Observation, consumption, possession: Fun with themes!

During a recent update of the Publications list here, I found myself thinking about recurring themes and patterns I see in my work. I try to suspend these questions when I’m writing—I think the story turns out better if I don’t get all hung up on trying to be deep and meaningful, at least during the first draft. Plus I figure it all probably ties into some funny psychological quirks of mine and, well, if I really wanted to spread my intestines out on the table for the world, I’d write a memoir.

But at the same time, hey, I’m a grad student in literature. Analyzing texts is what I do. So just for kicks, here’s a tongue-in-cheek thematic reorganization of the publications list:

People staring intently at other people

Nude.Bartleby Snopes Magazine, October 2014

Bonnie and Clyde.” Flash Fiction Online, December 2013

“Replay” and “The Fuck Cats Reunion Show.” Fiction365.com (to me 2nd-person narration always implies that there is some hidden 1st-person narrator acting as observer)

Ending.” Journal of Microliterature, October 21, 2012

[a story about someone who’s not a murderer, currently in submissions]

People consuming other people

“Slow.” Apex Magazine 71, April 2015

Plural.” Cosmos Magazine 61, February-March 2015

[a story about two teenagers and the devil, currently making the rounds]

People taking control of other people (or being taken under control)

Relapse.” Bartleby Snopes Magazine, September 2013

“Hypothermia.” Unbroken Journal, February 2015

Patient.” decomP Magazine, January 2014

“Plural” again

[and that devil thing, too]

Plus there’s things like “Words from the Poet Laureate” where the character just showed up and started talking. Maybe that’s another kind of possession, arguably…

And then, of course, there’s stuff that doesn’t fit in any particular category, or at least no category I’ve noticed yet. I’ll write more, don’t worry, we’ll find them.

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