Buying the Farm
My mother is making an omelet again. She has a special hammer. There is a feather sticking to her bare heel. One egg can feed my family for one week straight, but not me. No way am I going to shovel forkfuls of ostrich embryo in my mouth. They are nothing but stupid shitty chickens from hell.
My father, the entrepreneur, plucked us from our green, suburban home in the western Chicago suburbs, and dropped us down in Southern Illinois to get rich quick.
Arlaina Tibensky was born and raised in Chicagoland. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in English where she received the Katherine Muller award for fiction. She completed her M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University and is currently teaching creative writing and computer programming to children. She is at work on her first novel.
Q&A by Hannah Tinti
- HT: Where did the idea for this story come from?
- AT: My cupboards were bare for a frozen package of ostrich burgers my mom bought for me when she was visiting. I made a kind of pasta sauce and offered some to my new roommate. She got this glazed look in her eyes and told me all about her dad buying an ostrich farm in California when she was in high school. That was the beginning. But then, the more I talked with people about ostrich farming all I ever heard were horror stories. The moral is: Nothing good comes from buying an ostrich farm.
- HT: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this story?
- HT: Are you a fan of teenage television shows?
- HT: How do you think they affect the concept of “normal”?
- HT: What is the most interesting fact you learned while writing this (about the world, not yourself)
- HT: How long did it take you to complete this story?
- HT: What is the best bit of advice about writing you have ever received?
- HT: What are you working on now?