Joel Mowdy is the author of the story collection Floyd Harbor (Catapult, May 2019). He completed an MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, and his nonfiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He splits his time homesteading with his wife and son in the forest in Lithuania, and teaching at Green School in Bali, Indonesia.
In Lithuania, going astray while picking mushrooms is a common experience, with its own word. The same word is used to describe veering from the plot of a story—like my father did when he talked about his time in Vietnam.