“Not All Who Wander Are Lost” Published in freeze frame fiction + Behind The Scenes (or Not?)

I’m happy to tell you that my flash fiction story “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” has been published in freeze frame fiction’s Special Volume v2: YA Fiction. My story went live around Sept 16, and you can read it for free on the website for the time being.

I am really excited about this publication as I’m fond of this story, and fff is a terrific publication (and not that easy to get into.)

“I found you wandering along a bridge in the light-as-day Midsummer night. Your white dress and waist-long hair swayed in the breeze, and I couldn’t let you pass till your lips parted with your name. You said it was Therese, but it might as well have been a breath of an ancient language no longer spoken.”

Check out all the fantastic stories in this volume. I think you will enjoy them even if YA is usually not your thing. Here’s the TOC:

fff_v2_ya_toc

Behind the Scenes (or Not?)

I’m pondering whether to share some “behind the scenes” anecdotes or not. Things like “where did the idea come from” etc.

I personally love reading how writers got the spark for their stories, but I’ve also as a reader experienced how too much side material (deleted chapters, over explanation) can spoil the experience and take away some of the magic. That latter is definitely not something I want to do.

What prompted this contemplation is a discovery I made on my phone: I still have the first skeletal notes of what became “Not All Who Wander Are Lost,” from about a year ago. Probably written in the night (or at least in my bed); the very rudimentary first draft.

As a writer, I love seeing first drafts because they are something rarely shared. But perhaps they should remain that way. I bet it’s only us writers who are intrigued by them. Readers want — deserve — the final, finished story.

Birch trees

Those notes also made me think of the inspiration behind this story, and of the small real life things that somehow crept into it or influenced it. Not a magical Midsummer Night encounter, but rather…

  • Finnish Midsummer Night folk magic traditions; the magical feel of light summer nights
  • Finnish nature: birch trees, forests, dirt roads; the summer cabin culture in Finland
  • A friend’s tortoise who died
  • An old grave of rabbit remains in my parents’ garden that my father dug up and relocated so the bones wouldn’t get tossed all over when a digger came to dig up the foundation for a new garage

I think that gives you a good example how you can find bits and pieces of an author’s life in a story, but it might not be the kinds of things you expect. Sparks of inspiration and sources of influence rarely make it into a story as they are so my tip is: don’t read too much into them.

A story speaks for itself.

Do you enjoy tales of inspiration, “behind the scenes” or bonus material — or avoid it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

– Sylvia

P.S. Here’s the song I listened nonstop while writing and revising this story: Lana del Rey – Summertime Sadness.

One thought on ““Not All Who Wander Are Lost” Published in freeze frame fiction + Behind The Scenes (or Not?)

  1. Social media makes it easier than ever for a writer to share their “process” than ever before. Personally, I tend to put up a sentence or two about where I get my ideas before posting a flash piece. Part of it is that sometimes I wonder if the words stand on their own, or if the reader needs a little bit of context to get where I’m going (perhaps a result of a lack of trust in my own amateur skills).

    The rest is just human nature, I think. It’s natural to share what we’re thinking and to try to explain ourselves. Lately, I’ve been toying with putting my short “inspired by” sentences at the end of a short piece rather than beginning. That way the reader would get the chance to develop a raw impression before possibly being biased by my intros.

    I bet novels are a different beast, but I haven’t finished one of those yet.

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