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About the story: It’s about grief and it is more nonfiction than fiction. I changed the names and the family’s nationality and some smaller details but otherwise….
I based the story on a visit to my mother shortly before her death, and a few months later helping my widowed father move into a smaller apartment.
It took three years before I could approach the subject of my mother’s death. The urge to write it came while I was cooking–stirring tomato sauce with one of the wood spoons my mother used in her kitchen. I thought: she made countless meals with this spoon. No, not countless. Eminently countable. I put down the spoon, went to my desk and jotted down the line and the rest of the story was born from that. I wrote maybe three drafts of Lavender and the piece came together very quickly. That’s not to brag; the piece is very short, and for me, the shorter the story, the less time I spend on it.
I sent it around and the Boston Literary Magazine published it in 2008. It was the first time my fiction had been published anywhere.
And that’s the story behind the story.
Big huge giant thanks to Robin Stratton, who selected it back then and selected it for the Best of.
More writing here.
Banner photo by Peter LaMastro.