1. Somewhere in Granada, Spain, there really is a man in a shop with a large puppet that looks like him. Or at least there was twenty-one years ago when I was there travelling, and happened to stop in and see them. That random memory inspired one of the stories, “The Kid”.
2. “The Teteriv” was inspired by a strange, medieval-type dream that included a chance encounter and attraction between two servants of nobles.
3. “Mémé” was also inspired by a dream, also in a very different time and place. The most striking things about the dream, other than the setting, were the brother-sister relationship and the scene of the dog attack.
4. There is just one story based on a real person, the title story, based on my maternal grandmother. My grandma was very open-minded and accepted the many aspects of my mother’s “alternative lifestyle,” except for the one thing that dismayed her deeply, that we were vegetarian.
5. The characters in “The Two” and “Mémé” are related, but separated by several generations. I explore this connection, and much of the family story in my upcoming novel, House of Rougeaux.
6. Father Sebastian (“so young he still had acne”), a minor character in “Wander the Desert” which takes place in Mexico in the 1930’s, shows up “ancient” in the background of another story, “Up on a Mountain,” 40 years later in California.
7. Rebecca in “The Kid” leaves Spain to go see her grandmother in Los Angeles, who is secretly the grandmother in the title story “For the Love of Meat”.
8. Certain scenes from “Up on a Mountain” were inspired by childhood memories growing up on communes in Berkeley and north of the Bay Area.
9. Most of the characters in “Stumble and Fall” were imagined by splicing together a variety of ideas based on numerous real people and places into a completely fictional story.
10. “The Incident” was inspired in part by a visit to a monastic Buddhist community in the south of France.