2020 still has a few months to go before we politely send it on its way, but it already feels like its been a decade long. Sometimes. Other times, it feels like ten minutes have gone by and it’s already August. Let’s just say, this has been one of the weirdest years ever.
Weird, scary, tough, frustrating, crazy, sad … all appropriate descriptors for this year – the year that COVID-19 went global. But through it all, there have also been glimpses of beauty and laughter and love. So when I was wondering what to call my most recent book, it took me about thirty seconds to come up with the title, Days Are Beautiful.
Days is a collection of short stories or more accurately, flash fiction. Flash fiction is usually any story that is less than 1,000 words long. The stories in this book, however, are all exactly 100 words long. And there are 100 of them.
The whole thing started with the #100dayproject on Instagram – a 100-day, uh, project. Most of the participants are visual artists, but I happened to catch it on the first day of the challenge, and decided to write something every day. I’d tried #the100dayproject before with drawing or collage projects, but never got past a few days. This time was different.
The consistency of writing a story every day gave some framework to the early days of staying at home. When information was scarce and/or scary, and everything had either come to a stop or completely changed, sitting down to write a quick story became a welcomed part of my routine. And 100 words was the perfect length! It was a quick process while still providing consistency.
Writing a story that’s 100 words long can be challenging. To drop into a story for just 100 words means the scope of the story (micro or macro) has to match the pace and the level of detail. Or something like that.
Sometimes I would give a lot of thought to what I was going to write, but other times I sat down and just started typing, and the story wrote itself. The stories make me emotional when I read them, even now. Some make me laugh, some make me cry. Some make me take a deep breath, close my eyes, and remember that through it all, these days are beautiful in their own weird, lovely way.
I hope that when you read them, you’ll find things you can relate to. Maybe you’ll read something and think yeah, I feel that way, too. Or maybe you’ll laugh or feel sad. Most of all I hope you’ll find them entertaining! Just today, someone told me that the stories gave them a good look at what my life is like. That’s definitely true – but I hope you’ll see some of your life in this book, too.