Another of my favorite stories has just been published, this time in After Happy Hour Review, a terrific and fast-growing literary magazine based in Pittsburgh and affiliated with the Hour After Happy Hour writers’ workshop, which I was fortunate enough to participate in over the summer.
The issue was launched with a fantastic reading and party last night, and it looks great, from the front cover to the back.
My story, “One Man in Three Parts,” is a bit of an oddball but has always been a favorite of mine. It involves impalement, the middle finger, sociology, and a priest, Don Guanella, whose name might be familiar to anyone who grew up in the specific geographic area that I did.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look into where this story came from: I wrote it during a period when I was obsessed with The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs triple album, and in particular this song, “Papa Was a Rodeo.” Especially, I was amazed by Stephin Merritt’s daring temporal leap in the last section of the song, which begins, “And now it’s 55 years later / We’ve had the romance of the century.” Early drafts contained lines and phrases in the vein of “Now it’s 55 years later.”
Then I revised and rewrote it many, many times over a period of years, periodically forgetting about it and rediscovering it. I did some last-minute tweaking before passing it on to the AHHR editors, and they were kind enough to take it.