In This Space, I’ll Tell You About The Board Of Directors

Now that we’re well into the new year, and the holidays are starting to feel like a distant memory, it’s time to check in and do something I should have done weeks ago. Did I forget, or is this a clever marketing ploy? You’ll never find out!

You see, I’ve written posts for my other works, explaining my thought process behind them and what went into their creation, but I never did one for my 2021 holiday gift. First of all, let’s get the shameless self-promotion out of the way. If you’ve read it, great! I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? It’s FREE.

Now that that’s taken care of, here is the origin story “The Board of Directors”.

In the uncertainty and upheaval of 2020, when I was getting back into writing regularly and starting to seriously think about having a go at self-publishing, I was a bit all over the place. I joined writing communities, experimented with form and genre, and submitted my work to a lot of different publications and contests. “The Board of Directors” was born out of this necessary creative chaos.

One of the contests on my submission list was the CBC short story prize. My memory of events surrounding this particular submission is very chicken vs egg because I can’t remember what came first. I either came up with the story idea already and thought this was a good opportunity to get my thoughts on paper, or I decided to submit to the contest and then this story is what came out of my brain storming. I honestly cannot remember. It was a chaotic time in my life.

That chaos, and the uncertainty in the world around me is part of what influenced the subject matter of the story. “This space” was born out of a hatred for the corporations who have been unfairly (and unethically) profiting off of the pandemic, as well as my fears and anxieties about climate change. I’ve noticed that this particular theme creeps into my writing from time to time. In fact, a lot of what I wrote in 2020 dealt with climate change and the destruction of the Earth.

One of those stories was “The Plastic Man”, a story that appears in Please Rate Your Satisfaction. My thought process behind that story was to tell a cautionary tale about the overuse of plastic in a style similar to Dr. Seuss. Not too long after, I wrote “The Board of Directors.” I had so much fun experimenting with the way I had written “The Plastic Man” that I wanted to carry that over to another project. Now, clearly I didn’t go full Dr. Seuss with “The Board of Directors” – it just didn’t fit with what I was going for – but it certainly influenced my storytelling.

Since one story inspired the other, I almost put both of them in Please Rate Your Satisfaction. For me, the goal of that collection was to have stories where there are no happy endings, where things don’t go right, where the people involved are unsatisfied. “The Board of Directors” fits that theme. However, I eventually decided that I didn’t want to put in a story that would compete with “The Plastic Man” – I wanted that one to stand out on it’s own. So I killed my darlings and locked them away in another folder on my computer.

And in that space, “The Board of Directors” waited.

Until, of course, I decided that I wanted to send the story out into the world anyway. Thus we have our very first holiday gift from me to you. And this is a tradition I intend to keep going. In fact, I have already cut a short story from my third collection that will be the 2022 holiday gift. But more on that at the end of the year.

Until then, I hope you enjoy “The Board of Directors.”

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