LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Flash Fiction, 'Notebook with Pressed Flower' by Annie Bien
Can you please tell us about your daily life?
My daily life begins with my daily Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice, Ashtanga yoga, and then writing and/or translating, preparing and researching for teaching a weekly meditation class, depending on the day of the week. I also try to read, and take long walks in Brooklyn and Manhattan, sometimes to Queens. The pandemic has given me time to do each of these activities more fully than before, but the days remain full.
When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I began writing around eight. I liked making up stories in illustrating them. I write every day. My biggest accomplishment and excitement as a writer was winning the third quarter 2020 LISP Flash Fiction Competition, with Earthen Sky.
I’ve written two poetry collections, been published online and in print, and am a Pushcart Nominee. My first playwriting commission came from the Soho Theatre Company, London, UK. Forthcoming is a book I’ve co-written with Dr. Robert Thurman, The Sixth Dalai Lama, a Historical Novel. http://anniebien.com
I also am an English translator for Tibetan Buddhist sutras and commentaries, and three of my translations are published on 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, https://84000.co
How does it feel to have your work recognised?
It feels amazing to have my work recognised! So uplifting.
What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?
The best and hardest thing is trusting that a full story can emerge through the impact of brevity.
How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?
This story emerged from a flash novel I’d been working on for over a year. It initially began as a flash memoir until a fictional character jumped into my memoir and turned the narrative upside down. Now it’s a love story.
Can you please give us a few tips about writing a flash-fiction story?
Have forbearance. Writing flash takes a kind of perseverance for the long haul to be brief. Be willing to let go of ideas and embrace the totally unexpected. An unplanned random idea or appearance often is the turning point for creativity. Be brave and go with it.
What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?
The best thing about writing competitions is I like deadlines. If you get on the longest, shortlist, or acknowledged, it builds so much confidence. Be willing to submit again no matter what.The hardest thing about a writing competition is that it can make me feel inadequate and cranky but, that means I must submit.
Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on LISP?
Writers definitely give it a go on LISP. The first time I ever submitted, just looking at the website, I wondered why I was so drawn to LISP, why it felt hard, I think it’s because of the diversity in background of the judges along with reading the writing of the selected writers.