And So We Begin
What on earth do I say in my first blog post? I might as well be honest: I have absolutely no idea. I imagine this is a common thought for many people when they sit down and write their first blog post for a new website, and perhaps others are just as honest about not having the first clue to what to say. Or maybe they are more clever than I am and just come up with something pitch perfect, and I’m making a big mistake by admitting otherwise.
Ah, well. So be it. I’m really happy that this site is live. I’m really happy there is a reason for it – my first collection of short stories is forthcoming – and that you’ve stopped by to read this post. Most other things that you might want to know can be found on other pages on this site – who I am, when the book’s coming out, what events and readings are scheduled (and where) – and there isn’t any reason to rehash any of that.
I guess it’s appropriate that my first book will be a collection of short stories. I wrote my first short story for an intro to writing fiction class that I enrolled in during my junior year at Ohio State. This class was taught by the fabulous Mary Tabor, a terrific writer herself, and we had to write one story for that class. We had to read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, which referenced a ton of books that I have never heard of, let alone read. For Mary’s class, I wrote a story about an adult man, on the verge of being a new parent, visiting his incarcerated father. I don’t have a copy of this story (unless it is buried in a box of papers somewhere in my house, which is incredibly possible) and don’t remember much about it.
That was 1998. Now, fourteen years later (whoa!), a book of my stories is coming out. Wow. I mean, I just thought about this as I typed it. Fourteen years, from beginning to … well, the next beginning, I guess. I must be one stubborn dude to have kept at it this for fourteen years. And I must be a little nuts to think – hell, to know – that I have many more stories to tell for the foreseeable future.
Anyway. Like that story, whose title and characters I hardly remember, I had to start somewhere. Same with this. First blog post on this site. How about that? I have no idea what stories are coming next. And I’m really excited to not yet know.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @mpnye
Congrats on your forthcoming book!
I can really relate to this post about your first workshop experience. I’ll never forget the details of mine, either — the basement class room it was held in and the tiny, uncomfortable desks. It really is interesting to look back at those first stories and see how far you’ve come.
Thank you both for reading. In my memory, the workshop room at Ohio State is so massive: large tables, large chairs, large windows. It really was a fantastic place to go to each semester. Though, frankly, I’m glad to have not yet stumbled across that first manuscript: it’s probably a bit, um, rough.
The Phantom Tollbooth is on my bookshelf, by the way.