Prick of the Spindle, one of my favorite literary magazines, has been putting their archive back up online after a redesign. Recently I blogged about the journal reposting my essay "No Choice." Now the two fiction pieces they published previously have also come back in the archive.
The first, "Your Superpower," is a whimsical story about speed dating. It is set in San Francisco, as many of my fiction pieces are. Since I've been talking about story inspirations in this blog, I wish I had a good story to tell, but for this piece, I simply imagined what the superficial meetings of speed dating would be like, and the story took on some metaphorical, not quite realist qualities.
The second story, "About My Mother," is one I'm particularly happy to see reappear because it was selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 as one of the best flash fictions of the year. This story has another somewhat boring origin story. I was listening to a radio interview of someone (I forget who) who had a celebrity father. The interviewee said "Everyone always asks about my father." I thought that would be a great starting place for a story, but, since I didn't want to steal it directly, I changed it to mother instead of father. The rest of the piece has nothing to do with the interview.
I've been writing about where stories come from, and it strikes me how often the origins of stories are clear yet mysterious. I remember a line from an interview, but have no idea how it morphed into what it became. The important thing for writers, though, is dig when you see the nugget of a story. You don't know what you'll find or what you'll fashion it 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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