JR Walsh's Interview with NUNUM
Blending Flash Fiction & Art
Is the Bible the right answer? If I lie about that, that's only a
In my maternal grandparents' house, there were always mystery books lying around.The sticker on the spine was a jagged red skull. This seemed very adult. Walking a block from their house, you could find endless shelves of red devil skull books in the branch library. Agatha Christie novels were probably the first fully adult books that I read voraciously. I played the board game Clue, watched Murder, She Wrote and Father Dowling Mysteries on TV, and won an award as Sherlock Holmes at Halloween. The hat was okay, but my grandfather's tobacco pipe was the clincher. At church, when they talked about the different mysteries of the Holy Rosary, I always thought of those red skull books first.
(New Directions), which is a good thing because I had no idea about its existence until now. It's so modern and it was written in 1947. Ginzburg is a revelation of simple moments that simmer and combust. She leads us from harrowing moment to moment with a surprising depth of emotion, and sometimes cheek, and it's all done through minutiae and oblique interiority. Ooh. Yes. Right now I'm reading her book, Happiness, as Such and I'm equally, aggressively charmed.
the poems to the see the sea. I always try to take some lit mags with me. You know, the ones that you've piled up but haven't filed and might be a year old, but your friend is in one, and your teacher is in another, and you know you'll get sucked into the whole thing.
And that's the reason I love those questions, selfish I know, but it's the best way for me to learn about learn writers. Thank you for that, now, let's flip to your own writing: What writers or what books influenced you to become a writer?
Reading St. Augustine's Confessions probably influenced these
poetic and simple and unexpected and she has an example in the American Heritage Dictionary: She wrote, "The best part of a good car... is its guts." She precisely defined guts! In a dictionary! People write fiction and it can influence culture! I still want to do that.
So that is influence, what about writers you admire?
Started with a Canadian and ended with one of my own favourites, a list I can appreciate. But for most of us, a little help a long the way is needed, what about craft books, any favourites?
poetic skills too. You start to see the connections between different writers, you get interested in context of historical trends, you might even try writing in archaic methods that time travel into flarf or asemic texts once your add your own style.
That's your beach walking style, what about your writing style, any significant influences?
Did that answer sound prickly? I'll make a note. Hang on.
likely to look there, especially if it's an HP or Dell or if you made your password something really challenging like StinkbugZZZ or fuhfuhfurtZZZ, so you might as well send out those poems and stories. Maybe you'll find an audience while you're alive. Maybe you'll meet some nice people doing the same. Submission and acceptance cannot become a competition, but rather a challenge between supportive artists. Persevere!
A lot of writers comment on how their environment influences them, how does place influence your own writing?
My favorite place to write is at the ocean. The swell and retreat. The tides. The people who become different. The loss and gain. The sheer constancy of change. The ocean and sky is a different color every day. They might be the same color at any given time and the horizon might disappear. You might get itchy or bit by sand fleas. Are those bubbles or jellyfish? Is this normal? Nothing is normal here. I'm inspired to inhabit the dreams and nightmares of past, present, and future while I'm humbled by this overwhelming natural wonder. I also write in coffee shops. Same reasons, basically.
What about politices, does it has an influence on your writing?
Not this question. Who told you to ask this? What a terrible question. Save this one for parties. What's next? I suppose you'll want to know about religion. Politics and religion influence me and my characters in ways that I can't always anticipate. But this is precisely what writers should always be exploring.
For example, the influence of politics will determine just how polluted the place where I write will be tomorrow. If I don't have the money and power to ignore it, that is. I've found that socioeconomic challenges are often at the heart of all my characters' choices. Probably because we couldn't afford a dog.
As a child, I thought President Reagan was a friendly old man who had jellybeans for everyone. Little did I know he was precisely the stranger that we shouldn't take candy from. If you poo-poo symbolism or decry metaphor, you miss an entire means of rebellion for those who don't have financial means. A political struggle is always at the heart of the story – whether it is identity, financial, existential, there's always a hierarchy of power at odds. I will now include a quote that I would frustratingly misquote if this interview were in person.
“Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only the big eat the small; it is just as common for a bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad.” August Strindberg, Miss Julie. So... yes, I suppose politics influence my writing.
So then yes, okay last one, if you could design a library sticker for your work, what would it look like?
A brain inside a heart on fire.
Blending Flash Fiction & Art