BCC Shines A Light on: Rachel Lloyd
Name of the piece published by BCC:
When/where was it originally published:
Moon City Review, August 2022
What is the background of the piece? What led you to write it? What’s your process?
I wrote this piece in a fugue state in the summer of 2021.
I was inspired by the incredible flash fiction of K-Ming Chang, and I wrote the whole story from first
word to final draft in about a week. Ultimately this story came from feelings of loneliness and
inadequacy. After reading much of Chang’s work, I felt overjoyed that such writing existed and deeply
discouraged that it wasn’t mine. I felt that I would never write that well. So, I walked to the park behind
my house, to the pond beyond that, and then beyond that to the vast nature conservation land I have
been visiting since my childhood. Less than a five-minute walk from my childhood home (where I lived
during the pandemic from March 2020 to October 2021), it is a serene place, and has often provided
comfort to me in times of distress – when I was rejected from my early decision university, when my
first real boyfriend broke up with me. I went there, overlooked the marsh lands, the trails, the cattails; I
listened to the sonorous din of frogs and birds and beetles, and screamed. I put my voice in with nature
and nature seemed for a moment to grow silent, as if making space for me. I could almost see myself
from a bird’s-eye view. How small I looked from that vantage point, and yet how big my heart and lungs
felt in my chest.
On the brief walk home, I wrote “In the woods behind my house there is a clearing that overlooks the
marsh where I like to go to scream.” The rest was patched in, a mixture of real life and pure imagination.
My father really is a chef, the Cock Block is a real place in Somerville MA that used to house some of the
businesses I mention, I really learned to spell separate sep-a rat-e. Though I know little about curses and
family legacy and ageusia, I know what it feels like to be a woman, to feel so small and yet so big, to feel
trapped and desperate for escape. I know pleasure and I know how love and passion can change the
texture of living. I tried to bring these feelings to this piece, and I tried to give this girl a voice loud
enough to silence frogs.
How did you feel when it was first published and how have your thoughts or feelings on the piece
changed from then to now?
When it was first published, I was just happy to have the writing I had put into the world met with
enthusiasm and acceptance. This was the second story I ever had accepted for publication, and the
feeling was surreal. They wanted my story, an idea even now I have trouble wrapping my head around.
I was happy with it, proud even, but perhaps a bit apprehensive of its publication, nervous to share it
with my eager and supportive friends and family. I still am.
Is there a specific message you'd like readers to take away from reading this piece?
None in particular. I think this story is more laid-bare than most. It puts itself out there. It feels to me
somehow opinionated, willful, just how a young woman like our narrator would be in her situation. And
yet, I really didn’t want it to feel didactic. I don’t know that I think most writing has one “message.” I
think what each person takes from any piece is unique and as much a reflection of them as of the
I’d hope you take a line with you, a phrase or feeling or image. I hope you think about this story
sometimes. That seems like the best thing to hope for.
Where can readers find more of your work? (Website/social media, etc)
You can find more of my work on my website: https://rachellloydwrites.com/work