Halina Duraj on "The Family Cannon" at The Story Prize Blog

19th century ice skating

Detail from “Le Vrai Patineur” (The True Skater) by Jean Garcin. Courtesy of The Public Domain Review

The Story Prize, founded in 2004 by Julie Lindsey and Larry Dark, annually highlights collections of short stories published in the U.S. Halina Duraj, as part of a contributor series, recently had the opportunity to talk appropriation in regards to The Family Cannon (Augury Books, 2014) on TSP’s blog. She speaks briefly about how the writing process becomes unconsciously driven, taking things directly from casual experience.

Maybe somebody had asked me what I was working on, and I said something about neighbors, and my friend told the anecdote about two neighbors sharing a property line on some land in Colorado. One neighbor was so angry about something the other neighbor had done that he situated a cannon, a real, working cannon, in his yard and aimed it at the offending neighbor’s house. I remembered laughing, and thinking about the anecdote’s resonance with my own story. But by the time I’d sat down to work on the story a few days later, I’d completely forgotten my friend’s anecdote—I’d forgotten that my friend had told it, and I’d forgotten that it ever existed outside of my own brain.”

Read the full post here. The Story Prize is currently accepting submissions of books published (or forthcoming) between July and December. See their website for more details and guidelines.