Robin Throne’s 100 word microfiction, “The Lesser One”, will appear in the second issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2020). Robin graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “The Lesser One”?
“The Lesser One” was inspired by Dorothy Bulkeley Treat, a Connecticut woman who continued her father’s clinical practice into the first half of the 18th century. Her father was a royal alchemist along with Connecticut Governor Winthrop and her grandfather, Charles Chauncy, a Harvard president and best known for applying witness corroboration to curb 17th century witch trials. Her father’s story was fictionalized in the YA novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, but it is Dorothy’s story that intrigues me more as she continued to treat villagers with all she had gained from him even within the beliefs of the time about women’s intellect and abilities. See more of my research into Dorothy and her work: click here.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I have always been inspired by the sight, sounds, and movement of water whether a jabbering creek or a rhythmic ocean wave. My neighbor and friend is the Mississippi River and it serves not only as a daily inspiration, but also a constant reminder of life’s seasons, surprises, challenges, and memories. Heraclitus was correct as fortunately, the river changes as much as we do from each challenge and experience. Whenever I veer too far from my regular writing practice, the river quietly (and sometimes brutally) says to come back.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Writing can be a life raft to keep us buoyed even amidst the most challenging of times. It is a balm that can also heal if and when applied correctly. I think it is important to maintain the rituals of a regular writing practice if one is to gain access to the imagination and whatever one calls that inner sacred space from which creativity emerges. We must always protect this space and the time to create regardless of what may be occurring in our external circumstances. Of course, much easier said than done.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
We are inundated daily with other micro forms like sound bytes, evocative headlines, and the like. Thus, we must understand microfiction is not simply a few words to evoke reaction but a brief transaction between the writer and reader that necessitates the reader’s imagination. Due to the brevity and precision used within a bounded word set, the writer is engaging the reader and assumes the reader to be an equal party to the work. When done well, the microfiction may evoke the imagination, emotion, or simply interest of the reader to reveal all that lies unsaid within the microfiction.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
Robin Throne is a recipient of a literary achievement award from the Midwest Writing Center, a fiction chapbook prize from Gambling the Aisle, and a Writer’s Well literary fiction award. Her fiction and poetry have appeared recently in Nymphs, Drabblez, Voice of Eve, and The Ravens Perch, among others. Visit RobinThrone.com. Twitter: @RobinThrone.