Sidney Stevens’s 100 word microfiction, “All in a Day’s Work”, will appear in the first issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020). Sidney graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “All in a Day’s Work”?
I’d been thinking about repair people who enter your life briefly to fix urgent problems that you can’t handle. It occurred to me that these “heroes” must occasionally walk into deeply personal situations, encountering people’s darkest secrets. “All in a Day’s Work” is about such a repairman—a plumber—who makes a distressing discovery while on a job.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I seem to be hardwired to tell stories, and I find ideas almost everywhere. They may come from something I’ve read or heard or arise during my morning meditation or while walking in nature. I know an idea has legs when it haunts me until I give it life on the page.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
For me, not writing (creating) can lead to bouts of misery and despair. That’s why I try to maintain a regular writing practice. How do I compel myself to the computer when I’m feeling down? By remembering that the doldrums are temporary—everything passes. Once I begin writing, I’m usually quickly swept up in the creative act, which dissipates my blues.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
“All in a Day’s Work” was my first attempt at microfiction, so I’m no expert. The idea came in a flash and seemed perfectly suited for microfiction, which, like any story, has a beginning, middle and end. Everything’s just abbreviated. I tried to immediately thrust readers into the action and offered just enough details so their imaginations could fill in the rest.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I’m a long-time freelance article and book author, but only began focusing seriously on fiction and creative nonfiction in the last three years. Meaning it’s never too late to learn new tricks.
Sidney Stevens has an MA in journalism from the University of Michigan and lives in Pennsylvania. Most recently, her short story “Necessary Lies” placed as a finalist in the Writer’s Atelier fiction contest. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Newsweek, New Works Review, Sure Woman, and a new anthology called “Nature’s Healing Spirit” from Sowing Creek Press. Find her on Twitter: @SidneyBStevens1.