Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws, and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia about long-extinct animals and comic books no-one remembers.
Beth Goder’s story “To the Eggplant Cannon” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 21 April 2017. I wrote the first draft of “To the Eggplant Cannon” for a flash fiction contest run by my writing group. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the prompt that sparked this story, but I had just visited Gilroy Gardens, an amusement park that was the inspiration for the setting. (They have people dressed in garlic suits, and a spectacular train that…
Q: What made you start writing?
A: One of the first fictions I wrote was on the back of a church bulletin when I was around ten, because it was more fun that listening to the sermon. So: boredom, first of all.
But though it’s true enough, I’m not content with that answer. Looking back, I can see a motive just as important, if less obvious: the urge to communicate what I felt could not, for whatever reason, be contained in face-to-face conversations.
When you look at fiction in the context of human communication in general—gestures, speech, image-making, writing—you can see right away that it gives you something none of the others give. In conversation, you get an idea of the opinions of another person. With fiction, you get an idea of what it is like to be another person. Fiction communicates experience directly through the process of character-reader identification.
Why should we want this? I don’t know. When we have an interesting idea, we want to share it. When it’s experience, or the qualia of an experience, or the way a bunch of experiences are strung together, why shouldn’t we want to share that too? And all the more sense it makes to crave sharing what it is like to be ourselves—what it’s like for me to be me, or for you to be you.
So I guess I started writing because I wanted that, and fiction was the most practical way of going about it. I suspect that a lot of writers are people who are dissatisfied with their ability to communicate and so turn to a medium that allows revision, demands sustained attention, and can be ignored but not interrupted. I think a person senses all that when they begin writing, and it’s exciting. No one is telling you the rules. It’s just you and the words, and you can take as much time as you need to figure out how to say what you want to say.
Most of his adult life, Gerald Warfield lived in New York City, on the upper west side and in Chelsea. His first job was at the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. He marched in the first Gay Pride Parade in 1970. After leaving music, he supported himself writing how-to books in finance, and textbooks in music; his formal education was in music theory and composition (UNT and Princeton). He’s an old man now and lives in a small Texas town where he’s very out of place. He was accepted into and survived the Odyssey Writers’ Workshop in 2010. That’s where he really learned to write.
Ian Rennie’s story “Angels at the Border” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 14 April 2017. Fiction surrounding the technological singularity has always bothered me, even leaving aside the questions that scientists and futurists raise about whether it will actually happen at all. We have this idea that when some form of global digital consciousness happens it will happen everywhere, for everyone. This misses two fundamental things about humanity. The first is that not everyone…
Q: What work of art has been the most inspiring for you?
A: Eragon by Christopher Paolini springs to mind. I read it when I was little and fell in love, and am still so incredibly impressed by the fact that he wrote it as a teen fresh out of high school. Part of the inspiration is good old jealousy. I joke a lot to my friends about how far behind him I slip with each passing year of age. But more than that, I think the book goes to show that you can never be too young, too new, or too inexperienced to make something great if you’re willing to work hard at it.