When I write I’m often drawn to that spot where the mundane greets the absurd, and for the mundane aspect I sometimes draw quite heavily on personal experience. “Fifty Dollars” very much fits that pattern. The camping, the uncooperative weather, the feelings of melancholy that can crop up after a holiday, and most importantly, the book from the thrift store with $50 dollars in it – these are all personal experiences I enlisted to become the germ of my story. The rest is the work of fancy.
After cobbling together a re-imagined version of events leading-up to the discovery of the $50, I waited to see what sorts of ideas might come along. I like writing this way, rendering a situation, then allowing myself to be open and responsive to what could happen, being sensitive to nuances that might already be on the page, and not knowing exactly where things are headed from there. It’s a strategy that doesn’t always lead to a successful piece of writing, but for me, having it be at least somewhat an act of discovery helps to sustain and elevate my curiosity.
Joe Davies‘ short fiction has appeared in The Dublin Review, eFiction India, Prism, Grain, Descant, Exile, Stand, Rampike, The Missouri Review, Queen’s Quarterly and previously in The New Quarterly. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.