Jes Simmons on the creation of her short story

When we published Mississippi Arts & Letters way back in the 1980s, Jes Simmons contributed poems and other writing, and many years later we reconnected on Facebook and by email. Jes was one of the first writers we invited to submit to Mud Flat Shorts (mostly fiction). She responded with the short story “At Dairy Queen Before the Funeral.” Jes writes about how that story came about.

“At Dairy Queen Before the Funeral” came from a dream that made me sit upright in bed, my heart hammering. What woke me was not the tire screech or the two thumps, but the pressure of the young woman’s hand on mine at the end. I turned on the bedside light, grabbed the pen and notebook that’s always at hand, and wrote down all I could remember before the dream drained from my head. That morning, I began writing the dream as a poem. A day or so later, I finished the poem and set it aside, but the dream and the poem just wouldn’t release me. I needed to know more about these characters and the situation. Why Dairy Queen? A funeral? The young women’s names? So I began to write what became the story.

Stay tuned for more commentary from others of the 19 magnificent writers included in Mud
Flat Shorts (mostly fiction).


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