Flash Fiction February 2020 – “a list of things that are white”

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:

a list of things that are white by Matt Kendrick. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


This oblique story focuses on loss and grief through the repetition of white objects and actions associated with them in a list that lays out the parameters of a distinct life, what it contains and what it does not. I took specific images mentioned in the story to create my illustrations.

Image 59 – This image was inspired by this section: “…a comet’s tail; the sour cream moon I bargain with on a clear night…). I created an enormous moon hanging in the sky with the swirls of the passing comet’s tail behind it. Both of these entities are changeable and ephemeral. The comet is on a journey and spends no time in one place. The moon waxes and wanes, grows and fades.

Image 60 – This image comes from the line “…and in the pages of a photo album yet to be filled…”. The blank white spaces represent all the photos that will not be taken of all the scenes that will not occur, that will not have the chance to be.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “a list of things that are white”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    It was quite an arresting story, wasn’t it? I was really taken by the way the structure was quite stark and sparse while the imagery was rich. I also liked the way the narrative unfolded from the list-making and the full significance of the list-making became clear. That is why I like your second illustration best for this story. It has that stark quality because of the monochrome, the repetition of the shapes are reminiscent of the repetition of the list structure, but the way those shapes echo the blank pages of the album communicates the emotional resonance of the story.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I too found this story almost overwhelming, both from the emotional standpoint and the amount of information that I had for illustrations. Sometimes it is necessary to choose something directly from the story and sometimes the illustration is a summation. In the end, I think I chose one of both categories to do for this story.

  2. Matt Kendrick

    Hi Claudia. Thank you so much for your wonderful artwork to accompany my story. It’s really interesting to read how you go about interpreting each piece of flash fiction. Love both images you’ve created here and all the artwork you’ve provided for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, I am so glad you like them. Your story was moving, beautiful, and very affecting, and full of visual information for illustration. There were many things I think I could have done, and it was hard to decide what I thought would best suit the story. I’m glad you liked what I did. Thank you.

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