Jason Lee Norman’s “Beautiful Girls” is a part of the October Issue. Here Jason answers our questions about his porch, where the story came from and being an editor.
1. Does summer always get better when the bodies start appearing?
It doesn’t always get better. There is that feeling of relief when you wake up and you realize that you’re not dead. It helps you to enjoy each day, rain or shine. Summer definitely gets worse for a lot of people after bodies start appearing. That’s for certain.
2. How would you use dead girls?
Oh boy. What a question. I think I would just dress them in comfortable pyjamas and tuck them into bed in their own rooms and then just shut the door and let them be forever.
3. What is your favorite season?
Summer is the obvious choice but autumn in Canada can be so nice. There are nice colours, the nights are cooler and there is the feeling of transition. I think it would be difficult to live in a place that didn’t have four seasons.
4. How has being an editor of a magazine affected your writing?
My time with Wufniks has solidified my idea that along with being a good writer, I also want to be a champion for good writing and writing that I believe in. I think being the editor of a magazine has given me a steady stream of writing and writers who I want to emulate and writing and writers that I definitely do not want to emulate.
5. Where did “Beautiful Girls” come from?
It may sound ridiculous but I usually can’t start a story unless I have a title first. I was at a story slam and the emcee was just rambling on and on about God knows what. As much as I was trying to ignore her, she did say say something along the lines of “the beautiful girls were all in the river” or something like that when trying to tell a story about skinny dipping or whatever. I liked the sound of that and I decided to use it in a prompt for some writer friends of mine. We all got together the next month to try and use that phrase in one of our stories. At the time there was some controversy in the country when a big city police chief had suggested that women should maybe not dress a certain way if they didn’t want to be hassled on the streets. Something to that effect and Slut Walks were being planned in cities as a response to such comments. This story was all of that mashed up with memories of summers gone by. Was that long winded enough?
6. How do you enjoy an evening on your porch?
First of all, I would love a better porch. Something covered, like a veranda or something, with a screen for the summer months to keep the bugs away. I’d put a whole living room set on that porch and we’d do everything out there in the evening. Drink vodka and lemonade, play scrabble, and enjoy a good story or two.