Symbols, and their metaphoric underpinnings, play a large part in the stories I write. Getting beneath the surface of words, past the literal, is what makes stories resonate, and as a writer, I think a lot about resonance . . . the resonance of words, the resonance of everyday occurrences as well as those that take hold of our collective consciousness. How do everyday events -- the backdrop to so much that shapes our lives -- drive our narratives? How is the subtle power of narrative shaped by the interplay between the mundane and the unexpected? What compels individuals to act the way they do? Like a jigsaw puzzle, a story invites me to explore possibility. Stories are what we live by. Before the short story (and the novel) in its current form, there was the folk tale and the fairy tale, the legend and the myth. Stories sustain culture. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us reflect. At their best, they reveal some truth about the human condition.