Sara Hills is the author of The Evolution of Birds (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2021), winner of the 2022 Saboteur Award for best short story collection. Her stories have won or placed in the Quiet Man Dave flash nonfiction prize, the Retreat West quarterly prize, National Flash Fiction Day’s micro competition, Bath Flash Fiction Award, and The Welkin Prize. Sara is the judge for the 2023 New Flash Fiction Prize.
On The Wind, It Swirls, Writing Process, and Characters Talking to Each Other: An Interview with Dan Crawley
Valerie Fox speaks with Dan Crawley, author of The Wind, It Swirls, and Blur, about figurative language, seeking connections, and joyful challenges.
Nathan Leslie talks with Valerie Fox about his latest book, Invisible Hand, and shares insights into his writing and editing.
I do not know what verb tense to use when I write about homework help, because it is happening both now and thirty-five years ago.
In Ostia, 1975, you were not yet the explosive teen who became my explosive husband. You were thirteen in tight jeans and a turtleneck sweater.
Start anywhere…The day my father and infant daughter first met on his hospital bed birthday, both grinning, happy babies.
I catch the Skip at the last bus stop on the route, the one right next to the homeless shelter. Usually, I see folks riding from this stop for a few weeks before they move on.
I am visiting my grandfather at the nursing home. All night, I must swallow my rage. I swallow my rage at the nurses who are rude to me, at the broken healthcare system. I swallow my rage at him.
Yellow jackets swarm out of an old tire. Stinging me and my brother on every exposed part of our small bodies. My mother hits them with some Raid.
The earliest ones aren’t yours. You steal them from whoever raised you. Remnants rescued from the garbage: your mother’s perfume bottle, a lipstick worn flat, the paper-towel cardboard you use to trumpet your arrivals.
The last time I had sex with my husband was when I brought an African Violet to his new apartment. Right in the middle we heard the dings of incoming texts; then the doorbell rang.
It’s not that Melodie is strange in some way, really she just wants in the same way that everyone wants something. She’s turned magical in her obsession.
We wonder about the man across the street for a long time. The way he hacks at his bushes with an axe, without rhyme or reason, without any sort of plan.
The night we played twenty-one questions, you asked me to tell you something real about myself then laughed and said, even though you have no heart.
It is a ghost who whispers in my ear at night: it’s not natural to share a bed with the same man for so long.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.
The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.