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Flash fiction writer Amelia Gray to speak at ABR series

ERICA RODRIGUEZ

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Oct. 18, 2010 at 5:18 a.m.

Twenty-eight-year-old Amelia Gray visits UHV for American Book Review series.

Amelia Gray, a 28-year-old Austin-based author, was in a Dunkin' Doughnuts parking lot when she found a discarded positive pregnancy test and saw inspiration for a new story.

"It immediately got me thinking about what circumstances would leave someone throwing their positive pregnancy test in a parking lot of a Dunkin Doughnut in Beaumont, Texas," she said.

Inspiration can be overwhelming for Gray, who is Thursday's speaker at the University of Houston-Victoria's American Book Review reading series.

Gray is known to throw in a hearty dash of odd-ball imagination with the seemingly mundane and birth witty, humorous flash fiction pieces.

"There's weird in the ordinary, and there's ordinary in the weird," she said, describing her style.

Her writing is mostly brief - often no more than 2,000 words, which requires clear and punchy story lines.

"It becomes this deleting project, which is fun in my opinion," she said.

Gray's style is often described as screwy and at times, darkly humorous. Her odd-ball work chronicles everything from snake farmers she never met, to a man married to a paring knife.

Her second book, "Museum of the Weird," published in September by UHV's Fiction Collective Two, is a collection of short stories written in typical Gray style.

"There is heartbreak and love and sautéed tongues and Javelinas," she said.

Her first book, "AM/PM" was published by Featherproof Books last year.

When Gray is not being inspired she's, well, writing - for an online marketing company that is, but she still finds inspiration during numerous weekend road trips.

Gray believes the clipped, wacky writing could become the norm as people seek the whimsical narrative form to deal with short attention spans.

"It's starting to just feel right to read that," she said. "It's starting to feel like that's what a complex narrative is about."

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