Fiction or non-fiction, we write into the truth. We feel the story and layer the details onto the page. We rework the scraps until they bloom — the quilter, the painter, the metal worker, the writer — we all work in scraps until we have captured the story that speaks our truth. – Charli Mills
When I was a kid most homes had a sewing machine with a pile of old clothes nearby. Any buttons were removed and saved as a precaution against future losses, the cloth cut and used as patches on our torn jeans. The rags might also be turned into braided rugs or become pieces of a quilt. My quilt was a memory keeper, with prints and material still recognizable and recalled from their former incarnations. Surely the quilter was an artist.
Where I come from most people have in a barn or out of doors piles of scraps and spare parts. Wood that has length enough to be called lumber is stacked with blocks to keep it aired and level. Shorter pieces go to the kindling pile. Large rocks are sorted by size and shape, stockpiled until they might become part of a wall, a culvert, fire-pit, or a landscape feature. Scrap metal and machine parts line oil stained shelves. These various building blocks await the artisan that will eventually tap their potential in some project.
An industrious kitchen generated little waste. Watermelon rinds were pickled. The excess pie dough trimmed from the pan edge was rolled out and baked with butter and cinnamon, a snicker-doodle. All manner of leftovers enjoyed a second life as a hash, stew, or casserole by a resourceful and creative culinary artist.
Writing is my art. I am no expert on writing, thank goodness. How crippling expertise would be. No, I am just the kid I used to be, using my father’s tools to cobble wood scraps together to make a fort or a treasure chest. I’m the kid with a box of crayons unafraid to put color on the page; the kid who wasn’t daunted by a needle and thread when Teddy Bear needed clothes or his nose sewn back on; the artist who accepts that the product might not be seamless but that it is satisfying to play with an idea, to play with words and to create something whole from the bits and pieces lying about.
I’ve accumulated messy piles of memories, material for my art. I’ve squirreled away bits of stories partially remembered, stories of people remembered and perhaps partially made up. Places, people, and pasts are wrapped in scraps of memories flickering like dust motes in a shaft of windowed light. I am an artist that eyes these scraps, wondering what assembled shape and texture might be forged. That these scraps of memory and remembered details are my building material as I play with words doesn’t mean my stories aren’t fiction. They are. But maybe fiction is nothing but patchwork truths stitched together, scraps of real and unreal, wishes and wonderings, memories and maybes woven together into a renewed story that resonates as a possibility.
D. Avery’s latest book, After Ever; Little Stories for Grown Children, is a collection of flash and short fiction. Cursed with a compulsion for word play and a growing addiction to writing, D. Avery blogs at Shiftnshake, where she pours flash fiction and shots of poetry for online sampling.
D. Avery is a Rough Writer at Carrot Ranch. She is the author of two books of poems, Chicken Shift and For the Girls.
Big stories come in small packages. Told with the sure-footed brevity of fairy tales, After Ever is a collection of stories that explore dark depths and uncertain endings, flash fiction that often leaves room for interpretation and speculation. These are stories in which the grim tragedies of life befall characters of all ages. There are no happily ever after fairy tale endings, but there are flashes of resilience and hope. The heroes of these short stories are ordinary people who recognize the mystery, beauty, and small wonders contained in their ordinary lives. Sample and savor each story individually or as a banquet of offerings both dark and light, tales of lives tragic and magical.
“An interesting and eclectic collection of short stories and even shorter flash stories, this collection has something for everyone. Whether the situation be mundane or mystical, tragic or cheerful, D. Avery records events matter-of-factly and leaves it to the reader to choose how to respond. After Ever is great for reading in bites or as an entire feast.” Norah Colvin readilearn.com.au
“D. Avery has written a stunning collection of flash fictions that take us from here in Vermont to places far afield and from children to the elderly. These short stories in After Ever, though, all share one common thread, and that is tight, beautiful prose about the human condition, about the moments of our lives that make us weep from sorrow and from love.” Sean Prentiss, author of Finding Abbey
Other books by D. Avery
Click the titles or images to go to Amazon
Poems of life; Crossings & Roadkill; fun, philosophical inquiries into why the chicken crossed the road and the consequences therefrom.
Short witty, multi-layered poems.
Thought and laugh provoking.
Poems in reaction to losing a friend to breast cancer, of having more friends go through it, and having a touch of it myself.
If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…
If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!