Not Quite so Stories had a kind of convoluted and winding origin. At first, I had stories like “Context Driven” that were somewhat normal, but had very weird elements mixed in. I really wasn’t sure what to do with them. They were too weird for the serious journals, but had too much realism for the more fantastic oriented places. It took a while to start finding places where stories like that were welcome. Even then, I wasn’t sure why I was writing them or what I would end up doing in the big picture.
However, then I ran across The Nimrod Flipout by Etgar Keret and Museum of the Weird by Amelia Gray. They were doing similar sorts of things, though they clearly knew more what they were doing. I started seeing all kinds of possibilities. Then I ran across others: Haruki Murakami, Aimee Bender, George Saunders, and so on.
In the midst of intentionally trying to write these kind of stories and see what I could do with them, I thought about Rudyard Kipling’s Just so Stories. I remembered loving the stories in that book as a kid, but I thought its approach tried to put magic into the world in a humorously dismissive kind of way. It was still trying to explain the world, jokingly of course…but still. I didn’t want the world explained. I wanted wonder, sometimes hostile or indifferent wonder, but wonder.
The worst thing is to lose one’s sense of wonder at the world. Nothing makes the world quite so cold.
So, I started writing stories as a refutation of that sort of view. I wanted to present a world that was inherently absurd, which is the way life usually seems to me. There is no explaining, no compartmentalizing and reducing other than as an academic exercise. Life is exiting and varied and overwhelming and so much more than we can take. Our humanity comes in where we make our choices in how we cope with that.
Not Quite so Stories is what came out of all that. Hopefully people end up having as much fun reading as I did writing. In any event, I had an immense amount of fun writing.
About the Author
David S. Atkinson is the author of “Not Quite so Stories” (“Literary Wanderlust” 2016), “The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes” (2015 National Indie Excellence Awards finalist in humor), and “Bones Buried in the Dirt” (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist, First Novel <80K). His writing appears in “Bartleby Snopes,” “Grey Sparrow Journal,” “Atticus Review,” and others. His writing website is http://davidsatkinsonwriting.com/ and he spends his non-literary time working as a patent attorney in Denver.
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