What inspired your pieces?
This piece came out in flurry using a method from a Kathy Fish class prompt. She shares a technique that involves tapping into words that sing to you and taking a mind-map approach to find a final set. Once I had my ten selected words, they wrote the prose poem for me.
Who is your most influential writer? Who do you always go back to for inspiration?
I’m a butterfly in my reading, flitting about between writers, following scent trails laid out by kind authors of what to read next.
Do you have a favorite line or lines from your accepted pieces for The Ginger Collect?
I’m addicted to last lines, I think they can make or break pieces. But I think my favourite in this piece is ‘Beauty lies’ as it summarises the anxiety of this narrator in two words.
What do you want readers to take away from your piece?
I work with people who have lived through the most terrible traumas. Their worldview is shaped by these experiences, understandably. Above all, our brain seeks to protect us from further harm. I would like people to take a moment to wonder why if a person reacts in a way that seems suspicious, hostile or hard to fathom.
What is your ideal writing environment?
I write in bed, under the duvet, no matter the time of day or weather.
Do you ever create soundtracks for the piece you’re writing?
No, I’m not good at multi-sensory aspects, they feel overwhelming to me. I write in silence. The emotional expeirence I get when writing or reading is visceral, so I listen to my body rather than music in my mind.
Do you keep any snacks around while you write? If so, what’s your favorite?
Ha! I’m terrible for snacking. Chocolate for breakfast on my once a week writing morning. Sometimes it is reheated leftover takeaway pizza. Sometimes I don’t even reheat it. Sorry.
What season do you find you write the most in?
Well I know that Summer is the worst time! With all the children at home for six weeks I can barely open my laptop and the sleep deprivation hits hard. Other than that, I haven’t yet found a pattern over the last two years, but it’s an interesting question to gather data for!
Do you find writing invigorating or exhausting?
For this piece, utterly invigorating as it flowed out from a place just outside my conscious awareness, as if my fingers were writing the words and bypassing my mind. For longer pieces, I find it exhausting and sulk like a toddler at the effort. Once I hit ‘submit’, I float around with energy for a while, before the doubts creep in.
Do you have any future writing plans?
I usually write flash fiction, so this prose poem is the start of trying something new. I have recently written my first essay on writing and my first children’s short story. My plans are vague and all-encompassing, I am excited to see where 2018 takes me.
You can read Stephanie Hutton’s piece in Issue Four of The Ginger Collect: Protection Spell.