I’m excited to announce that my story “DEZLON-182-D’s Scrapbook” is available now as part of Harbinger Press’s Flash Fiction Fridays. I don’t want to risk any spoilers, what with this story being newly published, but some other time I’ll have to share about how life sort of imitated art right after I’d completed the rough draft of this one. That very same weekend.
What I can say for now is that the initial idea for this one came back when I decided to try my hand at making a scrapbook of my wedding rather than a traditional photo album. I learned that I’m not a scrapbooker, no sirree. Come to think of it, I should’ve known that already, because I’d tried once before for a study abroad trip. That one I managed to complete. The wedding one remains in progress. While we were newlyweds, my husband encouraged me to focus more on my writing, as he knew it was a lifelong passion of mine. So, I boxed up the scrapbook project, guilt-free, and started looking for a writer’s group to join. And I’m so very grateful he did. It was exactly the push I needed at that time.
My younger son’s class has been studying fantasy stories this month. When I asked him about it yesterday, he thought for a moment and said, “Yeah, they’re stories about things that aren’t real.” I beamed and said, “That’s what I write!” He looked at me with a slightly shocked expression and said, “You write about things that are fake?”
Talk about a loaded question. My mind raced with points I knew didn’t fit this conversation: how technically all fiction by definition is about the non-real, how fiction writers tend to explore kernels of truth by defamiliarizing the mundane, how you’re more likely to see the significance of fakeness if you first understand the genuine counterpart, and how some argue that all writing can be considered metaphor if you dig deep enough.
Instead, I stammered something about using lots of imagination. This seemed to satisfy him, and our conversation moved on. A few minutes later, he suddenly blurted out a couple sentences about a ghost leading me to a dark dungeon. I beamed once more and told him, “You just made up a fantasy story!” He looked away with a shy, pleased smile.