Bahrain to Bellydancing and Baudelaire: Key of Black


Bahrain to Bellydancing and Baudelaire: Key of Black

Chris Milam, fellow #Flashdog and talented writer I admire, nominated me for the Liebster award. It’s an opportunity for others to get to know a writer/blogger better. Chris had many kind things to say about my writing, a lovely laud and generous compliment. For that, I’m truly honored to take part in this glorified chain letter of sorts. Also, I’d like to send him a fruit basket with only apricots.

The Rundown:

~ 11 random facts about me.
~ I’ll answer 11 questions provided by Blukris (Chris Milam)
~ Then compose 11 new questions for the 3 people whom I curse with seven years of bad luck if they don’t answer. (just kidding, sorta)

11 Grace Black Facts:

1. I hate to shop.

2. I lived in Bahrain as an infant.

3. I roomed with a ghost in Germany.

4. I learned to belly dance at age 5.

5. I’ve traveled to almost every state in the U.S. with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and the New England area.

6. I have a green thumb, and you can almost always find me tinkering in my garden if I’m not writing or reading.

7. I collect antiques and thrift treasures. (depression glass is a small addiction of mine)

8. Small talk fascinates me.

9. Sarcasm and wit are my preferred forms of humor.

10. I’d love to be a lounge singer but, sadly, I cannot carry a tune. I’m pitchy at best.

11. One of these statements is a lie.

11 Gracie Style Answers to Blukris Questions:

1- What is your greatest strength and weakness as a writer? Explain.

Self-doubt is the answer to both. I doubt everything I write. I write and stew, and then I rewrite, and rewrite again. Finally, I reach some quasi-level of “Meh” and then hit send. Self-doubt keeps me equally grounded and frozen with forward progress.

2- Describe yourself in 15 words or less. Your answer must be in the form of a three-line poem.

(Clever. If you didn’t know by now, I run a wee contest called Three Line Thursday check it out if you haven’t already.)

blood moons and gaping darkness
her heart forged
from unexpurgated wounds

3- You can be anywhere in the world and you have one hour to yourself. Where are you and what are you doing?

I’m at Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice, and I’m bathing in the physical presence of artworks generations old and the foreign tongue of the natives. I don’t say a word, but I jot down anything that moves me in my notebook.

4- If your life was made into a movie, who would play you and what would the title of the film be?

Hmm… “Reality Does Not Exist,” would have to be the title and I’d have to go with Meryl Streep because, well, she’s Meryl Streep. Though she’d have to be done-up old Hollywood style, and it’d be a film noir, of course.

5- From a reader’s perspective, what do you look for in a piece of flash fiction. What makes the story sing?

Words hold weight and their placement and juxtaposition builds layers. Writing is like any creative endeavor; the creator has to see the finished product clearly in their mind. Then break it down and reconstruct the parts in such a way as to express the whole as a concept.

I don’t like to be spoon fed as a reader. I enjoy watching the story unfold in such a way that makes me equally as awed as it raises questions in my mind. And most importantly with any piece of writing it has to make me feel something. If I don’t feel it, I lose interest quickly.

6- What is your favorite quote? Explain why.

Oh! I strongly dislike the favorites game. It’s like Sophie’s Choice. How do you choose? M’kay, I’ll have to go with one from one of my favorite poets because this best sums up my writing style:



7- What is your greatest accomplishment and your biggest regret?

My greatest accomplishment, hands down, is being a mother to two kind-hearted souls. They are my truest joy in this world. My biggest regret is wasting time on regrets it doesn’t solve anything or change anything, so it’s just wasted energy.

8- Should writers of flash fiction/poetry be compensated or is the exposure of being published in a magazine its own form of payment? Explain.

I guess this depends on what the writer’s goals are. Not all writers write for the same reasons. I write because I simply cannot not write. (Intentional use of double negative. Sometimes you gotta be a rule breaker.) So for me, a published credit is payment itself at the end of the day.

9- The apocalypse has arrived and you are forced into a bunker for an indefinite amount of time. You can bring only one of each: A book, movie, beverage and food. What do you choose?

Ugh. Do I have to choose again? Yikes.

1. Book: Point Omega by Don DeLillo He is an expert at crafting palpable sentences. Sometimes I just hold his words on my tongue and savor them.
2. Movie: Bridges of Madison County (but fast forward through all the scenes with the adult children because those actors were lousy)
3. Beverage: Dang, this one’s hard, coffee or red wine?
4. Food: If I don’t choose a food could I have coffee and wine? If not, I guess I’ll go with the wine, at least I’d be a mellow survivor, and cheese. Now don’t get me started on cheese because I absolutely cannot pick a favorite. I adore cheeses.

10- Why do you write? Explain thoroughly.

I suppose because to not write would be insanity for me. (I always employ brevity when possible.)

11- What is your epitaph going to say when you punch the clock one final time?

Naked prose; A heart unedited.

 11  Ms. Black Questions:

1. Describe yourself as a genre of music and explain.

2. Would you rather read the same book, of your choosing, over and over for the rest of your life or an endless supply of books not chosen by you in a genre/subject matter you deplore? Explain.

3. Blue or Black ink and why?

4. Name a book we must read and why?

5. Which word or phrase do you most often overuse?

6. When you look at a menu in a restaurant are you a skimmer or a peruser? Explain.

7. Would you rather ride every ride in an amusement park or none? Explain.

8. What’s the first thing you remember reading that changed the way you looked at writing and how did it change your views?

9. Spring or Fall and why?

10. Write a flash piece about yourself in exactly 30 words including the title. (You’re welcome)

11. What was the hardest question to answer from this list and why?

My time is up *wipes brow* now I pass the digital torch to three flash writers I admire and whose work demands to be read: Brett Milam, Steph Ellis, and Bunmi Oke


© Grace Black


  1. I think that maybe small talk does NOT fascinate you…except when in Venice immersed in the art and listening to the locals unintelligible (to you) warbling inspire your spirit perhaps.

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