After graduating from college, one of my writing professors gave me several books to keep me going. There was Gigantic by Marc Nesbitt and American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell, both of which have been great influences. The other was 'Almost No Memory' by Lydia Davis. It's a short story collection that I have cherished. It's both personal and abstract--intimate and observant. It gave me permission to craft a story out of the smallest of moments. It allowed me to forget about length or word count and focus on the weight of each word and the structure of each sentence. It's a book I refer back to often. I'm now getting my master's in fiction writing. I'm grateful for my professor's guidance in such a pivotal moment.