Thanks to editor Sheldon Lee Compton for selecting “Moiety” for The Airgonaut. I knew, with its slightly surreal cant, it was meant for his perfect journal. Thanks also to GIGANTIC Sequins, which listed this story as a Finalist in its 6th Annual Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Melissa Goodrich.
The title of the story for that contest was: “The Attraction of Older Traditions” but I have retitled it here in The Airgonaut. Isn’t that the funny thing about titles? How sometimes after I submit a story, I continue thinking about it and think up the best title once it’s out of my hands? GIGANTIC Sequins liked the story well enough when it was titled “The Attraction of Older Traditions,” but I found a single word, moiety, which had all that and then some. That word comes bearing the freight of sibling rivalries and inheritance disasters on a scale of King Lear‘s. I like that phrase for describing diction in flash fiction, thanks to my friend April Bradley: Bearing freight. The burden of family secrets and histories, is also operational in this story.
I was excited, to have been named a finalist at GS alongside friends Maureen Langloss (for “Wheels and Bushings”) and Jennifer Fliss (“The Gargoyles Survey Their City”).
“Moiety” was born in my weekly writing workshop this past May. The prompt? “Five Words.”
Get one of your favorite flash stories (not written by you) and reread it. Then write down 5 words that strike some sort of chord within you. One by one, take each word and begin brainstorming other words that you associate with it or that come to mind when you read that word. When you finish this with all five words, then go back through your brainstorm lists and pick 5 words that strike your writing fancy, (you don’t have to pick one from each) then write your story and include this 5 words.
The five words? codex, core-ten, fescue, jute, lope. I had seen the word lope used most excellently by the poet John Goslee. Codex, I wasn’t sure what it was. Core-ten? On that word come in all those diSuveros. Fescue? the sculpted landscapes of Storm King and horse races. And so on. It’s all word association, writing is.
I like this story in that I fantasize a bit about owning Moores, and Klees, and diSuveros. To have a property to put them on display? And all the money that goes along with it? Oh man. How delightful it would be. I love visiting the Storm King Art Center in New York State, and its beautiful grounds are perfect for wandering and wondering about life and art.
I only learned when I wrote this that Klee died of scleroderma. What a long, drawn-out snuffing-of-one’s-candle that surely must be. Do you know the work of Klee? He’s a wonder.
Some words of praise for The Airgonaut, which will be closing its door to new work at the end of 2017. I was in the magazine’s first issue, and went on to have a total of five stories published in the journal. It was not until August of 2016 that the identity of the editor was known. (Up until then, perhaps because of the art chosen or the especially genteel correspondence, I thought it was a Taiwanese poet!) In sum, Mr. Compton is a wonderful editor in any form. I believe that the selections Mr. Compton made represent some of my best work, and touch upon my most-pondered themes, especially Art appreciation as a metaphor for faith:
Stories by A.E. Weisgerber in The Airgonaut
“Moiety“: filial love, siblings, Art, money (10/2017)
“White Plastic Chair“: faith, supernatural in the ordinary (10/2016)
“Puppah Fish“: the magic within a marriage, songs, fairy tales, tests (9/2016)
“Mothers + Sons“: a mother’s love, songs, nature, addiction (6/2016)
“How to Meet Marc Chagall“: lovers, art lovers, mythology, dreams (12/2015)
If I could figure out how to present “Puppah Fish” in a live reading, I’d read it to audiences all the time!!!
I hope that you enjoy “Moiety,” and that you take time to enjoy all the stories in the October issue of The Airgonaut.
Here is a link to my story. Thank you for visiting my blog.
NOTE: My featured photograph is of a Steven Smulka painting, exhibited at Gallery Henoch, 555 W 25th St, NYC 2/21/2017. The title of the painting is MORNING MIST, 2015.