Peg Alford Pursell
From Dear Silence by Victoria Chang
“When unrelated aunties and uncles came over for dinner parties, I envied the laughing as they Reunite wine, ate steaming fish and tofu. When they left, they took all the words.”
This passage reveals a complexity of emotions. The first sentence suggests the experience of the narrator being an outsider in her own home. Write a flash about a character who is an outsider in a familiar setting. Provide sensory details about the group the character isn’t part of and about their activity.
If you wish to go further, consider Chang’s second sentence. The group the narrator envied also provided her something essential that they took with them, leaving her bereft after they’d gone. Similarly, what would you subtract from your character?
For more, experiment with getting your body into your writing. Go into a different space from where you usually write, observe and take in details of light and shadow, run your feet over the floor, rug, or ground underneath you, breathe in lingering aromas or bring nearby objects to your nose and smell, and so on. Or lay prone on a bed, a couch, a floor to write. Go outside and take time to feel the cold. You might try writing unclothed.
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of A Girl Goes into the Forest (Dzanc 2019), the Northern California Book Award shortlist finalist, and Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, the 2017 Foreword Book of the Year for Literary Fiction. Her work has been published in Joyland Magazine, Scoundrel Time, Waxwing, and others. She is the editor-in-chief of WTAW Press. https://www.pegalfordpursell.com
New flash/hybrid http://thegravityofthething.com/selected-flash-peg-alford-pursell/