My Horoscope (Aquarius) in the Los Angeles Times today (April 30, 2015) reads as follows:
"Seize a chance to get in front of people to talk about what you're selling. Whether it's a product, relationship, or idea, you'll be persuasive."
Although I no longer "get in front of people," as I once did in the classroom, and although I am more than a little reluctant to use the word "selling" in regard to my ideas about the short story, I have to admit that I have always hoped to be "persuasive" about the virtues of that underrated literary form. And I have always fancied myself a "seize the day" kind of guy. So!
Tomorrow is the first day of Short Story Month, an informal recognition that began in 2007 by Dan Wickett of Emerging Writers' Network and which still exists informally--made up of a loose congregation of bloggers, writers, and critics with no official, i.e. financial, support, such as the Academy of American Poets' support of National Poetry Month in April since 1996.
If you google Short Story Month 2015, you will find a few publishers, such as Atticus Books, Vintage, and Graywolf, recognizing May as the month of the short story, and you will see that a few sites have set up plans to publish or invite stories for the next thirty-one days.
For several years I have been working on a magnum opus of sorts—a critical history of the form, analyzing the thematic and technical characteristics of those stories that serve as milestones in the genre's development.
This year, in honor of Short Story Month, I plan to post thirty-one brief discussions (one-a-day, if my energy holds out) of those stories that mark important points of the short story's development. I hope to explain why they are important.
I begin tomorrow by looking at the famous "Falcon" story from Boccaccio's Decameron.