We recently published Melissa Saggerer’s delightful “Gulls fly fastest when they’re diving.” Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) A seagull named Wallace — that’s not the first name I would choose for a seagull! Do you think Kira would ever consider other names or is Wallace, for her, the best seagull name?

Oh that’s so funny! This piece started in a Tommy Dean workshop as a micro, but it grew and shrank a number of times since then. In some versions there was a mention of Darwin, and naming the seagull Wallace was in my mind a reference to Darwin’s contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace. I think Kira would name lots of seagulls (Large Marge, Swoopy, Scout, Sophia, Captain Featherpants, Fred). The ones she didn’t name she would try to mind-meld with, try to see through their eyes and become one.

2) I really like the hidden story here, the longing Kira has to be as free as a seagull. Will she ever be free like that?

I don’t know. I hope? I think she feels a bit trapped in her current life situation, but watching the gulls helps her capture that soaring feeling of being free. At one point I titled it The Most Glorious Birds— I was thinking of the movie Harold and Maude when Maude says “Dreyfus once wrote from Devil’s Island that he would see the most glorious birds. Many years later in Brittany he realized they had only been seagulls… For me they will always be – *glorious* birds.”