The fabulous Atlas and Alice is featuring my creative nonfiction Playground Justice today.
This is a “breathless” flash—almost one thousand words—written as a single sentence. I used paragraph-style spacing to make it welcoming to the eye, but I hope you will feel compelled to race through it without pausing. I’ve seen several excellent breathless pieces over the last few years, and I was eager to give the form a try. It turned out better than I’d hoped.
The story centers on a fourth grade playground incident, drawing together themes of my childhood in a small-minded farm town in the 1970s. Tackling this subject matter was tough, and hitting the send button was excruciating. I don’t usually share such personal stories. A couple of friends helped me feel brave enough to send it out. I’m grateful for their support.
Kristen Ploetz, CNF editor at Atlas and Alice, was a dream to work with. If anyone is on the fence about submitting a personal story, go ahead and submit it to A&A—you won’t be sorry.