Another of the short stories I wrote two decades ago, a time I am nostalgically referring to as my golden age of writing (golden because, at the time, I believed I would figure out how to do it), was “The Penny Box”. It was inspired by the neighborhood in which I lived at the time, and the older generation I saw around me in those small homes. The house itself was inspirational: it was cute and cozy, but it could also feel dated and cramped; so much depends upon attitude.
Like my other stories, I spent months on this fine tuning the words and rhythm. I fretted over the plot and the situation. I dutifully sent it out to magazines and journals. I then added to my collection of rejection letters.
I have written dozens of stories that I never quite figured out, and which, upon reflection, I simply don’t like. This is one of the stories I’ve always enjoyed. Now I wish I’d written more like this, if only for myself. If you don’t like “The Penny Box“, I understand completely. It may seem simple and deep, but it may also seem insipid and pointless; so much depends on attitude.