Flash Fiction February 2020 – “God Bless the Child”


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:

God Bless the Child by Gay Degani. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


Both of these images focus on the bed as a retreat from the chaos of family life.

Image 6 – The bed is in a dark area, clean and clear against the background, representing a separate space for rest and getting away from the confusion and activity outside the bedroom, represented by the other half of the picture, with the same background but with a spattering of colors to represent what is going on outside the bedroom, temporarily at bay.

Image 7 – On a very busy background, representing the active family life, I depicted a clearly defined white shape on the right with white shapes leading up to it, starting small and getting larger as they approach the large one. This progression represents the process of retreating for a rest and finally getting there, but once again, the family life is pressing in and can’t be escaped.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “God Bless the Child”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I like the chosen image best for this story because the single white space – whether bed or bedroom – is more starkly set against the busy visuals of the rest of the piece. It’s a clear delineation between the chaos and the promise of peace, the retreat.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, I did the two images with the idea that one emphasized the separation and one let the chaos in. I find in illustrating a story, there is often two ways to go – illustrate a certain incident in the story, or try to figure out an overall image that fits the theme, say. Not every story works out that way and of course there are usually more “incidents” that could be done vs the theme (s), but it always seems to come down to that I try to go on both these paths to get an image that will fit what the editor needs. Don’t exactly know why!

      1. Laura (PA Pict)

        I grew up as one of eight children and have four sons of my own so I could very much identify with that feeling of seeking some peace and quiet and being constantly interrupted or disturbed by others. Perhaps, therefore, that is why I was more drawn to the image that spoke to the promise of escape and protected solitude.

  2. Fictive Dream

    It took me quite a long time to decide which image to choose. For a while I thought I would settle on image #7 with the chaos of family life just beyond the grandmother’s space but, at the last minute, I changed to image #6. I thought let her have her moment of peace however illusory it may be. I very much like the palette and the size and location of the bed in the composition. Thank you, Claudia.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I wanted to show chaos and order and decided to make images focusing one on each. There were obviously similar elements in each one but arranged differently or in number – one image inspired the other one, in this story, I felt.

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