|The Stories: Notes from the author|
THE H FACTOR
... 'The H-factor. Happiness, Jerry. Everybody wants it, everybody talks about it. ‘Oh, as long as you’re happy,’ they say. But when it comes right down to it, nobody gives a shit as long as you’ve got all the stuff.' ...
The original premise was a guy working 'on a grant' -- a make-work project -- who has to deal with a welfare mentality
and a sense of
entitlement minus any work ethic. No muse involved here, only a personal need to expose the poor attitudes and
downright abuse of the system I witnessed first hand on one such project.
... Groping inside her mailbox, Anita squints down the freshly ploughed road to the village centre. Winter, the ultimate negative space, defines everything by absence, by the way it cuts clear edges around the storefronts, trees, parked cars, telephone poles. A man who is not static but hunching into the wind ...
This story began with the title. I’ve studied and worked in design and layout, and welcomed an opportunity to use the visual arts in a story -- I absolutely love it when one discipline crosses over into another. The concept of negative space suggested a winter landscape, a sense of isolation. I put Anita in that cottage without knowing, as I began, what was missing from her life or why she was there. And when it turned out to be a child, I purposely steered clear of the emotional element. I thought that would speak for itself. I believe I know what happened to Martie. I make two allusions to possible suspects, but I purposely leave Anita with no answer.
Last update OCT2014