Flash Fiction February 2020 – “How to Pack Like Marie Kondo”

I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

How to Pack Like Marie Kondo by Vineetha Mokkil. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


In this story I picked up the colors of the dress and the emptiness of the suitcase and/or the closet, with the ideas of items and a life in transition. There are some intense overtones to the story so I used stronger colors, but I felt the overall motion in the story was perceived as the narrator as going toward something better, so I did not make the image dark but rather one full of motion and color.

Image 10 – In this image I portrayed the suitcase/closet section of the story – the dark rectangle serving as the closet with the restless dress probably next on the list. I wanted to show it fluttering, as the text described, and I depicted its transition symbolizing the narrator’s transition in the color sequence of the rippled lines.

Image 11 – This image focuses on the photo section of the story. I used the colors of the dress from the previous section and used rectangles to represent the photos. They are open at the bottom, and the color fades from top to bottom, signifying the act of wiping the photos out, almost as if the life is drained out of the photos and the memories emptied.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “How to Pack Like Marie Kondo”

  1. Laura Black

    There is so much to like about How To Pack Like Marie Kondo by Vineetha Mokkil and the sense of optimism most of all. I honestly thought I was going to choose image number 10 with its beautiful purple and gold but as time went by I was more drawn to image 11. I loved the idea of those photographs being wiped clean and the narrator moving on with her life. Lovely, Claudia, thank you.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I loved this story as well and its message of hope and handling sadness with strength and beauty. I also love the colors mentioned in the text and that is where I took my inspiration for the pictures.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    I love the chosen image. It really captures that central theme of erasing and refreshing, eradicating the past things that hold us back or stifle us, and creating a blank(er) slate to go forward with.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I liked this story a lot and it was hopeful and powerful – many stories, not just this event but all literature, can focus on sadness, brokenness, things that never get fixed. So working on this story allowed for a more bright palette. I liked the idea of removing the remnants of the past that was expressed in the story, and how it was done, hence this image.

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