I consider “Clownspace,” published in the January 2012 issue of 10Flash Quarterly, to be one of my “out there” stories. Interestingly, its inspiration is considerably more down-to-earth than they story.
This story grew out of my writing group, Hopefull Monsters. A fellow member had submitted a story for group critique. One of my comments on the story was that I thought the principal characters were cliché—a bunch of scientist discussing a variety of possible scientific theories for how a device worked. I saw no reason the characters needed to be scientists, so I threw out a crazy idea that popped into my head: what if they were all clowns—not in the figurative sense (scientist are already a bunch of clowns, ka-ching), but literally clowns.
The idea of writing a speculative fiction story with clowns as the main characters stewed for about a month, and then “Clownspace” was born, in all its fun, chaotic glory. I wrote it in a single sitting and with some minor editing it was complete. If you haven’t already, check out “Clownspace” at 10Flash Quarterly, and while you’re there, be sure to read the other fine stories in the January 2012 issue.