I don’t like to discuss my writing for fear of descending into (or, really, revealing) sententiousness. That said, death is too big a topic. But everything’s too big a topic, because nothing’s just itself and unconnected to the world. That’s the conclusion I reach almost every time I try to write. Working on this, I felt something like its protagonist, sorting through ashes, paperwork and geography for a narrative which seemed both obvious and utterly elusive. It went from 35 pages of scattered notes to 18 pages of writing to 10 pages of overly-edited almost-but-not-quite-a-story and then, thanks largely to Adam and Jeffrey’s helpful suggestions, back up to the length and depth it needed. Much of my writing—as far as I understand it, anyway—ends up both enacting and representing this process of coming to terms with the friction between trying to tell a coherent story and trying to be true to the world with its infinite confusions, possibilities, and alternate explanations, everything both right there and out of reach. That’s what the characters in this story are reaching for, through law and duty, family and community and memory: something incomplete, that with luck, might be enough.