The editorial team had some questions for Ethan Velez.
What inspired you to write “I Can Carry It All”?
The story came together through some stages. I was having a hard time sleeping one night until I felt this warm, calm breeze that helped me out a lot. Slept like a baby. It turns out that the breeze was hot air from a nearby church burning down. I explained the situation to my sibling, Ash, who said it was good material for a flash fiction piece. It was definitely gradual. The title comes from a Ted Lucas song.
What was your writing process like for this piece?
I spent a lot of time thinking about the piece and how I wanted it to go. I mean a lot of time. To the point where when I finally started writing the first draft, I already knew what I was doing. It was a great feeling. I wish everything I wrote went like that.
How has COVID impacted your creative work?
There was no work. I couldn’t be creative through the pandemic until I started reading and watching what I liked as a kid. I also read a lot of essays by people who were writing about whatever they wanted, which was freeing for a person whose writing felt and read like something I put together for a grade.
Now I write what I want. I’ve truthfully spent the last year feeling like l’ve been learning to write for the first time again.
Horror movies come up quite a bit in this piece, and you mention in your bio that you are a fan. What draws you to the genre? How do horror movies inform your creative work?
Horror movies had a hand in shaping who I am today, definitely. John Carpenter’s Halloween was one of the first movies I can remember watching as a kid. I remember being terrified, but thrilled, because at the root of a story about a masked criminal stalking teenagers was an ordinary person trying to survive. I was drawn to that. I’m more interested in stories about people trying their best than I’m interested in horror, but I like ghosts and witches, so scary movies have been a good middle ground.
When I’m able to understand and relate to a character who makes it to the end of a horror movie, I better understand myself, and that reflects in my writing. I pull confidence from the Nancy Downs and Barbara Steeles of the world.
Read Ethan Velez’s flash fiction piece “I Can Carry It All.”
Image credit: “Happy Halloween,” eyecmore. Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.