You’ve recently retired to the country. Could you tell us more about that experience and what/how your writing has been affected?
A move from a wild city to the sparsely populated country is similar to stepping from a bed of hot coals into a tub filled with ice water. I heard snow fall and understood the concert of insect songs. The effect on my writing became the gift of time; a harmony within myself because I could dispense with the guilt about stealing minutes for my creative soul and allow myself to savor the full experience of writing.
Dark and lonely images. Is this a style you normally explore?
Because I began writing a few months ago, after a thirty year hiatus, I haven’t settled into a style or genre. When an illusive ‘something’ triggers a story idea, I allow it full liberty. This story grew from an invasion of our backyard by two stray dogs. At the time I was home alone and our small dog wanted to challenge their rights to her yard. That night I dreamt about a lonely old woman coping with a pack of stray dogs. I awoke from the dream, rushed to the computer and the story wrote itself.
How long have you been writing and what stories are your favorites?
After college I knew fate meant me to become a famous author; but, fickle-fate delayed this event. My husband became seriously ill and I had to work in the ‘normal’ world to care for our three children. During the seventies, I wrote a weekly one thousand word newspaper column
called ‘Tidbits’. A mélange of gossip, opinions, current events and more opinions. For this venture, I earned nothing, except the gratitude of a tired editor and publisher. Among my favorite stories is a collection by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Every story he wrote, I cherish.
What authors do you return to again and again?
Agatha Christie because she gave birth to Miss Marple. Ann McCaffrey and her Dragon series, in which she created a complete society. Harlan Ellison, Frank Herbert, Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula LeGuin, for their daring dreams.
What do you feel flash stories accomplish that longer stories or poetry cannot?
I think Kurt Vonnegut made the statement, “If it doesn’t move the story forward don’t include it”. Within a flash, every word and the structure of each sentence has to move the story forward. This is their challenge to the writer and their reward for the reader.