Author Profile: Mary Senter

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I did some writing when I was a teenager, but then life got in the way and I took a 20-year hiatus. At 39, I finally finished my undergrad degree. I’d been taking some local history classes and I had a lot of questions about what happened to the mixed-race offspring of the marriages that were formed during the fur trade, once Americans began settling the Puget Sound region. At the same time, I read an article about a young Native American doctor who was working on the reservation where I live. He was the inspiration for the protagonist of a historical novel I knew I had to write. For the past seven years, I’ve been working on the book and learning craft, but also getting sidetracked by short fiction, memoir, and essay.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I like the challenge of telling a story with brevity and making each word count.

Describe your writing process.

Often my writing is triggered by an unanswerable question, e.g.:

  • “Why did that happen?”
  • “What in the world possessed him to do that?”
  • “What would happen if…?”

I write to find the answers for myself—to reconcile the event in my mind. Other times, I am so frustrated by modern times, I just want to escape and go back in time to, say, the Wild West, or even the 80s. I typically start with a character and then build a rough outline to make sure the plotting will work and go from there. I also love to research. Unearthing historical gems that have been lost to time and bringing them to light is a thrill.

What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?

My daughter mentioned a while back that one of her friends was taking Molly. I know kids experiment with drugs. My friends did. But in my years as a corrections officer, I saw many hundreds of promising young lives destroyed by drug addiction. Drugs are bad. All of them.

What are you working on now?

In addition to revising my novel (the worst part of writing), I’m writing a little bit of everything. Visit me at www.marysenter.com.

 

My BFF Molly

By Mary Senter

She opened her puffy eyes to see light streaming through a dirty aluminum framed window. It took her a minute to figure out where she was. Clothes piled on brown shag carpet. Thrift store furniture. She heard his throaty breathing and remembered. She slowly slid her legs from under the sheet, dangling them over the edge of the bed and carefully contorted her torso until she was on her belly, sliding her body off the edge of the bed until her knees touched the floor. The mattress springs creaked as she removed her weight, but he didn’t stir. His open mouth let out a low growl as he exhaled.  Continue reading

Author Profile: Kieron Walquist

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

Well, I don’t know if I’m a writer—I would say I’m more of a wannabe—but it’s always been my dream to write and tell stories.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I’m such a scatter-brain and procrastinator, so flash fiction is really all I’ve worked on because I’m able to stay with the story—I can see the light at the end of the tunnel much better than, say, a short story. Continue reading

The Blood Moon

By Kieron Walquist

In the black wax of midnight, she floats in the sky. Hungry for blood. Always starving.

We hunt for the moon, our mother. We lure boys and girls into the trees by a siren song too sweet to shake. Upon a stone altar, they die screaming. And under her frosty flame, we dance, naked but bathed in red, howling.

It’s the price we pay. For youth. For beauty. Continue reading

A Toll Road Apart

By Debra S. Levy

It was time to say good-bye. Much as Alison hated leave-takings, this was even worse; a few hours earlier they’d just said hello.

While their boyfriends talked directions and best routes, she and Davina stood in the driveway, silent for the first time all day. That afternoon they’d leaned over Davina’s kitchen table into the minutia of their respective lives, talking, talking.

Their friendship had begun years ago, in college. As roommates, they’d talked and laughed late into the night, telling stories, sharing dreams–the latter, they’d learned, were so jarringly alike as to be spooky. Then two weeks into the semester came the long-distance call; Alison’s mother was dying and she was needed at home. Continue reading

Rainy Night

By Robert Lackey

The litter-clogged drains overflowed onto the sidewalks. My left shoe let in the rain, soaking the shredded newspaper under my foot. I usually put my good sock on that foot when it’s wet out, but last night was mild. I still had my thin sock with the big-ass hole on my left foot.

Shit. Continue reading

Author Profile: Tamara Linden

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I started writing stories almost as soon as I learned to hold a pencil, but I started writing “seriously” about two years ago when I started tutoring for a living. The flexibility of my job allows me to focus a lot more on writing, which we all know takes quite a lot of time and energy.  Continue reading