Why do you write flash? What makes it different for you?
I’m mostly a person who can’t get from Point A to Point Z easily. Typically, I barely arrive. I’m easily distracted, I like brevity in all shapes and forms. And I’ll always like the idea of beautiful, miniscule gems wrapped in outlandish packages. There is also the visceral gut-punch, or “I didn’t see THAT coming!!!” that accompanies terrific flash.
What’s your writerly lifejacket: character or plot?
Definitely character. I love to people watch and eavesdrop. I’m fascinated by the machinations of wo/man, our faulty life maneuvers, or over-indulgent egos. I like to place two unlikely people in uncomfortable situations (life raft, elevator, hot-air balloon) and figure them out. Especially in a first draft, having a concrete beginning, middle and end rarely manifest. That always comes later, if ever.
Writing style: Quick and messy or slow and precise?
Quick, super fast, messy as an oil slick, sometimes gooey, or over-indulgent, like eating an entire box of your favorite chocolates, despite knowing how sick you’ll feel afterward. I like to throw up on the page, blurt, get out of “my own way,” or the editorial brain. Keep the pen moving, beyond margins, outside lines. Then here is the caveat: DO NOT SUBMIT THIS DRAFT!!! Let it sit and marinate. Read aloud. And then…re-write about ten more times.
What element or part of your “real life” do you think most influences your writing?
As I’ve been a full-time writer the past ten or so years, probably my friendships with other like-minded people: writers and artists. Then also the structure, the order of my day. It’s vital for me to rise early, caffeinate, write every morning, and every day. My life is not the same if I don’t.
If you could recommend a few flash stories or writers, who/what would it be?
- My Sister Didn’t Die by Len Kuntz at Wigleaf: http://wigleaf.com
- The Girl in Glass by Aimee Parkison at Monkeybicycle: http://monkeybicycle.net/girl-in-glass/
- Once Upon an Echo by Meg Tuite at Spelk: https://spelkfiction.com/2017/12/15/once-upon-an-echo/
- Safe by David Lerner Schwartz at Smokelong Quarterly: http://www.smokelong.com/safe/
What story of yours do you wish got more recognition?
Too Much Oxygen which first published at Literary Orphans: http://www.literaryorphans.org/playdb/much-oxygen-robert-vaughan/ And then was included in RIFT, my compilation book with Kathy Fish.