In March, I found out that I won the Big Sky, Small Prose writing contest. It was a total surprise to say the least. The little piece, just over 600 words, was something I just churned out after last year’s August 5th floods. It was a quick response, a thought experiment about this city that is surrounded by water. The fact is that there is no question of if New Orleans will one day be under water, only a matter of when. The August 5th floods were detrimental, though relatively minor compared to New Orleans’ past.
Two of my close friends had flood water lapping at their front door last August, and it would surge into the house whenever someone chose to drive through flood waters by their house. One of them set out in a canoe, picking up people who were stranded in the neighborhood. This was the initial image that began my story. I wondered: what if people learned to live with the flooded streets? What if they stayed and traveled by water?
The other main image was something I had been waiting to use. One morning while walking Zeus, I saw a group of green parakeets roosting on a power line. They were very pretty and kind of cute, but they looked a little too tropical for our sub-tropical city. I only did basic research, but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of information out there about them. It seems they are commonly called Quaker Parrots, or Monk Parakeets.
At any rate, those two images kind of wrote the story for me.
I am tremendously excited and grateful to have the story in print AND available online.