Samuel Petersen’s vignette, “Garden Crust” is featured on page 32 of the current (winter 2015-2016) issue of The Catalyst. We asked Sam about the process behind the piece, he said:
“The piece ‘Garden Crust’ was mostly inspired by the summer I worked in a large vegetable garden. The garden was the center of my everyday life, and everything else I did that summer was a ripple spreading from the garden. Also, the piece is inspired by some vague ideas about transcendence or something similar.
“My process for writing ‘Garden Crust,’ as well as for almost everything ‘creative’ that I write, is fairly straightforward: go for a bike ride, maybe draw a few pictures in my sketchbook, listen to some music, then begin writing (sometimes this order is reversed and I end up writing on a mental tablet while I bicycle). Once I actually have something down on paper I tend to re-read and re-write a lot, as most writers probably do.
“At this point as a writer I like the vignette as a creative mode. It is close to a journal entry—something not too grand, yet still possibly intense. You can have a meaningful encounter with it, toss it aside, forget about it, chance upon finding it again and have another meaningful encounter with it. It is kind of like a pop song you like, or a little picture you have on your fridge that you forget is even there most of the time, but when you remember to look, what you see is actually pretty interesting. So, ‘Garden Crust’ is that: a magnet on my fridge, depicting a little period of life.”
Sam Petersen currently lives, works and goes to school in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He grew up across the river in La Crescent, Minnesota, spending his formative years making noise with a group of friends in his parent’s garage. His heart is in Iowa, whose geography and inhabitants give him constant inspiration.