Short Stories by Brad Newsham
In 1984, when I was 33, I returned to San Francisco after a trip around the world and rented a tiny studio in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. For the next nine months I did (almost) nothing but write the first draft of "All The Right Places." It was promptly rejected by three publishers, and I supposed that I had failed as a non-fiction writer. I began driving a taxicab, and I also joined a fiction writing workshop led by the novelist Donna Levin. I threw myself into writing short stories -- I wrote one a week for five or six weeks (three are posted below and more will follow as soon as I can get them typed up) -- and when I ran out of ideas I started using chapters from my failed manuscript as fodder for new short stories. People in the group said, "But these sound true! And they're pretty good, too!" I took that as encouragement and brought in the whole manuscript. They pointed out several things I could do to the improve the manuscript, and I did a second draft, and a third, and a fourth, which was finally published in 1989. My brush with fiction was brief.