Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Buzz Word”

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:

Buzz Word by Tracy Fells. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


This story focuses on bees and follows their role in one woman’s life (she is appropriately named Melissa) through childhood, to choosing her life’s work, and how she structures her purpose in life through them. It’s a hopeful story; despite the difficulties bees are having in today’s world, the narrator believes in them and in her role in the bee world. I used colors and images from the story as the basis for my two images.

Image 29 – I used the colors of bees, tending to the warm golds and browns. I created a swarm of abstract bees in flight and the representation of a honeycomb. To me the colors are hopeful and reminiscent of summer and warmth. The bees are depicted going about their everyday life in the sunshine.

Image 30 – For this image I used the mention of lavender in the garden, bee-less in the story, but I have set a few bees in flight off to the side, representing hope. The blue sky fades into a honeycomb as it rises above the scene, representing a future in which the bees will be everywhere again, as the narrator hopes.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Buzz Word”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    Both are gorgeous images but I am definitely more drawn to the golden glow of the first image. I think I would be in any case but I also think it best fits the vibe of the story, that feeling of optimism and the comfort of belief in a hopeful future.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This was one of my favorite stories to illustrate because of the inspiration the bees and their colors gave, and also the flowers and the general theme involving the outdoor. It felt close to my own heart.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I looked up photos of bees to see what their color scheme actually was and then went from there. I also love the hexagonal shapes of their honeycombs and I also think that would be striking in a fabric composition.

  2. Tracy Fells

    Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU, Claudia, for the beautiful artwork for my story. I love both images and feel they compliment each other because they reflect both aspects of the story: sadness and hope. I also enjoyed reading your comments on your illustrations and feel so blessed to have these created for something I wrote. Thank you so much xxx

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      You are very welcome and I really appreciate your comments. More than anything I hope that the authors will like the art and that it portrays the story well. I loved your story and it gave me so much material to work with. Thank you!

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