Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar’s 100 word microfiction, “Tableau of a Single Woman”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Cassandra graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Tableau of a Single Woman”?
My husband was out of the country for several weeks, and I noticed his absence in many areas, one of which was by the story my recycling bin told: temporarily, at least, I was a single woman. I started thinking about how revealing recycling bins are. When I take my dog for a walk, I often notice what’s in people’s bins, these windows into their lives. Without ever seeing the people who live in a house, I might learn that they have a baby, own a dog, frequently order pizza, and drink a ton of Mountain Dew, for example.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Sometimes I see or hear something that sparks an idea, and then I let that seed grow.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I love to lose myself in a fictional world. No matter how busy I am, I’m always reading a book just for enjoyment. Coffee and pets help, too!
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Keep trying! Microfiction is a short-term commitment, so, if it’s not working, just start over with something else. When ideas come to me, I jot them down in my Notes app. Not all of them are worthy of development, and it’s important to weed those out to make space for the good ones. Also, there are many, many markets for microfiction, so put yourself out there. Don’t be discouraged by rejection, as it’s just part of a writer’s life.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I published my first creative piece in 1996, but my next creative publication didn’t come out until 2021! For many years, despite the fact that I WAS writing, I didn’t send out my creative work, focusing instead on writing research studies and practitioner pieces. This year, I found myself yearning to rediscover my creative voice. I enrolled in an MFA program and haven’t stopped writing–or sending out my work. It’s never too late to become a writer if that’s your dream.
Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar is an associate professor of English at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. A former secondary English teacher in Delaware public schools, she received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a Literacy Specialization from the University of Delaware. While not teaching or writing practitioner and research articles for numerous educational publications, she remains hopeful that she’ll one day publish a novel. Her personal essays, short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Dillydoun Review, Little Old Lady Comedy, The Dribble Drabble Review, Friday Flash Fiction, Dark Drabbles, Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine, and Merlyn’s Pen.