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Saturday 11th June 2005

I was sad to see that today was the last of Dave Eggers' Short Short stories in the Guardian. I have only come to these quite recently and have been amazed at how much he manages to create every week out of so few words. Obviously what I am doing here has some similarities, but I will happily concede that he is a somewhat more skillful and precise writer than I am. I have intense admiration for the way he creates character and situation so effectively in such small bursts. As a writer this ability to use language so effectively gives me something to aspire to, though I know as with many things I don't have the patience or dedication to get that good. It is comforting to know that there aren't too many writers who leave me this much in awe, so hopefully I can still make a living at this.
Admittedly some of the short short stories are better than others, but none of them leave me disappointed (except this one because it is the last). I think you can read all of them somewhere on the Guardian site - though I couldn't locate them quickly just now, but there is also one of those £1.50 Penguin books out with some of them in. It's part of that 70th anniversary slim editions thing - you'll find them easily in your book shop. I bought it a couple of weeks ago and felt immensely satisfied reading them all in a row and was actually considering buying a scrap book so I could cut out and keep all the ones from now on, then last Saturday I discovered he was finishing and this Saturday is the last one.
So I'll just have to waste my time doing the Sudoku instead. Not surprisingly I am quite obsessed with these, they are very satisfying, a bit like CNPS. A little bit surprisingly I am not very good at them. My girlfriend races through even the hard ones and I get bogged down and make mistakes.
But I am grateful for them as they are a good way to pass a few minutes more of my life away, whilst waiting for my inevitable death and I wouldn't like to get to the pearly gates thinking I had achieved anything worthwhile with my time.
Dave Eggers, if you have googled yourself and are reading this (you vain, but normal man), could you please stop writing your novel and start doing the short short stories again. Please. I don't have the attention span to read a whole book, but can usually get through at least hald a short story before my attention wanders.
But if you can't be bothered then thanks for doing it for a while anyway. It's been quite good.

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