Kicking Through the Leaves
Confessions and Memoirs
Where Never Lark
Dreams of Home
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Where Never Lark
--and other stories by Donald Skiff
This is a collection of stories, unrelated to each other except for the way they
insinuated themselves into my consciousness. Fiction is not my native language.
For some reason, each of these stories narrated themselves to me at odd times. I
merely recorded the words, at least in the first drafts.
Each one became a puzzle to me. One appeared to me in
the form of a dream, which I felt obliged to write down the next day, adding
such details as seemed necessary to give it shape. The longest one, “Where
Never Lark,” began as a simpler story of a flight in a home-built aircraft.
When it was “finished,” it kept nagging at me, insisting that it was not
finished at all. The result was a different story than I had thought it to be in
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Where do these stories come from? I don’t know if
other writers experience this or not. Certainly, the usual products of my
writing, personal essays, are more deliberately fashioned, from ideas that occur
to me in my reading or in my musings about day-to-day experiences. I’ve
written four books of such essays, and have seldom felt any mystery involved in
their genesis or development. Many of them are more like journal entries than
analyses or revelations. The stories in this book affected me as I was writing
them, at times profoundly. I’m sure that they are responses to things in my
unconscious mind that, while I may guess where they came from, grew from seed to
flower without my understanding of the process.
I’m willing to accept the conundrum—for now.