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Catching up on my reading, and getting rewarded

28 Mar

I restarted a new subscription to Writing Magazine about a year ago and got second place in one of the first competitions I entered with them. Read it HERE So far so good, but my reading had slipped a bit, as the magazines are crammed full of articles, stories and various other info about outlets etc.

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk today reading January’s edition, and look:

Writing Magazine Jan2017

Bizarrely I was just working on that very story this afternoon to make it fit the word count of another competition. The Scottish Art Club’s short story competition has a hefty entrance fee, but feeling more confident after seeing this.

Away with the Fairies

3 Nov

When the children asked why Granny couldn’t remember their names, or talked to them like they were her childhood friends, I couldn’t bear to use the words – Dementia, Alzheimer’s. Their little tongues wouldn’t be able to wrap themselves around the syllables, so said she was away with the fairies. It made them giggle, satisfied their curious minds. It made me wonder how long I had accepted the same explanation when my mum used it for my little Nan. How long before I drummed up the courage to ask if it was really the fairies that were occupying her mind. From my reading of the Brownie Handbook, I would have thought it was more likely to be imps, making Nan leave the gas on to boil the electric kettle dry; making her strip to her girdle and knickers, and walk out to meet the postman.

It seemed appropriate that we took Mum out to the woods to scatter her. The roots of blown down trees looked like fairy skyscrapers, with nooks and crannies to hide precious memories. A ring of mushrooms under an oak. Stones neatly piled. Tinkling in the breeze.

‘What do we do now?’ Moya asked.

The rituals at the church and crematorium were for others to command, now it was my turn, and I struggled under the weight of expectation. A new tradition about to be born through this death.

‘Form a circle,’ I said, thinking back to my childhood’s Thursday nights. ‘Hold hands. Now we skip.’

John looked at me, and I knew he thought I’d gone too far.

‘Even Daddy?’

‘Especially Daddy.’

We skipped in a circle as I mumbled incantations from all the cultures that had brewed in my life. Then I broke the circle, stood in the middle, a tight little group, clasping hands around me. I took her from my pocket, and silently asked the fairies to look after her.

This story was written in response to this prompt at Creative Writing Ink

A photo by Robert Lukeman. unsplash.com/photos/_RBcxo9AU-U

A Good Way to Start the Day

8 Jul

With a yipee and a cheque for winning the Writing Magazine’s 750 word competition. You’ll be able to read my entry shortly online, but for the moment I’m just going to sit here with a smile on my face. 100_0791 - Copy

Oh, and in case you’ve forgotten, since I’ve only mentioned in 3 times – All the Places I’ve Ever Been is still on a Kindle Countdown deal, although it ends in exactly 1 day 13 hours, from time of writing – basically you need to get it by tomorrow!!!

And the Winner is…Me

27 Apr

It is a wonderful feeling to get an email with some good news, and here it is – another win in the Creative Writing Ink monthly short story competition. Read it here.

It was actually a story which I had written ages ago, and was sitting in a submissions pile for an anthology for about 18 months. I finally lost hope about hearing anything else about this publication, so I submitted it to Creative Writing Ink. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the anthology folk got back in touch – they wanted to use it. I had to hold them off, and when I got the nod from CWI I had to withdraw the story all together. I don’t like having to let people down, but it was a nice problem to have with two people wanting the same story, and in the end it went to the highest bid – £10 vs £0. Anyway, go and have a wee read at Forget-me-not, and let me know what you think.

 

Update: You can read all the winning stories from the website here

Ice Queen

22 Apr

There’s more to her than meets the eye, there’s got to be. That cold exterior must have some hidden depths. Maybe when she leaves here she helps out at a soup kitchen, or a food bank. Maybe she rescues dogs, or half-squashed hedgehogs.

She can’t possibly be this shallow – only worried about face creams and this month’s healthy eating craze. Surely her well-educated brain has space for the plight of refugees or how to combat global warming.

I look across the desk at her. She’s been trying to make me cry all day. Throwing reports at me, asking for figures she knows she has banjaxed, commenting on how her sister would never leave the house without full make-up, let alone turn up at work with dried baby-sick to be scratched off a jacket, and she had twins.

I do not rise to her bait. I have worries and joys and pains and delights that she cannot even image as she sails her solitary course. But one day she will approach me from the wrong angle, and find that I have hidden depths, and there is a fire raging within my ice.

 

 

This piece of flash fiction was inspired by the photo prompt at Creative Writing Ink – their copyright.

American Gothic – Flash Fiction

11 Feb

 

It seemed cruel of him to send me the card – he knew it was my favourite painting – the woman, stoic in her love. ‘Such a romantic,’ he said, ‘I prefer Munch.’

I’m getting married and thought I should let you know, was scrawled inside, in that writing I had learned to decipher .

He didn’t give a date or place, nor the name of his bride or an address, but his meaning was clear – although I am getting married, one day you and I will grow old together – wait for me.

 

This piece was inspired by the painting American Gothic, as posted at Creative Writing Ink

#flashfiction #americangothic #creativewritingink #valentinesday #love

A Good Day

4 Dec

Well the wind is howling, and the rain is getting ready to fall from the sky, but two great things happened today. Firstly the lovely people at Creative Writing Ink told me I’d won their November short story competition. You can read it here then I got the final proof finished of All the Places I’ve Ever Been. It should be available to buy as a paperback in the next couple of days, but is currently on Amazon as an ebook if that’s your preferred method of reading.

A good end to what has otherwise been a very rubbish week.

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