“The Annunciation” has shown surprising popularity on Smashwords and its third-party vendors, given the story’s brevity and gritty setting. Or maybe the vignette’s brevity and grittiness is why it’s being downloaded–and the fact that it’s free. Sail on little story!
“The Annunciation” is, as the title suggests, about a moment of revelation. But such monumental awareness does not occur in a vacuum; it follows on the heels of a larger life event, or series of events. That’s what gives the revelation significance–not the understanding but the understanding after the weeks or months or years of experience, of life in all its fullness. And “The Annunciation” only alludes fleetingly to some of these major events in Zach’s life. Most of the experiences and all of the details are left out.
Earlier in this blog, I talked about working outward from a moment of perfection through the relationship surrounding that moment through the whole life experience surrounding that relationship. In some ways, that moment of perfection in Zach’s life, chronicled in a story titled “Whiteout,” is the bookend to this moment of revelation. At the one end of the spectrum, you have Zach totally immersed in an experience to the point that he doesn’t think about what is happening–he’s simply living in that moment. At the other end of the spectrum, the entire experience of “The Annunciation”–from encountering his past classmates in the bar to going home with his brother’s former girlfriend–is couched in memory and reflection, without a present tense or future possibility.
But what happens between these bookends? What gives “Whiteout” exuberance and “The Annunciation” gravity? What set of choices and actions, unions and separations, combine to form answers to the endless questions surrounding these two stories, combine to populate the narrative world from which these brief scenes arise? The first step toward answering those questions is a fictional memoir titled Becca’s Book. It will be published first in serial form on the blog Reading and Recipes (http://readingandrecipes.wordpress.com) starting in August. I’ll send out a reminder once the serialization starts.
In the meantime, check out “The Annunciation” if you haven’t already done so. It can be found here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333949.