Second, my collaboration with Gio Clairval, “Lizard Dance,” is now up on Fantasy Magazine. I must admit that I am a distinct second fiddle on this story, but that Gio is making me say that anything a reader doesn’t like about the story is my fault.
The interview that accompanies the story was conducted via IM, and, I hope, simultaneously fun and interesting. An excerpt:
How would you describe the genesis of â€œThe Lizard Dance?â€ What inspired this piece?
JV: It was somewhat unique. I had wanted to collaborate with Gio and gave her a book of my flash fictions, Secret Lives. Many of the stories were more like little portraits of people. One included dancing lizards. She took that, discarded the structure of my original story, and wrote a story.
GC: Jeff had this strange book of his, and he suggested that I pick a story I liked. He had already used several cool ones, but when I stumbled across the lizard one, I couldnâ€™t resist (Iâ€™ve always loved lizards). I spent hours playing with lizards in my mumâ€™s garden.
JV: Yeah, so she took that image and made it her own. Then she gave me the draft and I added some to it, edits, etc. Then Gio ignored most of my edits and revised. Then I looked at it again, made comments, Gio ignored most of them, and we were just about done. I have spent hours wondering why Gio spent hours playing with lizards. But we do have geckoes and anoles that live on the outside of the house.
GC: Iâ€™ve always thought that lizards could be tamed, and I chose one in particular and used the Little Princeâ€™s method: Sit beside your lizard and keep still. Lizards have eyes like foals. Ever notice?
JV: But foals donâ€™t have eyes like lizards. Odd, that.
GC: They do, but foals have bigger, horsie-sized eyes.
JV: Anyway, so it was an interesting process, of inspiration-counter inspiration. Yes, Gio, if lizards had horse-sized eyes theyâ€™d have to roll around on their pupils.