“A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.”
Years ago my brother and his wife were visiting from out of town. It was a beautiful late Saturday afternoon and we decided to go to Mass. The church was barely a block away, so my father, my brother and his wife, and I decided to walk. Keep in mind, this is the suburbs and everybody drives everywhere.
We also lived in an old neighborhood where most people let their dogs roam free. So, it was no great surprise that my dog, Tupper, would at least walk with us part of the way to Mass.
As we got to the steps of the church, my father admonished Tupper to sit. And that she did, but not for long.
We went inside and settled into our seats. Greeting the neighbors we knew, we answered where we'd been, what we've been doing. How long my brother would be staying. As we talked, a collective, joyful timbre grew throughout the chapel.
She lie down in all of her purebred glory right in front of the altar.
My father was embarrassed. I was elated. This was MY dog--the one smart enough to rest inside a church; the one smart enough to follow her master, no matter where or what the master was doing. Tupper would live a few more years until she died a natural death. I miss her even until today.
This year, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the University of Georgia gives us 30 Days of the Flannery O'Connor Award. Here is what is happening:
"Throughout the month of March, we will be sharing guest posts by some of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction winners. Be sure to check back every day to see what these authors have to say about the award and other winning collections."
Check it out here: O'Connor Award