Write Here, Write Now: Bull by Jacqueline Garrahan
In Season 2 of Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast, host Erica Wagner interviews winners of the Vocal+ Fiction Awards
There’s fear of the unknown - darkness, monsters, and the like - but sometimes the most terrifying are the things - and people - we think we know best. Jacqueline Garrahan’s “Bull” is a masterful look into the frigid, the cruel, and the disturbing, deep in the dead of a Maine night.
What was the impetus for your winning story? Walk us through your initial act of creation.
Bull was written as an exercise in voice. I’d been working on my first novel and needed an anecdote for a character that would draw on a few central themes: 1. The negligent homicide of Mary Jo Kopechne in the advancing sea marsh tides at Chappaquiddick and a misplaced moose. My character relates Bull’s story to another, but I was dissatisfied by the level of detail the dialogue-based exposition afforded and so I used Vocal's fiction contest as an opportunity to explore the storytelling further. The piece is also written in a style that departs from my default as I tend towards quippy, jokey writing while Bull skews serious and macabre.
What does it take for a story to grab you? How do you grab your audience?
Precise, creative descriptors with a dash of irreverent humor.
Who are your favorite writers and why? Do you have any favorite Vocal Creators?
Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, Ursula Le Guin. Vocal writer EJ Ferguson was well-deserving of her Owl win. I admire her prose. Her sentence, “Wild and bony children kicking tin cans in the street flinch like strays.”- Excellent.
How has sharing your writing in life and on Vocal affected you as a Creator?
Bull is my first story published. I’ve written many other secret stories. Creative vulnerability is a challenging journey for me, but the public claim to a piece was a milestone on that course. I’ve received much support from family and friends and I cared less about the negative feedback than I’d imagined.
5. What advice do you have for other Creators?
For other creators, I'll volunteer the suggestion to solicit external comments during the revision process. Bull was one thing, I asked a friend whose writing I respected for her thoughts, and then Bull was entirely another. It's hard to imagine then correct upon your own blind spots.
Stay tuned for new episodes of Write Here, Write Now Season 2 launching weekly.
About the Creator
Write Here, Write Now: A Vocal Podcast
Sex, death, relationships, nature, families... If you like to stop, think and consider things a little differently, join host Erica Wagner as she introduces a new Vocal creator’s story each week.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
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