The Knox Student (TKS): Tell me about your Honors project, as a creative writing major.
Erik Hane (EH): I’m writing stories; the collection is called “People Things.” One of the main driving themes behind all of it is that so much of fiction and so much of what we focus in our lives is actually such a small part of what we’re actually doing during our days.
TKS: What are you working on now, and what are your next steps?
EH: I’m writing a collection of fiction stories. We’re aiming for approximately 200 pages and the point is to write a book, pretty simple. So I’ve spent all of last term and part of the summer and a few weeks into this term just drafting pages, and I’m at 160 right now and will probably get to about 185, I think, is what we’ll end up hitting. And the rest of this term will be editing and searching for an outside examiner, and spring [term] is sort of clean it up and get ready to defend.
TKS: Tell me more about your theme.
EH: Like 99 percent of the things we do in our lives we put no thought into — it’s the routine stuff, the daily stuff, the type of things you try to just get through so you can get on to whatever you find meaningful, so I guess I’m trying to explore those things, the simple things — doing dishes, mowing lawns, the things we never think about.
I’m trying to find something sacred and something worth writing about in each of those things and writing stories that often focus on the characters finding something profound or trying to find something profound and maybe failing in their daily lives … isn’t there something sacred in the routine, shouldn’t there be a reason we spend our time during these things?
TKS: How has working on this project challenged you as a writer?
EH: That’s kind of the basis of it, and that’s morphed a little bit as I’ve gone. I’ve got a few more stories now that have sort of branched off of that and become a bit stranger. I was kind of expecting to be writing only stories that were pretty simple in theme but I think what’s happened is I’ve had to stretch and work with these confines. I’ve ended up with a couple stories that feel pretty — weird is the wrong word — but certainly outlandish, distinct, finding some very strange way to maybe put something we do all the time.