Flash fiction often captures particularly moments in time. Are there moments you find yourself returning to for inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from images or memories from my past. For example, the genesis for “Static” was a memory of a drive-in on the outskirts of town. It closed down years ago, but I do remember the place being taken over by fields. The image has to provoke a strong emotion. When I thought of that drive-in, I got the feeling of dread – that something bad had happened in that place. That’s why it had been abandoned.
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
Thank you! Why not try reading my piece, “Dada Washington March 2016” in formercactus for a different flavor of my writing?
What do you find to be the hardest about consolidating and writing stories as flash fiction?
Being patient. I keep having to remind myself that no story comes fully birthed. Even a small piece requires revision and adjustments, such as moving around lines and sections to better reveal character and story. Having said that, I do enjoy the constraints of flash fiction. I strangely enjoy cutting down a story as much as possible.
This story was extremely frightening for me as a reader. Was this scary or entertaining to write?
I think I only got frightened when I came up with the character of the father and heard him say his line. Before that I was concentrating on what the image of the abandoned drive-in meant, as well as discovering the story. Sorry (not sorry) if the story gave you nightmares. Yes, I did have one, myself – which usually happens at least once when writing an unsettling story. I take it as a good sign.
Small details really left an impact in this story. I think the detail about the panties will always stick with me. What detail would you want to really highlight for readers?
That detail seems to get a lot of attention! Besides the drive-in with its peeling screen, the detail that really got the story happening for me was when I saw the women floating up into the light. They did not resist. It was my “What If” moment.
You can read Barbara McVeigh’s flash fiction piece, “Static” in Issue Six of The Ginger Collect.