“The seed of this one is that we all make choices all the time about how we want to see the world,” she said.
The same story incorporates a quiz that the reader can take.
“That’s the weird story in the book,” Cohen said.
Three other stories are magical realist, a genre that incorporates magical elements with realistic experiences.
“Stupid Humans” is about a deer and a polar bear that fall in love. It examines how the inability to show emotions while communicating through text messages leads to misunderstanding.
“I really wanted to address that (issue),” Cohen said. “Even people who aren’t looking for love … we communicate love through texts.”
A woman turns invisible in another magical-realist story entitled “The Hypothetical Girl.” The disappearing women has a husband who is openly having an affair, while a man she talks with online tells her she isn’t real.
“Nobody in her life is dealing with her,” Cohen said. “She can’t really reach any of the important people in her life.”
Other stories touch on the meaning of beauty and the search for truth.
Cohen’s background in poetry reflects in her writing style, especially in one tale about two characters who share limericks with each other through the Internet and text messaging. A love poem sent by the protagonist is a true poem that Cohen had written.
“That is a real love poem that I wrote. My friends and I had a contest on who could write the most beautiful love poem. And I won,” Cohen said.
“I may write like a fiction writer, but I think like a poet. I care about language in a root way … so that affects how I write.”
The book launches Aug. 6 and will be available in paperback and e-book versions at www.amazon.com and www.freepress.com for $14.95. Cohen will be reading the stories in Plattsburgh and New York City; place and time is to be determined.