Issue 35, Final Fringe

Interview With Jim Meirose

by Fringe Magazine 11.29.2010

This week we republish Jim Meirose’s short story “The Damned Eleven” from Issue 2. If you like what you read, check out Jim’s new chapbook Crossing the Trestle, available here from Burning River.

Jim was kind enough to answer some questions about taking a look back at “The Damned Eleven.”

How do you feel about “The Damned Eleven” in reading it nearly five years after publication?

In rereading it, I was surprised at much of it and could hardly believe I really wrote it.  Some parts of it I thought were brilliant–others seemed like they could use some polishing.  But I was surprised at how well it read, and felt some pride in having written such a thing.

Would you change anything about the story?

I would sew up the end a little tighter, give some more thought to where the overall flow would end up taking the reader.

How has publication in Fringe aided your writing career?

Two ways — first, knowing that the readership is wide, and knowing that so many people have read my story, well that can only be good. Secondly, the validation you get when your work is accepted for publication gives you more faith in what you are doing and belief that you are going down the right path.

How have you changed as a writer since “The Damned Eleven”?

I suppose I have grown more thoughtful about what the “back stories” are of the characters and am more prone to not begin work  on a story until I have a high level sense of what it is and where it will go.  I used to just dive in and start writing off of an idea;  now I’m more likely to stop and meditate on that idea and see what further ideas flow from it that will guide the story, before I actually begin drafting.  I suppose you might  say I spend some time “outlining” the work, which I didn’t usually do before.  Not in any kind of detailed way, but in a high level, general way.  Works that were constructed in this way appear in my chapbook, Crossing the Trestle.

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Fringe: it’s the noun that verbs your world, and the magazine you’re reading. We publish work that is political or experimental in form or content and define both “political” and “experimental” broadly. “Political” can mean work that incorporates or comments on current events or it can mean literature and art that further personal dignity and advocate human rights. We regard “experimental” work as work that breaks with the canon, takes formal risks, or explores a strange or impossible point of view.

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