I bought two paintings from the Berkeley artist Barbara Hazard today. I had such trouble deciding, as I love all her paintings, and have loved her art for a gazillion years. (She's the mother of my best friend from college, so I've known her for ages.)
The WOW Women on Writing event at Skyline College yesterday was so inspiring and validating. The poet Kathleen McClung did a wonderful job of organizing the event (flowers! food! 100+ writers from around the Bay Area, including students and former students of hers at Skyline and The Writing Salon). I loved reading my flash fiction and talking about the genre, I loved Aileen Cassinetto's poetry, and the audience was just amazing. The best q&a I've ever participated in. The bookstore had ordered copies of THE MISSING GIRL and also the 100-word story anthology NOTHING SHORT OF and they sold a lot. I signed a lot and got to talk to writers, experienced and new, who liked my work.
Gray and rainy, but a great weekend!
I love the art in the #FlashFebruary series at FICTIVE DREAM. Here the artist Claudia McGill talks about how she decided on the art for my flash "Free Fall," and shows two versions of what she produced. The editor, Laura Black, talks about the version she chose.
Claudia McGill: To me this story was about everything falling apart. Carefully constructed assumptions go to pieces and fall away in this story, just like falling out of the car and the groceries going flying – leaving the narrator figuratively in pieces – in doubt and wondering what is true, questioning things that would not have been questioned before. Something has broken.
I made two pictures along the same lines. Both images have the blue car, the brown/gray grocery bag, and the apples that might now be too bruised. All of these are tumbling off in a cornfield-like setting that’s cheerful and ordinary, like everybody else in the world who hasn’t had things just fall apart, but is still living an ordinary life.
In the first image I focused on the elements mentioned above. I wanted to depict the rest of the world as somewhat oblivious, so I put a sun in the sky, far away.
In this second image, I used the same elements but focused in more on the “cornfield” setting and added to the number of the bruised apples, to reflect the moment of things falling apart and assumptions scattering.
Laura Black’s comments:
I found Free Fall by Jacqueline Doyle disturbing and images of the dusty cornfield and the man’s ginger hair just stayed with me. When I saw the two pieces of artwork you had created I knew straightaway that [the first] image was the right one. It has an uncomfortable heat to it and perfectly represents the environment in which the protagonist is trapped. [The second] image is a fine illustration in itself. However, because it portrays green and rather luxuriant surroundings, I didn’t think it was as a good a fit for the story.