Being the child of people from another country who lost their own parents at early ages was a perfect recipe for untold family stories. The gaps in my personal history, the flights of my imagination, and my musings on home, identity and loyalty, inspired me to start a novel about the impact of one woman's untold stories. Which, along the way, spawned a couple of
stand-alone short-short stories. One of them was Balm, published in May 2018 by FlashBack Fiction, the online magazine for historical flash fiction. The UK-based magazine has given space to work by inventive writers from around the world, so I was delighted when they recognized the core of historical fiction at the heart of my seemingly contemporary story. Recently, the editors nominated the story for a Pushcart Prize, which had me thinking, again, about what led to this tale and how writers so often explore the spaces between what we know and what we wish we knew. Actually, we all do this, it's just that writers put it down on paper and, as readers, we go along for the ride.