Aisha Wiley’s 100 word microfiction, “The Crumb”, will appear in the first issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020). Aisha graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “The Crumb”?
I found a crumb. And I’d been thinking about epigenetics and ancestral memory. The blood remembers everything–this is an old spiritual concept. Now, science is getting there too. We know trauma changes our DNA, and these changes get passed down the family line. So each of us has access to a web of memories–mostly lost to us–still swimming around in our bloodstream. Real memories: ever-present and ready to speak.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Common, everyday items. And the small moments in life. A friend’s raised eyebrow in the middle of a conversation; breath that is held and not released; a siren two streets away. If we pay attention, these are three types of alarm bells. Writing is a way of saying, “Yes, I saw that. I did. It wasn’t missed. And I see you, too.”
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Nature, first. Getting away from the built environment. But a close second is being around other artists: singers, painters, guitar players, carpenters, gardeners, bakers. Anyone who creates. It’s hard to stay stuck when you’re around people who face the same darkness, but still find a way to create.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
You are a real writer. Microfiction is a real form, and you’re a real writer. Someone might need to hear that. Let go of the notion that a “real writer” is a 60,000 word novelist. Nope, drop those air quotes–it’s a new age, and here you are, so just be about it. Don’t worry about definitions and norms because, with time, both change. Just enjoy what you create, first. Worry about form-fitting later, if at all.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I’m wondering what the next mashup literary form will be? I don’t have answers, but I’m scanning for it all the time. What’s the next horizon?
Aisha Wiley lives in the Philadelphia area. She dabbles in short fiction, poetry, and the lyric essay. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Friday Flash Fiction. Non-screen pursuits include bass guitar and mosaic work.