Navigation menu

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Interview with Delaine Smith: Runner Up in Fall 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Delaine Smith is a classically trained singer and a lifetime writer with an assortment of regular day jobs. Her publishing credits include poetry, a gothic romance novel, and a song cycle for children’s chorus performed at the Voices of Canada 150 concert series. In her volunteer work and her writing, women and girls are always the primary focus. According to her niece, Delaine’s favorite phrase is, “Don’t panic, we can figure this out.”

Her flash fiction piece can be read here.


WOW: Congratulations on your top ten win in our Fall 2019 Flash Fiction competition!What inspired you to enter the contest?

Delaine: Thank you! I really enjoy what I read on my visits to Women On Writing. There are some amazing writers out there, and reading makes me want to be involved in creating fiction that speaks to the real lives of women.

WOW: Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story, “Funeral Sister?” I love a bit of humor in darker tales, and especially enjoyed this line: “The quintessential absent-minded professor, he wasn’t good with those little details that built a life, like birth dates or anniversaries, or how many wives were allowed by law.”

Delaine: Humor in dark times is a wonderful coping strategy. I particularly like this line you mentioned, as it suggests how much one imperfect person can love a differently imperfect person while still being aware of the flaws. It’s twisty and illogical and still a beautiful aspect of love. I try to write about things that are hard for me to talk about, like endless love and endless loss. And yet hope exists in the darkest times.

WOW: What do you enjoy about flash fiction writing versus the other kinds of writing that you do?

Delaine: Flash fiction is such a pure form. One phrase must take the place of a page of prose. It makes me work harder to paint a picture with a finer brush.

WOW: We’d love to know more about your writing routines. Could you tell us when and where you usually write? Do you have favorite tools or habits that get you going?

Delaine: My writing routine starts with a cup of tea. I sip my tea and read the last few paragraphs from the writing session before, and then start typing. On a good day, the last half of the cup goes cold because I get sucked into another world and forget.

WOW: Here's to cold tea, then! Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Delaine. Before you go, can you share a favorite writing tip or piece of advice?

Delaine: If I am coming back to writing after time away, I get back into it by writing a funny scene about a dark topic. It takes the pressure off to be immediately brilliant and sometimes I surprise myself when I turn a situation upside down.


For more information about our quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay contests, visit our contest page here.

1 comment:

  1. Marcia--Thanks for doing this interview and for giving us a link to Delaine's story. I really enjoyed it. (I loved your toast to cold tea.)

    Delaine--What a story. Congratulations. I especically enjoyed this image:

    "...the deep open hole in the earth into which my father would escape the tangled knot of lives he had created."

    In not many words, you painted a picture of a messy family situation... and then some healing? Reconciliation between two people who were never together before?

    Whatever. ;) What a story. Congrats again, and keep on writing.


We love to hear from readers! Please leave a comment. :)