NUNUM - Blending Flash Fiction & Art
Interview with J Ray Paradiso
Truth be told, like 95% of the stuff in the universe is dark matter&energy, real writers don’t need to swap breaths for in-spiration. Their stories kick and whine and beg to be written, relentlessly.
Drilling deeper, writing for me is a three stage process like conception, pregnancy and birth.
Conception is a mystical mind-fuck. Dunno if it’s coitus, onanism or whatever – us or -ism. But, I definitely feel like it’s my first Orgasmic p-lay date after yawning for a year at a convent in Death Valley.
During pregnancy, my story’s embryo kicks and bOuNcEs and twists like a Mexican J-u-M-p-I-n-G bean to get o-u-t and be told. And, keeps me UP all day and all night, in my face and in my bones, like a sun lamp stuck on HIGH and incurable osteosarcoma.
At birth, it’s all wet and pink and squiggly. And, crying and crying and crying to be fed with more and more and still more words. And, similes and metaphors and every other literary device that’s ever been imagined. And some that haven’t. Whew!
Then, despite what my Psych. Prof. preached about a parent’s responsibility to dissolve her kid’s dependency relationship, I can’t get relief.
Throughout their pimples and heartaches and beyond, my stories call to say, “Hi, Mom. How are you? Got a minute? I’m embarrassed to ask, but can you pretty please spare a few words? I fear I’m overdrawn, and promise to repay you.” So, I continue to polish and tweak and do whatever I can to calm and please and return them to deep cotton. But, that never works.
Even if they’re finally published, they continue to haunt me as I read them for the nth time, frowning, why did I write those words instead of these?
So, good bye to writers’ workshops, and good luck to wannabee writers seriously swapping breaths for in-spiration. This writer is living her dream: to write and rewrite and enjOy Other glOriOus Orgasms. With repeated CAPITAL “Os.”
Oh I almost forgot, quick quick, what was the first book you remember reading all by yourself?
In grade school, I received an Owl Award for reading lots of books, but don't recall the first one I picked and read by myself. So, I'll wish Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, cuz it teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect.
I had that on my shelf, but I can't honestly remember if I ever made my way through it. Let's get more recent, what was the last book you read that made you say, 'Damn, that's a good book'?
Mark. Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves.
Ah, I am with you there, simply an amazing book. You mentioned earlier about things just coming to you, so when something comes what do you reach for; a pen, pencil or your phone?
When I need to write something down, I reach for anything that works.
Hard to argue with that. Okay, last one, what advice do you have for someone just starting to send their work out to journals?
The advice I would give someone who is just starting to send their work out to journals is this: If you can't tolerate rejection, don't send out your stuff. Steven King's Carrie was rejected by 30 publishers, and my acceptance rate is just 6.5%
Chicago's J. Ray Paradiso is a recovering academic in the process of refreshing himself as an experiMENTAL photographer and writer. His photographs and stories have appeared in dozens of publications online and in print. Equipped with cRaZy quilt graduate degrees in both Business Administration and Philosophy, he labors to fill temporal-spatial, psycho-social holes and, on good days, to enjoy the flow. All of his work is dedicated to his true love, sweet muse and body guard: Suzi Skoski Wosker Doski.
Apocalypse Now words by John Van Kirk, art by J Ray Paradiso
Blending Flash Fiction & Art