“Erarrat’s Apples” is a story about addiction. My own experience as an addict was the driving force behind the character of Ibrahim Erarrat, the seed from which the story was grown.
The seed exploded into the sun all at once, on a Thursday night in September. I was in my friend’s basement. We have a creative writing podcast, “Radio Freewrite” (check us out), and every Thursday we meet and write crazy stories, and then record ourselves reading them and discussing the writing life. I wrote the first draft of “Erarrat’s Apples” in that basement, channeling my long struggle with addiction into Ibrahim Erarrat’s immense, insatiable hunger.
The story was scribbled in my journal, and I typed it out and made edits. Then I submitted it to GSR. I was overjoyed when Laura accepted “Erarrat’s Apples” for an editorial mentorship and publication in Issue 9.
I waited for her first round of edits. I flew to Europe for the trip I'd been planning since the start of the pandemic. I got Laura's edits while I was in Paris, and wrote a second draft of “Erarrat’s Apples” in a hostel there. The story takes place in France, and I set it there because I knew I would be traveling there. I was living in the setting of my story as I worked on it, which was quite fun and a little surreal.
Laura helped me see areas where the story could be cleaned and polished. I followed all of her edits, because I agreed with them. I changed the ending of the story significantly at her suggestion. I think it is now a better ending, and I am glad that Ibrahim has that better ending.
I love writing, and so working with Laura during the process of revising “Erarrat’s Apples” was absolutely delightful. It was the first time I’ve worked closely with an editor on a piece I’ve written. I hope it won’t be the last. Thank you to Laura and GSR. I hope you enjoy reading my story.
Karim Ragab was born and raised in Ohio, and still calls the Cleveland area his home. He is one of the hosts of Radio Freewrite, a creative writing and storytelling podcast. He has had stories published in Flora Fiction, Dissonance Magazine, and Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library’s Neighborhood Voices anthology. He recently quit teaching in order to pursue a dream of writing. He is at work on a novel, entitled Manifest Destiny, and a book of short stories, called Mixed Episodes. “Errant’s Apples” will be included in the collection.