Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/9/19

Flash Fiction February 2019 – twenty-eight days of short short stories, an event taking place at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine featuring short stories. My part in the event? I did a small abstract painting as the illustration for each story. I’ll be showing one of them to you each day in February to accompany the story on Fictive Dream.

Today’s story is “Family Gathering”, by Paul Beckman. Check out the illustration, then go to Fictive Dream and read the story.

Here is the image, with the banner:


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and on its own.


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10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/9/19

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I liked doing the picture for this one because the story wove the three groups in and out through the story, but there were three clear separate threads, and figuring out how to portray that was what caught my mind.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    Before I read the story, I looked at your artwork and thought of separate but connected spaces and people – the central blobs – trapped somehow. Having read the story, I can see that my interpretation of the artwork chimes with its theme of forced togetherness creating pressure. Your colourful artwork, however, also suggests the shawl which I thought was a successful motif in the story.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. It’s interesting to me that in this story, the central people are trapped but they also are the middle of the circle, a sort of safe sane place, at least for each other. A place where you can be yourself and look out at the others. But they are also squeezed in, that is for sure. Another example of how there is never just one angle on any one situation, is there? But many times more than one at the same time. (I hope this is making sense, I’m feeling it but maybe not saying it).

      1. Laura (PA Pict)

        I think I understand you, yes. I may have been projecting a lot of my own neuroses about socialising and about family but I was thinking about how the space in this story is almost invaded by other people and becomes a pressurised keg of tensions but, once the people retreat, it becomes a safe haven and an oasis of calm once more. In that way, the home is like an island or like a castle surrounded by a moat. But, as I say, that might be me projecting my own feelings onto the story. I also thought about how both categories of people – the laughers and the complainers – present their own set of social challenges for others. Positivity and jollity can be just as difficult to manage as moaning and grumping.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          Yes, I found this story interesting for just the reason you said-my own dislike of social occasions. I spent time thinking about various possibilities of the mixing of the groups and decided to present the demarcations , because that’s what is the framework for the occasion that everyone is subject to. And then from there it’s up to the individual!

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