I used to do a lot of my writing in train cars. The Long Island Railroad and the New York City subway were my usual spots. But I have also written on Amtrak, the Euro Rail and the T in Boston. When I was not working on a particular project, I picked out a person on the train and began to write short pieces. Sometimes, I simply described what the person looked like. Other times, I stole a small moment and slipped it between the lined pages of my journal. Always, I imagined a life for them and let it breathe.
When I learned about the idea for the Vine Leaves Literary Journal, I discovered that I had been writing something called a vignette. According to the journal a vignette is:
a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.
Well. You learn something new every day.
On a whim, just a few hours before the submission window closed, I submitted a vignette to the journal and they published it in their premiere issue. Feel free to check it out here. As a tribute to my days writing on trains, it is called The Subway and it’s on Page 6. I like tellng people I’m on Page Six! But you should read as much of the magazine as you can, such wonderful content there.