Usually, once I’ve published a piece, I make no more modifications to it. This is a rule I abide by strictly except for those occasions when I choose to break it.
This week I’m posting “Karen and the Dropout,” a story published in 2010 in White Whale Review. Prior to publication, Randi Shapiro, the fiction editor at WWR, emailed me that she thought there was something a little off about the ending, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. I fiercely and in detail defended the choices I had made, and we let it go at that.
About six months later, as I was preparing “Karen and the Dropout” for inclusion in a collection of short stories, I saw that whatever it was Randi had seen and I couldn’t see, it did seem that if I cut the final five words from the story, the ending would be much tighter and significantly less wistful. So that is what I did, and that is the version I have posted to this site. You can go to the WWR site and see the previous version, but I wouldn’t. This one’s better (I emailed Randi after I made the cut, and she agreed).