alana_hicks1. What inspired you to write the prose poem/microfiction which will appear in Flashing the Square?

It was a sunny, cold day and I was pregnant, which was unusual for me. The sounds and smells of the longest five minute walk from the station to my work place were heightened by the sensation of this second human forming in my gut.

2. Tell us about your process. (Do you start sparse and widen out, or do you write down every possible association and cut back? Do you research the subject matter you are writing about? Is it pure intuition?) Take us through an example if you want.

A sort of word stew forms in the slow cooker of my mind until it threatens to disintegrate or be served.

3. What advice do you have for other writers? (About the first or last line?  About how to choose the title?  Do you follow any rules?)

Read good writing, stuff that makes you lose time. Then forget it all and sit outside for awhile until something bizarre happens, like a weird sound you can’t locate. Or you suddenly remember the colour of the lunchbox you had in grade five and how you hated that teacher because she embarrassed you in front of the whole class that one time when you forgot the roman numeral for the number nine.FTScover_version2a

4. Who or what inspires your writing?

Strange people who talk loudly on public transport. Also, the wind. Also, everything.

5. Tell us what you do if you haven’t written anything in a while and you want to get started writing again? Could you share your favourite writing exercise with our readers?

When a thought makes you smile, write it down, and force your most judgemental friend to read it.

Alana Hicks is a writer, performer and director. She has performed with collective’s Token Word, Outspoken, Word Travels and had writing featured as part of the National Play Festival, Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers Festival and more.

To hear more Flashing the Square audio, click here.