Well, it’s been over a year since my last post, so I figure it’s time to catch you up with what I’ve been up to recently.
I’ve been taking my masters in Creative Writing and Publication, as I mentioned I would be doing in a previous post, and I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it! So much so, that I’m currently going through the application process to take a PhD in Creative Writing. Fingers crossed that’ll all be settled quite soon – and in the meantime I’m looking for a ‘proper’ job (or, at least, one that brings in enough money to pay my bills and leave enough over for food!)
While a lot of the masters has been about longer-form fiction, we also had a flash fiction module which has strongly resurrected my interest in the form (not that it had ever really gone anywhere!) So I’ve been writing a fair amount of flash, and I’ve combined these flashes with my New Year’s Resolution, which was to try and submit at least 100 times this year.
I came up with this resolution because I do struggle with rejection – I’ll submit two or three pieces, have them rejected and then lose all my confidence for a few months! This way, even if pieces are rejected I have still achieved something positive, a result towards my 100 submissions. I can also recycle rejected pieces, immediately sending them somewhere else following a rejection, thereby quickly ticking off another notch. Hopefully this will help to prevent the two-and-three-month long doldrums, encouraging me to keep on sending work out and logging a few more successes.
In fact, this has already proven itself successful: from maybe three accepts last year, I am already on five positives: three for Pandora’s Inbox (link attached below), one for Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine which is shortly forthcoming, and one, the latest, for National Flash Fiction Day’s Flash Flood. My entry, ‘Soccer Mom’, will be released at 18:00 on the 15th June 2019 – do keep an eye out for it, if you are a fan of the site.
I have submitted perhaps twenty of the hundred pieces I am meant to be sending out this year, and we are already nearly halfway through the year! I am hoping to have a bit more leisure time during the summer, while I am working on my dissertation, to send out some more flashes and short stories and hit my target.
The PhD will be a novel-length piece of writing, as well as a twenty-thousand-word critical piece which, at this stage, is looking to be four 5,000-word essays on the themes and issues highlighted within the creative piece. I am very much looking forward to getting to grips with the next level of writing!
Here’s a piece that I had published in Pandora’s Inbox that was also included in the print version.
I really liked her shirt. It was white with lace flowers all around the bottom edge in a cheerful sunflower yellow, and nicely fitted to her figure.
When I was little, I loved our living room. We had floor-to-ceiling windows with French doors that were usually open onto a garden filled with hot-pink bougainvillea, smoky blue hydrangeas and flame-coloured zinnias. The curtains, white and almost see-through, billowed in the light breeze that carried the scent of roses into the room. I would have spent hours, if my mother had let me, just watching the play of sunlight through voile and the movement of the flowers in the wind, but she chased me away to the kitchen to play near the maid or out into the garden where Dad would be tinkering with the car or laying out another bed for the growing veggie patch he was putting in.
So, when I saw her shirt and smiled and said, ‘I like your shirt. It looks like curtains,’ I knew what I meant.
Here’s the link in case you would like to read it in situ (scroll down to my name and pick ‘Curtains’) or you can check out the other pieces, many of which are very good indeed. Alongside another short story, there is also that rarest of commodities, a poem of mine!