I wrote a 500-word flash piece in response to this painting by Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris. It was published today in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Active Voice, the Editors Canada newsletter.
The story is here if you'd like to read it. If you do, can you see what I saw in the painting?
The story represents a few firsts: I believe this is the first time Active Voice has solicited fiction and poetry from its members; it's my first publication translated into French, and I think this was only my third piece of flash ever.
I have found the discipline of writing flash has been very helpful as I edit my novel down from 166,000 words to something more manageable—say 120,000. Editors often say airily to their clients that the author needs to 'tighten up the writing' but it's often hard to explain exactly what that entails. Trying to write a complete story in 1,00, or 500 words, or a drabble (exactly 100 words), quickly teaches one which words are essential, and which can go. Once one develops the mindset of cutting to core, tightening up our verbose first drafts comes a lot more naturally.