Creative Nonfiction: Sometimes

by Kathleen Volk Miller

If I told you I was kind of psychic you might believe me, if you believe at all in psychics and since I would say “kinda” psychic then you would feel even more ok about just saying ok, I believe that you’re kinda psychic, not that you would say that aloud, but that is probably what you would think. But if I were to tell you that sometimes random thoughts I have, random wishes, not like “I wish I had a million dollars” wishes, but more random, like “I hope that the mail comes before 3:00 p.m.” or “I wish I would hear that new song on the radio,” sometimes wishes like that happen, sometimes they come true and even though they are most likely coincidences, I’m sure they are coincidences, even then, I’m a little weirded out that I had the thought and then it happened, you know? And what if I told you this: what if I told you that sometimes I’m afraid that I have too much of this power, of this awful kind of magic, and sometimes things have happened that I wished for, that I thought of first, that I can’t even tell you about they are so awful and I thought “I wish” and I shouldn’t have had the thought, awful thoughts, and then, the things happened, some bad things. What would you say then?

Kathleen Volk Miller writes essays and fiction, with work in publications such as Salon, The New York Times, Family Circle, Drunken Boat and Opium. She is a weekly blogger (Thursdays) for Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post. She is currently working on My Gratitude, a collection of essays. Volk Miller is co-editor of Drexel Publishing Group, and an Associate Teaching Professor at Drexel University. Recently, Kathleen Volk Miller was named a Creative Connector by Leadership Philadelphia.

I know creative nonfiction flash has recently grabbed hold of you and not let go. What is it about that form that first excited you and continues to do so?

    For me, CNF Flash is just fun. The other day, I was writing a bio and I found myself writing: “She is working on a collection of essays and playing with Flash CNF.” I like the challenge of such a fine focus of thought and word; it’s very much like a word game. Flash CNF is just such a different form, too; I’ve never been able to write poetry, but Flash CNF allows me to work with similar spareness.
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