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.”