Answers to a few ‘Butterfly’ questions.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

Robert Frost


 1. Where did you find the idea for your short story, ‘Butterfly’?

In the newspaper, which is a great source of story ideas. Every day, millions of little plots unfold in the world, and some of them find their way to the paper. I’ve found inspiration by this means a few times.

2. What made you choose this particular point-of-view (POV)?

The news story was about the young couple who found the butterfly, and who, as far as I know, are not hippies. To me the interesting POV was the trucker’s. I spent a little time imagining his life and the circumstances which might lead him to accept a butterfly as a passenger to Florida. From there the story sort of wrote itself.

3. Who is the inspiration for the character Delores?

Delores is my homage to every efficient and personable career waitress I’ve ever come across. I have enormous respect for these women; they work hard and care about their customers.

4. “Delores has a voice that could grate cheese…” Where did that come from???

I made it up. No disrespect intended to the career waitresses I have admired over the years.

5. “…and a mouth like a postage slot…” Er, hmm?

That was a bit of appropriation from something I once heard someone say. Again, no disrespect intended.

6. Had you planned on writing about assumptions which prove to be erroneous?

No, I don’t plan things like that. I’m not that deep. But I am pleased if that’s what readers get from the story; it means I was turning my own assumptions upside-down.

7. Had you planned on the alliteration?

Eh? Or is that ‘A’?*

8. How long did it take to write ‘Butterfly’?

I practically sneezed it out in one sitting, and then spent a few days polishing it. This is unusual; normally it takes me weeks and weeks to write a first draft of a short story. In fact, most times I find the first draft of anything quite painful. Why this one came to me so quickly, I have no idea. I blame the hats.

9. What did you do after writing ‘Butterfly’?

I knitted some more hats. And then I wrote another story.

10. Did you sneeze it out, as well?


11. Will you post the new story?

No. Well, maybe. Not sure… it’s grittier than the last one. Maybe. I’ll need to hem and haw a little longer. My mother and my aunties read this, you know.

(* I know, I know… this isn’t quite right. But it is a bit funny, isn’t it?)

Categories: General.