• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Anthony Varallo's First Story

In the 46th in a series of posts on 2017 books entered for The Story Prize, Anthony Varallo, author of Everyone Was There (Elixir Press), describes a writing breakthrough, of sorts.I wrote the first story I would ever publish in 1996. I was in my second year at my MFA program, where I was writing sensitive and melancholy short stories about children who felt, well, sensitive and melancholy about a variety of things. Their parents, for example. Their vanishing childhood, for another. Also, winter. Or, more specifically, snow. Snow in winter. The children were always walking around in the snow in winter, feeling sensitive and melancholy. Or they were sitting at the window (it was snowing outside) thinking about the way the past was always alive in the present, which was thoughtful of them, since that was usually the theme of the story. The snow picked up outside the window whenever they did that.Thematic: Sensitive and melancholyDuring this time, I remember going to workshop and not feeling well. I don’t remember what was wrong with me, exactly, probably a headache or the start of a cold, but I do remember that I was having a hard time paying attention to what everyone was talking about. My mind began to wander. And, for reasons that I still don’t understand, I began to imagine a short story where the main character fails to show up for his or her own story. Like a lead actor neglecting to show up for the play. The story goes on—but the main character never appears. A concept that struck me as incredibly clever at the time. I think I even jotted a few notes in my notebook, on the sly: Character doesn’t show up for story. Story continues anyway. Problems, etc. I went home and wrote the story in a single weekend. The story, “Not Stuart,” didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, though: the main character, Phoebe, doesn’t show up for her story (she’s only pretending to be asleep) while her rude and horrible but lovable husband Stuart walks through what would have been Phoebe’s story, complete with embarrassing meta-asides from the writer (me) about how badly the characters are behaving. A concept story within a concept story. Sort of. Even though I’d lost sight of the original concept so soon—how had that happened? The story ended with the meta-writer throwing his hands up in disgust. This story went all wrong! I can’t fault the ending for a lack of honesty.“Not Stuart” was not the story I’d set out to write, but I sent it out anyway on the hunch that it was short enough (five pages) and clear enough and maybe clever enough in places to grab a reader. But some minor miracle, an acceptance letter arrived in my mailbox a few months later, a letter I would later unfold and fold so many times that the crease split in half. My first published story! My first published story in a magazine someone might actually read. Or, more consolingly, my first published story in a magazine very, very few people might actually read.When I look back at “Not Stuart,” I don’t regret publishing it, and I certainly don’t regret writing it. True, I don’t think it’s the best story I’ve ever written, but I don’t think it’s the worst, either. I remember writing it quickly, flush with the concept, certain of how clever it was all going to be. I remember putting words on the screen before I thought about them too much, or before I realized how heavy-handed the concept was. Before my doubts had a chance to get the best of me, too. I would give anything to write like that now.Anyway, I’ve made my peace with “Not Stuart,” my first published story: I included it in my new collection, Everyone Was There, to keep the others company.

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say."
Sharon O'Brien

Random picks

  • An inspirational speech is about change, often for the benefit of others.
  • It is no joke to learn a second language, and then to gain fluency in writing and speaking of that language. Surely, one has to go through the mill to achieve these purposes. Today, I am looking forward to giving you some suggestions on the basis of my own experience in learning English.
  • A key in writing to persuade in any venture is building a good rapport with key contacts. No matter what venture you are embarking upon, whether it be professional, artistic, musical or otherwise it is important to build a basis for a relationship. Negotiations are not very successful between people which no basis was set before hand.
  • In honor of the Copa America final this weekend and the pride celebrations this month, we turn to Alberto Salcedo Ramos’s rollicking “Queens Football,” from our Queer issue of June 2014. The modifier refers to neither borough nor monarch, but to the name of an extraordinary Colombian soccer team, Las Regias, the Queens. With an all-transvestite roster, the team formed in 1992 to raise money for gay AIDS and drug addiction sufferers in Cali. When Ramos...
  • Sometimes there seems to be confusion as to the difference between two different types of nouns, together with a general lack of understanding as to the correct way in which to use them. However, understanding the basics of certain nouns, is not as difficult as at first it may seem, and less so with a little guidance.

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

01
10 hours ago
02
18 hours ago
04
1 day ago

Fast fact about writing

The history of human communication dates back to the earliest era of humanity. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago, and writing about 7,000.