Treehouse, published in the Puzzle (December 2014) edition of Halfway Down the Stairs, came to me where all great ideas come: the shower. I dashed to my room with soap between my toes and sat writing in my robe until the piece was strewn across the page. In rough form, it took months of the hardest editing I’ve done. After killing so many of my darlings, a new beauty emerged.
Published in January 2015 on The Bangalore Review, Fly Girl is a story about my sister’s fictional suicide. On the phone, my brother asked me about her depression, his voice soft: “Sarah, do you think she would commit suicide?” I hung up the phone soon after and this story fell out onto the page. I had to cope with the possibility – the small chance – that my brother’s fears were valid. I had to find my own guilt so that maybe, she could forgive me; so that maybe, I could forgive myself.
This piece came to me suddenly at a time when I luckily had a moment to capture it all before it was gone. Umbrella was published in the Atticus Review on June 9, 2015. The story follows a woman in post-9/11 New York as she struggles to accept what is and what will never be again.