Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”
On The Daily Post, we’ll take a close look at one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy to provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
Anyway, Miss Anna, that’s our teacher, she got really angry when she heard the firework sounds. Popping noises, that’s how I heard other people talk about it. Popping sounds. So when she heard them, she got angry. And she told us all to be very quiet, but she didn’t yell it, like she sometimes does. I don’t know why, but we all did.
All kinds of creators use WordPress.com to showcase their work — artists, photographers, cooks, poets, musicians. We’re home to plenty of fiction writers as well, as a quick look through the Fiction or Flash Fiction topics will tell you, and we try to make sure they’re represented on Freshly Pressed, too.
We found Ignorant’s short story “How I Deal With Things” while reading through the excellent commentary y’all are publishing on last month’s Newtown shooting. Her decision to describe the experience through the eyes of a child, perfectly punctuated with a stark photo of an empty classroom, hit us viscerally. We featured the story on Freshly Pressed, hoping it would provide a different kind of space for people to process their reactions — and judging by the hundreds of Likes and comments, we were right. Here’s what drew us in:
It was timely.
“How I Deal With Things” hooked into a story that was already on everyone’s minds (and given the scope of the tragedy, not just in the US). Along with providing an angle that traditional news and analysis doesn’t, it opened the door for people who don’t ordinarily turn to the blogosphere for fiction by giving them a story for which they already had context.
It highlighted a different perspective.
How many of us thought, “My god, what if that had been my child/nephew/little sister? What would I do?” when we heard the news? But how many of us stopped to think about the lived experience of the children who survived — the fear and confusion, the lasting scars, but also the understanding and insight? This story jolted us to a stop, made us consider a different perspective, and brought home the enduring nature of tragedies like this one.
It captured a child’s voice.
“How I Deal With Things” wouldn’t have worked as a piece of fiction if the narrator’s voice hadn’t felt real. From the run-on sentences to the (seemingly) non-sequitur asides to the description of gunshots as “fireworks,” we felt like we were reading a child’s account and not a piece of fiction — mission accomplished.
What did you think of “How I Deal With Things”? Will you start looking for more fiction on your travels through the Reader?