The Writing Life,
Annie Dillard wrote,
I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
On the first of each month, a guest writer shares how he or she spends the day.
September 1, 2012: Stacy Bierlein
I met Stacy Bierlein at AWP this year, and on the Sunday following AWP, I went to hear Pam Houston read from Contents May Have Shifted and Stacy, one of Pam’s students, read from her debut collection of stories.
I would describe the 14 stories in A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends (a paperback more tall than wide with French flaps published by Elephant Rock Books) as funny, surprising, and a pleasure to read. And while there’s some silliness to the stories, it’s the lovely kind that occurs between girlfriends about the men in our lives. In fact, Stacy dedicates the book: “For my girlfriends, who never fail to bring wisdom and laughter to the journey.”
Stacy does a particularly good job with endings. Here’s the last paragraph of one of the stories that will not, I don’t think, spoil the story for the reader:
“Cheryl wants this specific moment to be sweet. She wants to remember it ten years from now, just this part, their physical closeness, not her disappointment. When Jack goes, and she eventually starts to love another man, and Baby is a wide-eyed girl full of questions, Cheryl wants to say there was this moment with the three of them, young with bright colors, dreams, eyes closed.”
Check out Stacy’s self-interview at The Nervous Breakdown.
Come back on September 1st to read how Stacy Bierlein spends her days.