Smoking With Sarah Herrington

by Ashley Inguanta Read the Story March 24, 2014

Tell me about how this story began. What inspired it?

I wanted a way to explore really strong emotions. I wanted to explore the line between facing a situation and really letting go. It’s about feeling at once powerful and helpless.

This piece embodies such a strong energy of transformation. When Liv transforms into a deer, she lets go of someone she loves. Can you tell me more about this loss and gain?

I needed this piece to be set in nature to plug into the rebirth and destruction of the natural world. Transformation is an everyday magic. And nature is brutal yet beautiful in its examples.

And I guess when Liv realizes she can’t change anything but herself she goes for it, in a big way.

When we lose something we love and transform, where do you think the love lost goes? What do you think happens to it?

To me, everything is energy and can’t be destroyed but can transmutate. I believe when we lose one thing the energy of that transforms into something else.

I struggle with this kind of letting go, which might be why I wanted to explore it here. But I’ve also seen in my life when space is made, something new does come to be. It’s a painful moment, though, when you let go…that moment before your new feet take you on. It was cathartic for me to feel the speed and strength and power that greeted Liv when she moved into her loss.

If you could tell Liv one thing, what would it be?

You don’t always have to run to let go, and you don’t always need a magic creature to tell you it’s time.

About the Author:

Sarah Herrington's work has appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and she is the author of several books including a poetry collection. She lives in NYC but is having an affair with California.

About the Interviewer:

Ashley Inguanta is a Florida-based writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Redivider, PANK, and The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. She is also the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly. In 2010, Ashley’s story “The Heart of America” earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train for their Very Short Fiction Award. She is a former art director of SmokeLong Quarterly and author of three poetry collections: The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books, 2014), and Bomb (Ampersand Books, 2016). In 2019 Ampersand Books will publish her newest collection, The Flower, about how death shapes us.