Animal: A Beast of Literary Magazine published my short story “She’s a Work of Art”—based on Warren Zevon’s song “Excitable Boy”—in this month’s issue.
Working with Fiction Editor Sarah Cedeño was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my writing career so far, so I would encourage you to support to this excellent publication by subscribing or submitting your own work.
This was the second story of many I wrote based on a Warren Zevon song, and currently sits at the front of my collection of feminist stories based on his work.
It was easy to write, though harder to revise. Without the guidance of my MFA thesis committee, my thesis workshop class and Ms. Cedeño, it would be a much choppier, wordier piece of fiction.
The character of Nicolette (“Little Susie” in the song—I changed it because there’s another character named Suzie Lightning in my collection, and it was confusing to have two Susies) came to me fully formed. Because I felt I knew her character so well from the beginning, the first draft came rushing out of me.
Originally I thought I would tell this story in a non-chronological format, but as I was writing I felt the timeline pull me forward, so I let it. I went back over it five or more times to cut extra padding, streamline my sentences, and make sure I was using white space effectively.
I’m pleased with the result, and I hope you will be, too.