Lifting Up the Log #3: "As Fast as She Can" by Janna Miller
Updated: Aug 28
Editor's note: I was drawn to this piece because of that opening paragraph - dreamy, flowing images counterbalanced with a cold, hard fact. This piece is quick and demanding, much like the actual content. Every detail is to be treasured, every sentence is to be devoured, until you're left with the overall experience: a tribute to how sometimes, it isn't joy and beauty that is most life-affirming, but danger and risk. Read more about what went into this piece below.
How did you come up with the title? I really struggled with titling this one. After ten odd assortments of random words, these kind of came together. Not exactly a peanut butter and chocolate combination, but tasty enough.
What can you tell us about the inception of this piece? This piece started in a Tommy Dean workshop with a prompt to link two events together. The memory of my baby blue 1979 Pontiac Bonneville with velour seats raised its hand and said, "Me please. Write about me." I loved that car, spray painted flowers and all.
If we could lift up the log of this piece, what would we see there? The memory of flying down that darkened road is one that is pretty well seared in my mind. It was one of those moments when I absolutely knew what I was doing was crazy dangerous, but reveled in it anyway. I also loved that my best friend sat beside me, urging me to go faster (always faster, with her) and to risk our lives but also was like - "hey watch out for animals". We lost touch over the years, I can't even find her on social media. I mourn for teen me, able to be wild and boundaryless (and still survive), and also I mourn for a friend, symbolizing my abandon and youth, who seems to be nowhere.
If this piece were a small forest creature, what kind of small forest creature would it be? An anole. It's super fast and disappears behind trees. If I'm really still, I can find them in the branches.
Read "As Fast as She Can" here: https://gastropodalitmag.wixsite.com/main/post/as-fast-as-she-can-by-janna-miller
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Lifting Up the Log is an ongoing series designed to indulge our love for the story behind the story, as well as to give our beloved contributors an additional way to showcase the writing they have shared here.