Off to the races…
I just finished reading a short story by Elisabeth Harvor called After We Had Been Married for Seven Years. I liked it a lot. I thought the story moved at a good pace, the point it was going for was delivered but not obvious, the narrator and Dillon were believable (although my generation is probably hard pressed to hear the name “Dillon” and not think 90210.). The reason I really liked it was the writing. I thought it was beautiful. Harvor had a way of stating things without sounding cliche, and painting pictures with making it read or sound boring. I also enjoyed the ending.
(Note: This wasn’t really supposed to be a review of the story, just a few quickies why I enjoyed it.)
It was hard not to read it and not have two things come to mind.
The first was the recently announced winner of the 2010 National Book Award, Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule. I haven’t read it, but from what I understand it was quite a longshot. A relatively unknown writer with a relatively unknown book about the sometimes sketchy and seedy underworld of the track.
The second was a short story I wrote years ago called Morning Promise. About, the track. I wrote it years ago in a creative writing class. I was very happy and proud of it. It has sat in my physical and cyber drawer for years. I recently dusted it off and read what I was once so thrilled about, and winced. I like parts of it, and the overall idea, but it couldn’t be more cliche in certain ways. Ugh. I put it up for critique and work-shopping at Zoetrope and am in the process of taking the suggestions and editing it, but I keep getting sidelined with other stuff. Like trying to write a novel. But it is on my to-do list. In the meantime, the early version is available above to read. Or laugh at.
(Note: If you are a track junkie, get in touch. I have a few questions for you.)
In the meantime, things about the horse track seem to catch my eye.