I have a short story in this week’s The Saturday Paper called ‘The good stuff’.
The story came from my cousin, Manh Dao, who knew someone who did what the Minh character does at the end of the story. An act of madness or desperation that isn’t that unique in the stories that I hear about through my mum and extended family. I wonder how widely these stories are passed around the Viet diaspora because we seem to love sharing them. Perhaps it’s just something people do, passing around trauma stories, so we can know where the edges are.
The only writing I can do these days is redrafting old stories and I started writing this ten years ago in the late, great Olga Lorenzo’s fiction class of the Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT in Melbourne. It used to be 1600 words longer (this published version is about 1000 words). Short stories change every time you go back to them and I’d changed enough over the years to figure out how to finish it finally.
Most of the encouragement I ever got in life for my creative work came from teachers, and I wish I could let Olga know that it was out. I can see her beaming face anyway.