The inspiration for stories comes from the heart and sometimes writing reveals deeper feelings than a writer first suspected. When Judy Burke completed her writing workshop assignment “to describe a place you love being in,” she chose the red chair in her kitchen, because “I had loved sitting there for so long.”
And then it happened, the revealing of truth when she realized she no longer liked “sitting there at all anymore” and went on to write her flash fiction, Finding Things. For Judy, what occurred in writing her story, “illustrates what I love about writing—if you do it well, you have to tell the truth, and usually the writing and the digging around leads you to a NEW truth, and it can be quite surprising.”
Her second flash fiction, The Balloon, was triggered by a cherished memory. Both pieces deal with loss, a challenge “for all of us as we age, certainly for me.”
Her introduction to flash fiction occurred while attending a North Carolina Writers Conference. She loved that flash was “…like fiction distilled somehow, more like prose poetry.”
Memory loss touches her own life as a caretaker for “her older sister Nancy who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's 11 years ago…so it made such sense to take a chance and submit something. I'm so proud it turned out this well.”
Judy’s greatest achievement is also her greatest challenge. The act of writing invites her to share “emotional truth through words, so that somebody else can feel it.” She draws upon her background as an actor, “that's all about telling the truth, too.” Her love of books, and good writing, she says, “seems a holy thing, a good book and the way it can make you feel. It's daunting to try. And I need to be more disciplined about the doing of it. But it's such a glorious thing when you get close.”
Her current project is “an essay about my sister and our time together; and a piece about an experience I had when I was nine, that's turning into an essay on the nature of grace; and something I think might be a short story...I love how you find out what it wants to be as you go along. I've come to writing seriously late, but I aim to keep at it.”
Read more of Judy’s story here: bit.ly/READFLASH
Stay in touch with Judy and her writing on Facebook.
Anchala Studios, LLC is a micro press based in Chapel Hill, NC which selects projects appealing to broad audiences and which enrich the community. The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory is its first publication.