Updated: Dec 5, 2020
My debut short story collection For My Amusement will be coming out sometime in the beginning of 2021 ... because, let's be honest, 2020 has been utter bullshit and I am a tad superstitious. Although I have not set a date yet, its' release is right around the corner and it is about time that I introduce you to this transgressive fiction ensemble of mine.
Years in the Making
I've thrown around the ideas for these short stories in my head for a few years now; it wasn't until about a year ago that I decided to put them to paper. All nine stories are a combination of fiction and true events. I drew a lot of inspiration from some of my own experiences as well as the experiences of those around me at the time.
People unintentionally offer up quite of bit of inspiration for writing ... for better or worse.
Usually both. I have yet to really decipher whether or not most of those experiences were entirely good or bad. They fit more in this gray area made up of palm trees and drugs and addictive toxicity.
Let me introduce you to the three stories that will be available as free teasers a month before the release of the entire book: Coke in the Hotel Lobby, Va Te Faire Foutre, and Nine Minutes.
Coke in the Hotel Lobby
It's in the name.
Coke in the Hotel Lobby follows the story of Nash Cadet about a year after he has given up his comfortable life as a dentist, husband, and suburban socialite.
Call it a midlife crisis but he calls it a sped out existential crisis.
He would rather let his heart implode from his chest than admit defeat and run back to his cardboard cut out life with his paper wife.
Coke in the Hotel Lobby has been inspired by many 'a stories I had been told by similar men that would later inspire the character of Nash. All of these men were stubborn, vindictive, but generally all had the same problem: they did not know what they wanted in the long run but they knew what they wanted in the moment. Too much of anything has the potential of going bad and too much of living in the moment is no different.
Va Te Faire Foutre
In French va te faire foutre literally translates into "kiss my ass" and how fitting this title is for the story.
There once was this French woman who was a ballerina dancer back in her day. Now she is a washed up condescending old woman living in Florida.
Her name, for the sake of anonymity, is Jeanne Blanchet in this short story.
Full disclosure, the woman who inspired this short story was real and I don't think I have disliked anyone more on principle.
Needless to say she put a bad taste in my mouth when she started accusing me of being illiterate, of being unambitious, and treating me as though I was nothing more than some uneducated low class trash.
I had to sit and do lunch with her in her own home while she said all this to me.
She was the mother of the friend of my boyfriend and I had been invited along to this dreadful lunch.
At the time I felt some type of way about being so blatantly disrespected but since then I have found the hilarity in it. I represented and still represent everything that she could never be or be ever again. I would hate me too.
During my several hours of loathing I had time to come up with a backstory for her based off of her own monologue of her life. I even worked the present events into the story that was becoming weaved in my mind.
So was born the short story of Va Te Faire Foutre ... a short story about a washed up French ballerina who has nothing left but herself, only the memories of past glamour, her retirement home apartment in Florida, and the realization that all she had that made her worth a damn had dissipated decades ago and that all of it was in vain.
When I had first came to Florida three and a half years ago someone had told me that the best part about the state was that it rarely rained and even when it did it would only last about nine minutes before it was done raining ... unless of course it was a hurricane. It proved itself to be true for the three months I lived there and I had even lived there during a hurricane, Hurricane Irma.
Eventually I would also take a metaphorical meaning on the whole it only ever raining nine minutes unless it was a hurricane thing. Troubles, whatever they may be, only last up to nine minutes and if they last longer it's probably a hurricane or metaphorically, a big fucking problem.
Nine Minutes is inspired by the literal and metaphorical take that I took on this.
This short story is about a woman, Angelina Abramovich, who had came to Florida for a college education but then shortly after fell into the fast lifestyle that is illicit drugs. She spends her time in and out of halfway houses, only spending a month at each while they are free and plays the faux sober game until they ask her to start paying. She'll leave the halfway house, fall back into hooking, and when she goes too long without money in her hand or a hotel room bed to sleep on she will repeat the process all over again of getting into the next temporary halfway house until it expires.
She takes both a literal and metaphorical take on the nine minutes of rain otherwise it is a hurricane theory. Anything from the sex with the men who pay her, how long it takes to get ahold of her drug dealer, and how long it should take to get out of a bad situation before it turns into a hurricane.
The woman that I had lived with in Florida for a time had inspired the character of Angelina. She was a hooker who preferred to be called an escort because she had a Beverly Hills upbringing and didn't fall off of the good girl train until she pursued her masters degree in college.
She was not the only influence on this story - it was a joke amongst everyone I had known there about the thing known as the halfway house shuffle, where people would stay in a halfway house for month while it was free and play the faux sober game until they asked for pay ... then leave and go on to the next.
For My Amusement is inspired by many people and many events. Even though it is a work of fiction, these stories have been inspired by all too real experiences of several personalities and lives.
For My Amusement is adequately named. I have written these stories for my amusement, to laugh at chaos ... because if we can't find the comedy in even the troubling times then how could we bear to continue on?
To stay up to date on my upcoming debut For My Amusement make sure head over to my Newsletter and subscribe. You'll be the first to find out when I set a release date, when these three stories are available for free, and other announcements on this short story collection.
About the Author
Natalie Nider is the author of her upcoming short story collection
For My Amusement and novella Just Leave It Out and creator of
She has turned her love of Transgressive Fiction and Dirty Realism into a passion.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her family where she can often be found writing or staring into an eggshell wall thinking about it.