We recently published K. B. Carle’s lovely “Dandelion.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1. Dandelions are some of my favorite flowers. They’re so charming and invasive. What made you choose a dandelion to write about?
What I love most about dandelions are the two warring ideas that separate an adult’s from a child’s perception. I’ve often heard my father complain about dandelions sprouting in our front yard, a total takeover that seemed to happen overnight. I, however, believed the legend of dandelion seeds carrying whispered wishes on the wind to someone capable of granting them in the sky. I wanted to write a story that combined something whimsical with this sense of alienation that’s so prevalent in the news today. At this point I envisioned a dandelion, this weed capable of conquering entire yards but also having a fantastical legend attached, making this weed something beautiful in the eyes of children.
2. There’s a lot of metaphor at play here. This reads almost like a fable. Is that the feel you were going for?
When I first started writing, “Dandelion” I had no idea what kind of feeling I wanted to evoke. At the time, I was participating in Kathy Fish’s Fast Flash workshop, with a promise and challenge to myself to go beyond my limits. This included writing from the perspective of something non-human. I knew what elements I wanted to include: the inkwell an insertion of my love for antiques, dandelions because they complicate the preconceptions of beauty, and being marginalized by society for being different.
I took my moment of silence, something one of my mentors, Leslie Daniels, taught me to do in order to clear my mind, and envisioned how these elements might come together to form a story. After that, I wrote what I imagined and after several rounds of editing, was surprised to find a story with the tone of a fable appear in front of me.