Winning Short Story Reading: DESTINY OF JOY by Mary Eastham

Watch the winning June 2016 short story.

DESTINY OF JOY by Mary Eastham

Reading performed by Geoff Mays

Get to know Mary Eastham:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Destiny of Joy is the story of two teenage runaways trying to figure out life on the streets.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Short story/Literary fiction/Fiction/Women’s fiction

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Lost boys…

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It has to be two really. I fall asleep sometimes listening to the soundtrack of the Sound of Music because it was my mother’s favorite movie. I was a young girl when I lost her. She was my biggest fan. The second very different film is The Lover based on the memoir-ish novel of the same name by Marguerite Duras, the story of forbidden love in 1920’s Saigon. I want to write a story this spectacular…

5. How long have you been working on this story?

Some stories come to you as gifts. Destiny of Joy was just that for me. I live very near the San Jose Airport here in Silicon Valley, known for the wealthy tech industry.
And yet, as I run in this area every day with my dogs, I see more and more homeless encampments popping up under bridges, in strip-mall back alleys, in the dirty backyards of foreclosed abandoned buildings. The opening line…Andy and Eddy lie in the tall weeds just below the flight path watching the bellies of planes almost touch the tops of trees… came to me when I saw two young boys, one hoisting the other up and into a trash bin. I couldn’t get the image of those two boys trash trolling out of my head. The rest of the story came together quickly after that.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Two novels continue to inspire my writing – Evening by Susan Minot and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Seeing those two boys trolling the trash bin inspired the writing of Destiny of Joy. I wanted to rescue them somehow. I tried to do that in my story.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

John Legend. I love his music. We could eat, drink wine and sing together. I would be in heaven…

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love to run with my Golden Retrievers, I love music and singing and I love to move in general. I dance around the house all the time (and around my stripper pole)!

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

You produced my poem Beautiful Angel Goddess which I was thrilled about and it’s a writer’s dream to see a story they’ve written performed.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

You are never done. All good writers, and I hope I am one, are never really done. There is something new to be learned every day. I try to fall asleep thinking about what my story needs. It doesn’t happen always but sometimes I dream of the perfect tweak to move the story forward in an amazing way. Oh, hell, writing is a bitch.

But there is nothing I would rather be doing! Thank you so much for your inspiring questions.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

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