Originally published in Willow Springs 75

From the author

Notes on the stories

These pieces are part of an effort, throughout 2014, to do more of my writing by hand. I wrote them in coffee shops and bars—previously I didn’t seem to be able to do this. “Eleven” was a simple exercise in writing a two-sentence-long story; so was “Owl.” The latter story was inspired by a real event—my son was freaked out by something flying around in the barn, and it turned out to be an owl. It didn’t talk to me, though, when I freed it. “Eleven” is a riff on my own childhood OCD, though the actual events of the story are fictional. The Marriage stories are part of a suite of shorts about two awful people who are perfect for each other. These people are responsible for some of the most fun writing I’ve done this year. I adore the poor fuckers.

Notes on Reading

I actually don’t read enough. I’m too impatient. Reading more, or more consistently, is my only New Year’s resolution. I do, however, like to read broadly, rather than deeply; I won’t plough through an entire writer’s oeurve without a great deal of peer pressure. (I’m in a book group for that reason.) I’ll read almost anything when I do read, and often take inspiration from things that aren’t capital-L “literature.” I read a lot of comics in 2014, and some great science fiction. I also re-read Jane Austen. Actually, I think my work this past year lies somewhere inside a triangle formed by those three points.

lennonAbout J. Robert Lennon

J. Robert Lennon is the author of seven novels, including MailmanFamiliar, and Happyland, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

See more at jrobertlennon.com