is only available to read if you purchase the issue for $8. Seems like a lot of money to make you read 800 words, even if the print edition is is GORGEOUS. I will probably publish the piece here on About Childhood after a month or so, once the magazine has had a chance to sell their copies. In the meanwhile ….
Hong Kong My Twenties: By the Numbers
Circa 1993, this flash non-fiction started life as two paragraphs from the first draft of my still-unpublished novel (grumble). During one of the many hundreds of revisions of the book, small sections leapt out to me as possibilities for short stories or flash pieces. This was one such piece.
Toward the end of 2018, I had a 800 words ready, fiction and a non-fiction versions. I sent them about and about, never really getting anywhere.
Toward the middle of 2019, I came across Under the Gum Tree. What a beautifully produced journal! Seeing that they had a travel section and published flash, I knew which piece I was going to send.
At the end of 2019, editor, Robin Martin, contacted me. UTGT was interested but needed a little more …. something … from the piece. Robin let me try again. I stumbled across a way to tie an afternoon spent observing Hong Kong with the feeling of always being out-of-step; ie: disassociation.
Yep, we’re back to the theme of sexual trauma.
I saw how my desire to no longer write about sexual trauma was getting in the way of a piece that was all about not understanding sexual trauma. I was just gonna have to go there.
I sent a draft to Robin. She returned it with the note, “You went there.”
I was still a number of drafts from the final version. (That’s why they pay us literary writers the big buck, folks.) Thank you to Robin and also to Clare Frank for letting me work on “Hong Kong, My Twenties” until it was fully baked.