Showing posts from December, 2018

Return of the Butterfly: From Fleur, with Love

Sometimes the best way to read a novel is to write one.

Over a decade ago, something like that began happening to me. I'd already been working at the craft of fiction for many years when it occurred to me that it might be interesting to try writing a first person narrative. Interesting? Hah! At the very second I had that thought, a little girl sprang up inside me, bright as a button and odd as could be, prone to banging and pinching and whirling whenever she was frightened or overwhelmed. Propelled by her insatiable curiosity about the world around her, she began skipping away from me at great speed. Intrigued and already more than a little smitten, I kicked up my feet and struggled to keep up with her—a dynamic that has pretty much marked our relationship ever since.

Over the course of two novels (The History of My Body and Tizita), she revealed to me the intricate philosophy she'd developed about the Void that was predicated on the habits of birds, weeds, wildly eccentric grow…