Nancy and I are excited that Anne Weisgerber will be joining us at our upcoming flash fiction retreat in Breckenridge in August and for Create in Costa Rica in 2019. I invited Anne to share a little bit about herself and her writing…
Kathy: Welcome, Anne! Can you talk a little about how do you make time for your writing when not on retreat? I know you’re a busy person. In what ways do you “retreat” in your day to day life in order to honor your creativity?
Anne: My office is an ongoing battle. If I have company, I use the “laundry basket method” and put everything that’s out in the open that shouldn’t be in laundry baskets and dump those in my office and close the door. Then I wonder 3 days later where the electric bill is and why I can’t get to my desk. But I’m getting better at it. I like my office. It’s dim and peaceful and has nice artwork and all the books I want at my fingertips right within reach and a window that looks over the goat pen. Like most writers who have full-time day jobs, writing happens either early in the morning (sometimes I’ll pick a week and get up at 4:30 am to put time in before my 7am workday begins) or in the evenings. I consider reading and participating in workshops with other writers to be important writing time, too. I’m currently in a workshop that Skypes for 2 hours every Wednesday night, and I have to say I love that. That’s with Richard Thomas, and he’s such a positive force.
Kathy: What is your all-time favorite flash fiction of your own and why is it your favorite?
Anne: Oh gosh. I feel writing is like most artistic endeavors: one’s next story should be the best story. A writer should never rest. The old leaves, the old pages, keep maturing and falling and new buds have to keep flowering. A popular story, which has been reprinted a few times, is “Upfurler.” I’d like to be remembered for it, my 9/11 story. It began in a class with Lisa Reardon, who provided a good prompt: Reverse a law of physics. I knew right away what law I wanted to reverse and why. After Lisa provided feedback, I workshopped it with my regular weekly crew, then went on to really hammer at it with a super-fave editor, Randall Brown. He helped me compress the science section. Randall’s such a gift. He’s amazing. “Upfurler” was originally published in Australia by Matt Potter, in a print anthology called “Pure Slush Five.” It was reprinted in the UK at the 2016 National Flash Fiction Day Flash Flood, and then here in the US at the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. It is a finalist for Best Small Fictions 2016. It’s also one of three stories I have memorized for public readings. My mind never gets tired of climbing through it, like those perimeter steel box columns in what was once an architectural marvel.
Click HERE to read “Upfurler” at the Flash Flood blog.
Kathy: Something we probably don’t know about you…?
Anne: Well, I like to keep it private, but here’s a good one: I had a friend Ray, and he and I hosted a Friday night radio show called “Fashion Blitz.” That was like 1983 or 4. He went by the name Paul Monroe, and I was Wendy Trendy. Hah hah I can Lene Lovich “New Toy” hurtling back from the past!
Kathy: All of this is fascinating, Anne! Thank you. Looking forward to “retreating” with you in August!
Note: Our Breckenridge retreat is sold out, but if you’d like more information about Create in Costa Rica, click HERE!
A.E. Weisgerber is Poetry Out Loud’s 2017 Frost Place Scholar, and a 2014 Kent State University Reynolds Fellow. Her writing appears in SmokeLong Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Heavy Feather Review, Structo UK, and the Zoetrope Cafe Story Machine. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons. [anneweisgerber.com] [@aeweisgerber]