be on hold until further notice, those glossy notebooks have kept their power, and I now take any opportunity I have when alone in public to start, or if I’m lucky, complete, a story with nothing but pen and paper. I’ve found that some of my best stories and ideas come from this time away from internet and technology.
Top: My mom insisted on seeing me at work in my “writing spot”. Bottom: My writing view.