From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, I wrote a good deal of fiction as well as some poetry using the pen name V. Pascoe. Some of it was published, most wasn’t. By the late 1980s, I had received over a hundred rejection letters - to be expected, of course, for any literary effort. I had published only two short stories in wide-circulation magazines (Kansas Quarterly and the SC State Magazine) and three others in a local literary magazine (College of Charleston Miscellany), as well as a few poems – including two in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. The total receipts for all these publications came to about $300.00. This seemed like a meager success after ten years of effort (part time to be sure, but intense and consistent). So I folded my tent (threw away the box of rejections), and moved on to other efforts like travel and travel-journal writing, which were satisfying and done largely for self and friends.
With the advent of blogging and online publishing, it’s no longer necessary to win the lottery from a slush-pile genie, so once again, I’ve decided to put some fictional efforts “out there” – that is to say, here on this blog. The stories are quirky, with subject matter often depicting irrational human activity in the pursuit of science, and are definitely not MFA-style. One collection is entitled Laboratory Notebook. I’ve also done stories of odd chance encounters between strangers, tentatively called Brief Encounters. I try to paint word-pictures, and the stories don’t have much dialogue. Tolstoy was my early, poignant, and persistent model for fiction, followed later by Nabokov, so those influences come out in my style.
I’ll load one or two stories a month, beginning with the shorter stories and those that have already been published. I’ll work up to longer stories, and then maybe serialize a couple of novellas. I hope you enjoy the stories, or are at least surprised and intrigued by them. Before submitting the fiction, though, I’ll post an essay written a few years ago entitled: What’s In a Name? This should explain the pen name and may offer a clue to my literary motivation.