I was fortunate to have two spectacular Joyce scholars as teachers when I was in grad school (Michael Patrick Gillespie at Marquette and José Lanters at UWM). If I had a few more lives to lead, one of them would be as a Joycean, but sadly, in this life I just dabble. Raymond Carver is another one of my literary heroes. He’s out of favor now, but reading Carver was illuminating for me. Common people, doing common things, have stories too. I still believe that. The Raymond Carver Review took this article a few years back, which I originally wrote for an international conference on the short story in English held in Lisbon, Portugal. I was so lucky to have the chance to test it out before a sharp audience first and then the fine editorial assistance of the RCR.