Spring of this year I stopped work on my second novel – tentative titled “By the Somber Spectra of Microgravity” – to work on a small collection of short stories and flashes for self-publication. The idea was to have something more solid on my resume related to books than to random articles and editing that are there now. Between April and November of 2015, I focused on nothing but short and flash pieces, all centered on the same theme – we will get to that. In the last week of November, I went over what I had and decided there was enough to satisfy me. Naturally those selections will have to be rewritten, some of them fleshed out, but I’m happy to say I am over the first hill. The working title of the collection is currently “Not Accounted For.”
The central theme of “Not Accounted For” is social alienation. It’s a concept that seems to come out of me naturally. If I start aimlessly writing a piece without having a secure direction where it’s going, it almost always ends up being about social alienation. I’m quite comfortable with that, and challenge anyone to name me another short story collection with the same theme; in all seriousness, I would be interested to read it. Although I am very open to talking about my own work, it occurs to me that when (if) people ask about my collection and I say it’s about social alienation, their minds might automatically jump to more text book examples: Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Webber. While their philosophies and studies were influential, and may appear thinly laced through the collection, their points were not my aim. Instead the characters in “Not Accounted For” are estranged from themselves, which makes them see or act differently; it’s an introspective study on sociology, so to speak. In honesty though, anyone who is expecting my work to be anywhere near as intellectual as other social theory work will be vastly disappointed. However, it should be a good read regardless.
Of course, there is still a long way to go, so I cannot say when “Not Accounted For” will be available exactly. We are getting close though.