A couple of years ago, while my lonely literary novel was still soaking in publishers’ slush piles, I adapted one of its chapters into a short story and submitted it to a cool, experimental literary magazine based in Calgary. (Yes, there’s actually a very fine literary scene in Alberta.)
I called my novel-chapter-posing-as-a-short-story “Pterodactyl Egg” (I still have to spell check “pterodactyl” every time I type it). The title is a pregnancy reference, obviously. I don’t like pregnancy but I love this story. It’s almost completely autobiographical — which means, of course, that I had to tone it down or it would have seemed too far-fetched.
Reality seems so contrived sometimes. Like the time I went to visit my old lady friend in the hospital where she was trying not to die of some ridiculous infection and I found her unraveling a hand-knit sweater — that was way too real.
And no, that’s not my face on the cover of the mag.