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Melissa Taggart, Best Novel Idea, Flash Fiction Semi-Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020

- Can you please tell us about your daily life?

I live in a small city outside of Toronto, Canada. I have children, that are not so small anymore. I advocate and support publicly both the LGBT community and the mental health community that I am a part of. I am a life-long warrior, fighting against mental health in my own life. So, this is something I am very passionate about, proud to be a survivor! My best writing happens at the craziest times of the day. Both super early in the morning and super late at night. I might be a vampire!

-When did you start writing? How often do you write?

I have written off and on over the years sporadically. While the kids were little, I had to take some time off. Twenty years or more ago, I started in poetry. And about a year ago, I really started to get into flash fiction.  I really love it here! I'm riding this really cool wave and I am not ready to yet jump off of. I have entered a number of contests. Recently I have been recognized and I am getting published onto Amazon Kindle, hopefully this is just the beginning of my story! 

Here is a story that I have recently had published which will be heading onto Amazon Kindle: Click HERE

-What is the best thing and hardest thing about writing Flash-fiction?

The most challenging/best thing about writing flash fiction in my opinion is the writing of said flash fiction. It is fast and furious! It is an explosive little package. With perfectly laid adjectives. It is technicolor in 300 words or less which is by far the best thing about flash fiction. It really packs a one-two punch makes an immediate impression.

Hardest part for me sometimes is stopping my train of thought, often times I run well over the word count. Normally I do not worry so much about it, I come back to my story a day or two later to make the necessary tweaks needed. 

-How does it feel being recognised? 

It is such an encouraging experience in such times as these. I have received many a rejection letter. So, I have learned to turn a negative into a positive by continuing to write. Knowing that one day hard work would pay off! It is just a path I have always known I should be on. Being recognized by LISP is really just that added push I needed. This brought me such happiness.

-How did you come up with your LISP story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it? My mother watched a lot of tv movies inspired by "Charlotte Bronte" as well as reading her books. Getting off the bus after school and walking into the house where she was often had "Pride and Prejudice" playing on the tv in the background was a daily experience for me. And it definitely inspired this story of mine. Victorian era for me wasn't something I wasn't even sure I interested in before this point. The story just came to me one day quite quickly. A few small changes made to it so I decided to send it off to LISP on a whim really.

Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash- fiction story?

Yes! Write when you feel like it. Should never feel forced. You will find that your art will be best laid out when you like the topic you are writing about is a topic you actually enjoy. So have fun with it. During times like these our stress and mental health is most important so don't beat yourself up if you are not producing like maybe you once were able to!

I have this habit of going over my word count. I get so passionate and lost in my writing. Trick is going back days later doing the edit at that point. I find then you'll be happier to just get rid of that sentence/adjectives that undoubtedly doesn't belong.

 -Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on flash-fiction story and LISP?

Yes! Look into those stories you long ago ignored because you thought they weren't good enough. Take a second look, and you may be surprised that you have been sitting on a diamond in the ruff for quite some time.

LISP is comprised of some beautiful humans that will promote you if your story has been picked. You will be in good hands here, so just keep on writing!



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