I've written a couple of blog posts (here and here) recently about how setting inspires my writing. However, inspiration can come from many places. Sometimes I'm inspired by seeing something odd. For example, I have an avocado tree in my backyard. I also have a lot of squirrels, and they love to take the avocados and hide them, sometimes in places only a squirrel would think were clever. I have a vase of artificial flowers on my front porch, and one day I saw this:
I started to imagine a character who wanted to tell the squirrel that this was a bad hiding place. Soon I had a flash fiction about that person. The story was recently accepted for publication; I'll post when it comes out so you can see what noticing an odd thing turned into.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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