“Horus” is the first short story I’ve written in at least half a decade. (My focus in recent years has been novel-length fiction.) To get back to short fiction, my motivation was simple: write a story for my wife. My wife is a fan of parrots, so a story about an unemployed writer who lands her dream job, but gets more than she bargained for in the form of an African grey parrot named Horus seemed like a good way to go. “Horus” is almost the most downloaded episode of Not About Lumberjacks. I like to think that’s because the story is good (I, and others, believe it is), but I think so much of the episode’s success was the result of having my wife, Cynthia Griffith, narrate the story. Cynthia’s narration was the highlight of the episode for so many people…so for this episode of Behind the Cut, I interviewed Cynthia about reading the story.
They say truth is stranger than fiction. My reply to that is those who make the claim aren’t reading the right fiction. I understand where they’re coming from, though — sometimes life can get strange. Add to that writers being told to write what they know, and it’s no wonder so much fiction takes reality and skews it a bit to a point a writer can say, “What? That’s just a story,” when accused of writing about things that really happened.
I tend to not pull from my life in the fiction in my life — at least directly. With “Pride of the Red Card,” I wanted to change that. Because the story is based on real-life incidents, I decided to use this episode of Behind the Cut to share what is true and what is not in the story. I also share a preview of the next episode of Not About Lumberjacks, a story about a 40-something-year-old drifter who returns to his hometown after his parents’ death, where he discovers the only thing left to him in their will is a plastic Magic 8 Ball.
I know there are people who like hearing the story behind stories, though — or finding out what the people they listen to or read are up to. So for those people, I’ve made a new show called Behind the Cut.
Behind the Cut is the companion to Not About Lumberjacks, and this is the first episode. I talk about the inspiration that led to writing and recording “Gutterball,” and offer a sneak peek at the next story episode.
I plan to keep episodes of Behind the Cut to 5-10 minutes. If this sounds like your kind of thing and you want to know what inspired me to write “Gutterball” the answer is a click away!
* * *
And a big thanks to Cynthia Griffith for providing the intro voice work! I look forward to working with Cynthia more soon.