I love short stories. It’s 2013 and I’m in luck. Critics – you know, the real ones, of the serious and knowledgeable type – have observed a revival of the genre.
Happy to surf the new big wave, I’ve been looking out for short stories I haven’t read. Half way through ‘The second bakery attack’ by Haruki Murakami my heart skipped a beat. You what! One of the greatest authors in the world and I both get itchy ears when we are nervous? This is completely and utterly magnificent! A discovery of momentous significance! Me and him have sooo much in common! The realisation that I’m not alone in needing to scratch my ears when experiencing a surge in adrenaline is also reassuring from a physical and mental health perspective.
I hear you say: ‘How do you know that Haruki Murakami himself gets itchy ears when nervous? This could have simply been a quirky trait of his fictional character in the short story.’
Oh, COME ON! How would Murakami ever include such detail into his story if he didn’t experience it himself?
Before reading this story – note the ‘before’! I don’t do plagiarism! – I included the same detail in my yet to be finished tween novel. The main character in my book gets itchy ears when scared, or stressed, or nervous. I wouldn’t have been able to conjure up anything this strange if I didn’t have to reach for my ears myself in similar circumstances. So there’s your answer.
But enough itchy ears. The important issue is that I discovered an evident bond between me and Hurakami, and this is sufficient reason for celebration. So cheers to me and a world famous author: two peas in a pod; true soul mates; two of a kind…
Perhaps I should ditch my tween novel and jump on the short stories bandwagon. After all, writing competitions cry out for contemporary authors’ work as long as the reading is over and done with in a few minutes.
Short stories have been around for ever – note the subtle and slick avoidance of exact historical detail – but they appear to lend themselves particularly well to our society: we are impatient; we live in the immediate; if an internet site takes longer than a couple of seconds to download we are on the phone to the information technology ombudsman and take the provider to court.
All this considered, should I really bother to finish my 55 thousand words book?
Only kidding, of course I should. I will finish it, soon. Today, after the two peas in a pod momentous discovery, I am walking on air; I am untouchable! My tween book will be simply magnificent, and Hurakami will get extremely itchy ears just looking at its cover in all Tokyo’s bookstores.
Do you get itchy ears when experiencing strong emotions?
Have you got an author you feel strangely connected to?
As always, drop me a line. I will be delighted to read about your experiences.