I went out to Long Island last weekend with my friend, Tom. We spent a couple nights in a tick-riddled home in the middle of Southold, where a bulldog next door kept rushing at us with friendly intent. The weather was sunny during the day, and mostly clear at night. We traveled to the local observatory, and I got to see Jupiter through a telescope for the first time. The purpose of our trip was a creative retreat, a respite from the business of lives that otherwise do not pause without intervention.
A couple posts back, I mentioned a dream I wanted to embellish through my weekend trip. It’s turning out to be a collection of short stories about owners of Dandelion Gaming, a fictional hobbies shop where I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Edith, the day-to-day manager, is fulfilling a dream of hers, while Peter, her boyfriend, does bookkeeping and social media, and does his best to support Edith. They’re visited by Piff and Charlese, two ragamuffins from across the street who never have anything to do. The stories follow the shop owners as they deal with remaining relevant within their social circles, their neighborhood, and among each other. And there’s a baby on the way.
I suppose if there’s a prevailing theme in this work, it’s that life is a constant evaluation of interpersonal contracts, and people often forget the terms upon which those contracts are formed. Stores exist to provide desirable goods and services at prices people agree upon. Friends are often made while fulfilling common goals. The point where personal goals and desires meet on terms satisfactory to all parties is when relationships form.
I cranked out about 2000 words during the trip, which was easily more than I’d written for some time, and definitely more than my average 300 – 500 for a day’s work. In the days since the trip, I’ve spent a couple more nights working on that world. Unlike my last work published through FIYAH Magazine, there’s no science fiction here. I’m not sure where this would eventually be published. If I can come up with enough content, maybe this will be my first novel-length work.