Victoria Buitron’s Reflection on Writing

by Victoria Buitron

Read her story A Percussion of Bones here

For a long time, I did not want to think about my parents aging. They both had me when they were teenagers, and now that I’m in my thirties and they’re in their early fifties, it’s inevitable to think about the ways they’ve changed since I was a child. In my writing, I’m usually more attracted to delving into fleeting moments that can unearth my deepest and most complicated feelings about being a witness to the passage of time and confronting the fact that my parents are getting older. Focusing on spending time with my mother in the kitchen and her hands allowed me to get to the core of A Percussion of Bones. Not only can I recall these moments with her, but it’s also very special to me that I can share this essay with her and others.

When it comes to nonfiction, it’s always a challenge to focus on bittersweet memories, and this piece is no exception. What I often try to do with flash pieces is to make sure that there is a clear depiction of those memories through sensorial aspects, such as smell, touch, and sound. It allows the piece to hold a specific rhythm, and I often read a piece out loud or have a computerized voice read it to me to analyze the syntax and pace. It’s one thing to read a piece on a screen, but another altogether to hear your words back to you. It’s an editing tool I would recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they are published writers or not.

I’m grateful to Janice Leagra, the editor-in-chief of Janus Literary, who originally featured this piece as part of her Editor’s Showcase. She was kind enough to solicit work from me, and we worked together on this flash piece to make it as strong as it could be.

Victoria Buitron is a writer & translator who hails from Ecuador and resides in Connecticut. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Normal School, SmokeLong en Español, Southwest Review, The Acentos Review, and other literary magazines. A VONA fellow, her work has been selected for 2022’s Best Small Fictions and Wigleaf’s Top 50. Her debut memoir-in-essays, A Body Across Two Hemispheres, is the 2021 Fairfield Book Prize winner and available wherever books are sold.

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