Claudia Smith’s Comments

I wrote this story around the time my son turned two, and there is a lot of him in it. At the time, he was very proud of his backpack; he called it “pack-pack” and would often carry his supplies around in it when I took him out. I wrote this not long after he’d played around a fountain. His favorite words, back then, were “fire,” “water,” and “wow.”

I loved watching him soak up the world around us. He seemed truly awestruck by that fountain.  I remember that same day, I swept him up in my arms and ran away from a few bumblebees.  He thought that was hilarious and kept trying to reach out to the bees. Maybe that will enter a story someday.

I belong to an online writing workshop and often I use a writing exercise my friend the talented writer Kim Chinquee taught me: I’ll use about five unrelated words and concentrate, then sit down to write a short-short. Other writers in my workshop use this technique and it works beautifully for them as well. Kim Chinquee provided me with some of the words I used in “Eclipse”; I can’t remember what all of them were, but I remember “postcard,” “Poland,” and “legit” were on the list. I knew how I would end this story when I wrote the part about the girl and her father looking up at the sun together in the park.

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