The Story Behind “The Vacation Fight” by Tom Ipri

TIpriHeadshotToday’s post is written by Tom Ipri. We published one of his short stories in our Fall 2013 issue.

The Story Behind “The Vacation Fight”

by Tom Ipri

The Vacation Fight” is the love child of two other works-in-progress and one of several stories I’ve written inspired by my four years living in Las Vegas. With these stories, I wanted to capture more of the everyday lives of people who live there or pass through. There are enough Vegas stories about gambling, gangsters and wild parties.

One of these stories focuses on a wealthy young man who travels with his fiancee to Vegas and arranges her surprise bridal shower at an outdoor restaurant associated with one of the casinos. A detail of that story involves the young man catching an older man staring at him. The older man is there with a woman, presumably his wife. The young man speculates as to why the older man is watching him. The real reason the man is watching him is not important for that story, but I felt I needed to know and began developing some ideas.

Knowing that I wanted to focus on the tension between the couple, I came up with the title before I had any significant idea as to what the story would be about. One of my favorite short stories is Ann Beattie’s “The Four Night Fight,” and I’ll admit to that being an influence on the creation of this story.

Dana and Leslie [the main characters] also have small roles in my novel-in-progress. The events of that work take place several years prior to “The Vacation Fight.” Their daughter, Tara, crosses paths with one of the main characters of the novel. One of the concerns there is Tara’s inexplicable religiosity. As I thought about the older man and his wife, I came up with the idea of using Dana and Leslie. At first, I wasn’t sure what they would be fighting about but knew that I wanted to avoid predictable things like one of them gambling their money away or falling for a showgirl. I eventually settled on using Tara’s wedding as the reason for the trip and the fuel for their argument.

Writing “The Vacation Fight” was an interesting journey given that it originated with a brief moment stolen from another story.

About the Author

Tom Ipri is a librarian and writer currently back in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA after four years in Las Vegas. His creative works have appeared in Ayris MagazineSmall Brushes, Superior Poetry News and The Vermillion Literary Project. You can visit him online at Being and Formulating.

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