Some Publication News!

I’ve had one or two writing successes recently and wanted to share a couple of them with you here:

A little story called ‘The Fox’ is currently online here at Dog Ear magazine. This is a little magazine that is also a bookmark. Apparently it can be picked up in independent book shops, so I will now have to go and track some down! (In the hopes that my story makes it into print). I found out about them by reading the blog of Lori Cramer, who also has a story there called Quesadillas, so thank you Lori for your part in my success!

Secondly, my story ‘The Trial’ written as a response to the Visual Verse February prompt artwork was also published here along with several other excellent pieces. I really enjoyed taking part and hope to come up with something for March too.

I hope this has inspired some of you to also consider submitting to these publications. Good luck and happy writing!

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Death Lined Up

It’s been a bit quiet on here of late, and for that I can only apologise to my handful of loyal readers! I’ve been working on various stories and also been trying to understand how to use Twitter amongst other things… However, I am pleased to report that a little piece of mine has been published here at 365 tomorrows, which publishes daily sci-fi and speculative flash fiction.

It’s a bit different from the sort of stuff I usually write, but I have enjoyed trying out something outside of my usual comfort zone, and a little bit of success has definitely inspired me to write more in this genre.

As always, would love to hear what you think.

 

Nailpolish Stories

For anyone who isn’t aware of this place, please check out Nailpolish Stories here on WordPress. (There is a little story of mine in this January issue too if you scroll down far enough to find it!)

I really enjoyed the challenge of writing a story in only 25 words and love the concept of using the name of a nail polish as inspiration. There are some great pieces here- enjoy.

The Man on the Platform

Yesterday I was reading this interview with Rose McDonagh who won the October 2017 Bath Flash Fiction award with her excellent story Pony.

In the interview she says that the story came from a writing exercise which involved writing some dialogue between two characters where one has a secret. I decided to have a go at using this prompt myself and came up with this story. Let me know what you think, or why not have a go yourself?

The Man on the Platform

“Is that man waving at you?”

“Huh? Which man?” We were waiting for the London train. It was your birthday and we’d both taken the day off work to go to the National gallery together. You wanted to see the Francis Bacon exhibition.

“That man over there, with the green checked shirt. I’m sure he was waving at you.” You were pulling on my sleeve. I was trying to shake you off like you were a small dog who’d clamped its jaws onto an appendage, whilst trying to appear disinterested.

“I can’t see anyone.” I wasn’t looking. I’d already clocked him there ten minutes ago. How dare he wave, the stupid bastard.

“There! By the wall. He’s wearing one of those gilet things over his shirt. I hate those things. So pointless. Why would you want your body warm and your arms cold?”

“Hmmm. I’ve never seen him before. He can’t have been waving at me.” Lies. But I wasn’t prepared for this. Lying came so naturally, I was almost convincing myself.

“Yes, he is, look! He’s waving again!” He was as well. He could see I was with someone. What on earth did he think he was playing at? The platform was beginning to fill up. I hoped he would keep his distance. I couldn’t face the introductions.

“The train will be here in a minute, come on let’s go. He must have got me confused with someone else. People are always getting me confused with other women who have curly hair. Even women who look nothing like me, like that woman with the whippet who lives on Lark Close. It’s like they think we all look the same or something. I think it’s discrimination actually”. Just keep talking, distraction, diversion. This will be over soon.

“Are you sure you don’t know him? He’s smiling at you. I think he’s trying to say something.”

Would you just let it drop already? “I don’t know him, okay? Look, the train’s here. Let’s find our seats. I’ve never gone first class before, have you?”

“No. Thank you. It was sweet of you. I hope they have champagne.”

“Don’t get too excited. I’m not made of money.” You held my hand and I didn’t look back. I knew he wouldn’t find us. Fifteen years since he’d left Mum for his other woman. He was no father to me.

Wake-up Call

Claire was lost. There was a fire bell ringing somewhere, but she couldn’t find her way out. Each direction she chose led to another bare corridor filled with rows of closed doors, just like the last. There were no exit signs, no windows, no other people. The lighting was dim and the walls pale grey, like wet concrete. In a blind panic, she carried on running. There must be a staircase around here somewhere, she thought. I have to get out of here. But where am I?

Claire woke with the sudden realisation that her doorbell was ringing, and must have been so for some time. The insistence of its tone told her the caller was not going away. Confused, she dragged herself from her bed, swiping away damp hair stuck to the side of her face. She tripped on an empty wine bottle and lumbered through the doorway. A policeman broke down the front door at that moment.

The arrest was a relief. It was time to stop running.

How Not to End a Relationship

Further A-Z adventures of Candice, the serial dater.

For those who missed her previous adventures, they can be found here:

A Date to Remember

A Trip to the Zoo

After two years of life with Toby, Candice had had enough. But how could she break it off with him? Candice was sure he would be distraught- inconsolable perhaps. Dumping him was going to be difficult, but that would be the easy part. Extricating him from her flat would be the tougher challenge. ‘Flash Toby’ as he had come to be nicknamed by her friends, had well and truly got his feet under the table.

Granted, in the beginning his generosity and taste for the finer things in life had been attractive and exciting. Hotel weekends in stunning locations, meals in the best restaurants, lavish gifts and a taste for fast cars. It wasn’t long before he had moved in, and Candice dared to hope he could be ‘the one’ she had been looking for all this time. Just thinking back to those hedonistic early days of the relationship however, Candice cringed at how easily she had got swept up with it all, ignoring all the warning signs and her own better judgement.

Keeping their finances separate would clearly have been the more sensible choice, but Toby had insisted they open a joint bank account as a step towards their future together. Love had blinded Candice to Toby’s inability to live within their means at first, but spending £800 of their money on a robotic hoover had been a tipping point from which she could see no return. Men like Toby would never change. No, she was certain that today must be the day to tell him the party was finally over.

Once the decision she had been agonising over all day was made, Candice mixed herself an extra large gin and tonic and settled herself on the sofa to await his return from work. Perhaps he would cry and promise to change she thought with a twinge of sadness, wondering what was taking him so long.

Quickly downing her drink, Candice stood up as she heard a car pull up outside. Releasing a breath she hadn’t realised she had been holding as he opened the door, she steeled herself for ‘the talk’. Sooner rather than later would be best all round.

“Toby, there’s something we need to talk about,” she began as he took off his coat.

“Unless it’s how you plan to thank me for the gift I’ve got for us, it can wait,” he said grinning like a child with a new toy.

“Very thoughtful as ever I’m sure. What is it?”

“X6, convertible, the latest BMW,” he said dangling a set of keys in front of her nose.

“Yeah, I guess it can wait, let’s go for a spin!”

Zooming along with the wind in her hair, Candice decided there would be plenty of time to talk, another day.

Header image courtesy of Pixabay.com. And I am aware the picture is probably not a BMW X6, but I liked the cute dog 🙂