Another author you wish you knew – Ximena Escobar – talks about one of her favorite stories.
I’m really excited about my story “The Making of a Star”, which is included in Black Hare Press’s Twenty Twenty, a 1920s themed anthology (release date 20th Feb). It’s a purely fictional story and not at all personal; the honest product of a smooth creative process. I knew I wanted to write for it because I’ve always loved the 20s and 30s, so I straight away had three different ideas I wanted to explore (all involving creative people as the main characters). One resulted in a story I’ve put in my Ximena folder, the second in “The Making of a Star.” (The third I haven’t written yet!) I wanted to write about an actress in her dressing room, so I did a bit of googling for inspiration and somewhere happened to read that the invention of modern nail polish was an off-shoot of car paint, when the owner of Revlon thought he’d put the amazing colour of a car on women’s nails….this reminded me of a haiku in “Poetica” by Pina Leyland… “Acrylic talons, the colour of Ferrari, ‘Slut Red’ he calls it”. And that was it, simply that the colour of my MC’s nails matched the colour of the car outside. I’d also watched and read about Metropolis and one thing led to another; I knew she’d had to get in the car at some point to justify the opening of the story, but also Pina’s theme is one I often write about. So the story wrote itself, from that point onward. And then a twist which I didn’t see coming… an accident. I do hope I still love it as much when it comes out… I can often over think things but this one flowed so wonderfully and was a joy from start to finish.
You can connect with Ximena here: https://readerlinks.com/l/992634
Another author you wish you knew – Gary Wilbanks – tells about a story he wrote based on a dream.
Gary Wilbanks – My short story, “The Gift,” is out now in Mythic Magazine, Issue #12. The story was based on a dream I had. I don’t know where it came from, but I dreamed of falling in love with a girl who I could not physically touch for fear of killing her. I know that sounds horrible, but the story turned out quite lovely.
Another author you wish you knew: Jim Bates
Can you tell us, Jim, what inspired you to write “The Mesabi Miner”?
My story, The Mesabi Miner, can now be read on Flash Fiction Magazine. It was inspired by a trip to the port city of Duluth on the shore of Lake Superior. The Mesabi Miner is the name of an actual iron ore carrier, one of about 20 such vessels in operation on the great lakes today. It’s fun to watch the huge ore boats come from the lake, in through the shipping channel under the lift bridge, and into Duluth harbor. Watching that feat is what inspired the story.
Here’s the link to it: https://flashfictionmagazine.com/…/02/11/the-mesabi-miner/
Photo Credit: Tom Bates
You can also read more stories by Jim at these links:
Another author you wish you know – Liz Murphy – talks about a story that surprised her.
Liz, out of all the stories that come through you, which one that you’ve written has surprised you most? Why?
Liz: “Goodbye Old Tick Tock.” I wrote it in twenty minutes the night we sold my grandad’s grandfather clock for him. Didn’t realise just the impact it would have and then, when I read it at his funeral a year later, how much it really meant to me.”
Goodbye Old Tick Tock
Another author you wish you knew – Brandy Bonifas – talks about how her poem “Mom’s Last Nerve” was born.
Brandy says: “Mom’s Last Nerve ” came to me in a light bulb moment one morning while trying to coax my son to get ready for school when we were running late. Trying to steer a hyper, imaginative five-year-old in the direction you want–especially when you’re in a hurry–is like trying to nail jello to a tree. I told him he was getting on my last nerve…which he found extremely funny…and he asked, “What’s a last nerve, anyway?” Hmm, how do you explain that to a five year old? That’s when I had my ‘Aha’ moment and realized there’s a story here! As soon as I got him off to school I started jotting down some notes and over the next few days the story nearly wrote itself, much of it coming from personal experience. I tried to appeal to two audiences with this story because, having read a lot of children’s stories to my son, I find that my favorites (especially when I have to read them over and over again) are the ones that not only appeal to a child’s wild imagination but also spark an emotion in the grown up doing the reading. Every parent can relate to that ‘last nerve’ feeling. One of the most valuable and toughest lessons my son has taught me in life is to not take myself so seriously (I’m still learning, by the way). Sometimes you just have to let that last nerve blow out the window and see where the adventure takes you. And no matter how stressed I get, when my son hands me a picture he drew just for me, or a handful of wildflowers, or he finds a ‘treasure’ (a stone, a feather, a plastic necklace) that reminds him of me and he’s so excited to gift it to me, my heart melts into a puddle right on the floor, and I’m reminded what parenthood is really all about. My goal with “Mom’s Last Nerve” was, in part, to tell about a child’s imaginative afternoon adventure with his mom, but its underlying message is also to remind parents of those heart melting moments that make all the stress worthwhile.
You can find “Mom’s Last Nerve” in Portal: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Children’s Anthology 2019