Microinterview: Darrell Petska

Darrell Petska’s 94 word microfiction, “Just Fallujah”, will appear in the second issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2020). Darrell graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

Darrell Petska

1. What inspired the story “Just Fallujah”?

That’s the toughest question, always, for me to answer. I sit, I wait, my mind wanders here and there, I see a little trail, I follow it, a clearing opens—there’s my story or poem.

As for “Just Fallujah”, soldiers caught up by war return home as changed persons, some more so, some less—how could they not? The entire family unit must try to cope. Some are unable to. Such stories always catch my eye.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

Small happenings. Great happenings. Or the lack of. People doing their best to live. Children—bless them all. Also the pleasure in paring away artifice to find central meanings.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

Family, above all, keeps me going. But I can’t lay claim to misery and despair when I see so much poverty, suffering and brutality in countries around the globe. I often write with those people in mind.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

Persevere. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to chart your own course. With so many markets available to writers (for instance, Duotrope lists more than 2000 fiction journals and online publications), every writer can identify publications suited to individual styles and subjects.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

Number 4 above pretty much summarizes my approach to writing. Slow, painstaking, often questioning the value of what I write—but compelled to continue.

Like most writers, I appreciate when someone takes the time to comment about my writing.

Darrell Petska’s fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Frontier, Bird’s Thumb, Right Hand Pointing, Story in 100 Words, Boston Literary Magazine and elsewhere. With 30 years on the academic staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 40 years as a father (eight years a grandfather), and longer as a husband, Darrell lives outside Madison, Wisconsin. See his published work at conservancies.wordpress.com.

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