Kimberly Kaufman’s story “What Have You Done to Be Happy Today?” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 11 August 2017.
I was washing dishes and listening to an NPR piece on a pizza company in Silicon Valley that would soon be using robots to deliver their pizzas when I started to form the ideas that would become this story. Also mentioned in this article – and something that has been up for debate in some countries – is the idea of a basic salary for all. I started to toy with that idea, and whether such a basic salary would be a blessing, or a burden. What would a person feel if they couldn’t work? Would they turn to drugs, as many are in the U.S. right now? How could someone get out of this situation, and choose to make a life they felt was worth living? To me, that would have to be an act of political rebellion, no matter how small.
When I was working on the rewrites for this story, someone I went to high school with died from a heroin overdose. This tragedy made Helayna’s struggles and the danger posed by them much more of a pressing story to tell.
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