Story Notes

Story Notes: Name it

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My story ‘Name it’ was published recently at The James Franco Review. It’s a new magazine and was so honoured to be included in the early days of it’s life as a publication!

To read the story just head on over to The James Franco Review and check it out.

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at The James Franco Review before reading the notes.

About ‘Name it’

This story was inspired by a fascinating article I read that came out of Stanford. The article talks about how people’s hallucinations or voices (when they are suffering with schizophrenia) are influenced by culture. It was amazing to learn that in some cultures the voices are more welcome and therefore more benign.

I’ve always been interested in psychology (I hope to take some classes in university when I get there) and I really wanted to write some fiction that illustrated the point made in the article because it is an amazing discovery and I definitely think mental illness is something that needs to be discussed openly and with compassion.


I was worried about writing this story for a couple of reasons. The first is that mental illness is a very serious topic and when I do write about it I want to do it respectfully. I’ve written about Alzheimer’s (and some other mental illnesses) before and I had the same concerns. I don’t want to offend anyone, I just really want to explore the topic from an artistic perspective. Also, in seeking publication for the story I didn’t want it to misinterpreted as ‘horror’ because it wasn’t intended that way at all. So I was happy to have found The James Franco Review as they seemed to understand what I was trying to accomplish with the story and they appreciated it.


The second thing I was worried about was writing from the perspective of a child, that can sometimes come off as ‘cutsie’ and I didn’t want that to be the case either. It’s always tricky writing with a strong voice like I did in ‘Name it’ because you run the risk of people thinking it’s over the top.

Overall though I was happy with the outcome and I hope that people reading these notes will check out the article that inspired the story and learn more about schizophrenia and some of the amazing people who are trying to ease the symptoms of those suffering with it.

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Story Notes

Story Notes: Insomnia

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My story ‘Insomnia’ was published recently in Gone Lawn Issue 16. I’m so excited to read the work of the other contributors, it is a fabulous publication and I was thrilled to be included.

To read the story just head on over to Gone Lawn and check it out!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Gone Lawn before reading the notes.

About ‘Insomnia’

Guess what? I wrote this story as a result of insomnia!

I don’t suffer (thankfully) from insomnia very often, but when I do it’s terrible (obviously). I’m a big sleeper, I love dreaming and I sleep for possibly too many hours (at the very least until 10am everyday). So when I can’t sleep I immediately start to lose my mind.

I guess in this case it was a good thing, because this story just started happening to me. As I lay in bed in the dark trying to sleep I just imagined myself splitting in half and it was kind of terrifying and kind of exciting in a large, existential sort of way. As the sleepless nights continued everything became more and more anonymous feeling, empty and dreamy. It felt like I was walking around in a painting, everything was art—completely still and laced with obscure meaning.

I don’t enjoy playing the tortured writer card, but in this case the torment of sleeplessness paid off and actually produced something productive.

And now I’m off to take a nap.

Story Notes

Story Notes: The Giver

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My story ‘The Giver’ was published this week in Bitterzoet Magazine.  There were so many wonderful stories and poems in this issue of Bitterzoet and I was totally honoured to be included.

To read the story just head on over to Bitterzoet and check it out!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Bitterzoet before reading the notes.

About ‘The Giver

This story came from the idea that every little bit we do makes a difference; a smile, a kind word, a small confession.  Even the tiniest things can make a huge difference in someone’s day, or even their lives.

 I often walk around feeling like I’m insulated, like I’m living life in a vacuum.  It’s so easy to forget or not even realize the impact I have on others.  But by looking at the impact others have on me, I can extrapolate, calculate the possibility that when I make eye contact on the subway, say hi to a stranger, offer a bit of my attention, it does make a difference.

I don’t want to live in a world where we are all alone, where our actions don’t have consequences.  The girl in ‘The Giver’ offered bits of herself, seemingly inconsequential, in order to provide a larger inspiration, or a sort of relief to the world around her.

Ultimately, I think that’s what I strive for in my writing, and maybe all writers do.  Offering a bit of ourselves so everyone else can remember they’re not alone.