…is the name of today’s story on Fictive Dream.
Throughout the month of February 2021 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2021 at Fictive Dream, an online short-story magazine. For more information about FFF21 and my artwork process, look here.
Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, Rusting in a Back Lot, by Meg Tuite.
And here is the artwork with the banner. Take a look at this image. And then…
Read the story at Fictive Dream.
Rusting in a Back Lot by Meg Tuite is a disturbing story about abduction and abuse. It took me quite a while to settle on an illustration and in the end I decided this one most accurately depicts the dark side of the text. The top left corner engages with the notion of something left to rust; the red and black are suggestive of the unsettling nature of the story. In particular, I see an abstract boot print in the black section. Thank you, Claudia, for another successful illustration.
Thank you. I can see how it would be hard to choose an image for this story. There is a certain kind of darkness that needs to be brought out – it’s different from the darkness of a night sky, say.
Love the Flash Fiction, and your work with it – you have such a grasp of colour juxtaposition that works brilliantly!
Thank you. I feel that this project every year really stretches me. This year, since I created illustrations for Laura to choose from, rather than making them specific to each story, I had a lot of freedom and I really enjoyed creating a range of pieces to fit a range of emotions and themes.
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Another excellent pairing. Another depressing story. Can no one find any light in the world? Or do we only want bad news? (K)
I have come to understand that most stories and fiction tend to the negative, because I guess as humans we are more interested in conflict than harmony, our brains find no interest, nothing to grab on to, in non-conflict. That is something I have read and I can agree with. (Think of gossip, no one is interested in good news as they are bad). And there is the need for a story to have a resolution of conflict, I think – no conflict, little story foddder? And, then I will also say, this world of ours is more bad than good (my personal opinion, only I do not want to argue it with anyone) and so much more scope for story telling. Lastly, bad things need to be revealed and fiction is one way of doing that, I think. Having said this, I think this story is beautifully written and evokes good emotions, empathy, compassion, pity. That maybe a person reading the story will feel it, and use that for the good? I can hope for it, reading this story, that maybe the hope that something might change for the better in another circumstance, another society.
And, last but not least, I think today’s story (2/25) will send you in a new direction and renew your faith (and mine) that the world can be good and that small things matter (the last of which, that is what keeps me going).
I agree about this story…we should not hide from things like this, but be aware and hopefully do something to make things better. But I find lots of things to read that are not totally depressing–life’s complexities are interesting to me, and much of it is neither good nor bad, but a combination of both. It’s probably harder to put those complexities in short fiction when you are trying to get an editor’s attention though.
The jury’s still out for me in the bad world department. I’m a pessimist, so I’m never disappointed in my predictions of how bad things will be, but I’m very often surprised at how good, and how little it takes to change the whole tenor of the day. I think bad is loud and pushy and good is quiet and usually sneaks up on you. But I’m still not sure how it balances out.
I hope to get to the next story this evening, but I’m already hopelessly behind and the day is winding down…
I’ve neglected to mention another factor-that this subject matter may be personally meaningful to the writer and necessary to be expressed.
Also true. Most memoirs are full of trauma. No life is perfect, but I’ve been very lucky to escape the horror that seems to hover over most people’s lives.