Since lockdown began I’ve been focussing on my novel Governor’s Man, and neglecting my usual short story writing. Then along came the Lincoln Book Festival 2020 flash fiction competition. The challenge was to write a complete 50-word story about the Lincoln Imp. Those of you who’ve visited Lincoln will know of the little gargoyle who sits perched on top of Lincoln Cathedral, staring down at passers by. Locals regard him as malign; he’s been blamed for all sorts of mishaps over the centuries, from housefires and miscarriages to sour milk.Continue reading “Prize winner at Lincoln Book Festival 2020”
Mirror at Midnight
My latest published story. This tiny story is a flash horror, but no gore, I promise you.Continue reading “In “Fear and Fables””
Back in the autumn, the bijou but lovely team at Stormy Island Publishing kindly accepted my flash story Mirror at Midnight for their upcoming Halloween anthology. Then fate intervened, via toddler’s orange juice poured into the editor’s laptop, and Halloween went by uncelebrated (by me). Continue reading “Fear and Fables…horror at Christmas”
I’m really quite an organised person; or as my beloved suggests, I’ll do any form of prevarication to avoid actual writing. So I keep a detailed record – using fab writers’ tool Duotrope – of all my stories and their current whereabouts.
Now please don’t be picturing the bereft little creatures, dispatched shoeless and alone, doomed to wander forever in the big bad world.
I’m not that cruel, and I truly love every story I write (even if a surprising majority of publishers and competition judges don’t agree.) So I track each submission carefully, anxiously monitoring the progress of my small creations and weeping a little whenever they are rejected and sent back to Mummy unpublished. Continue reading “Poor little lost souls”
It’s officially autumn. Even our sunflowers have wrapped shawls round their heads against the October chills.
I can personally vouch for the season’s change, having caught the Great-Grandmother of all colds nearly four weeks ago. It kept me in bed for a fortnight, and then ruined a week’s holiday in the Dordogne, especially when my Beloved also fell prey to the virus and couldn’t drive us home. We were a menace on four wheels as we wobbled our way back to the Channel, cutting our trip short and coughing a bug-filled hurricane over every passing French person. Continue reading “Back on your heads!”
Readers of my travel blog (peteandjacmotorbikingineurope.wordpress.com) will immediately appreciate the serendipity of the picture above. Tracy Chevalier, my hero and talented author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Last Runaway, and most recently The Edge of the Orchard, was a speaker at the Historical Novel Society’s 2016 conference in Oxford last weekend, which I attended. (Apologies for the poor quality of the image, taken on my phone from way back in the hall.) Her wit, modesty and plain good sense are like gold dust. Coming only a few days after seeing the Vermeer original of Girl in The Hague on the final day of our European travels, her keynote address just seemed to really bookend that wonderful trip. Continue reading “Special moments in history”
Well, I hope that’s how it turned out for the five writers who braved my Write Your Own Short Story workshop last Saturday. It was all part of the Cheddar Arts Fringe Festival. The idea was to add writing to the line-up of arts on display throughout Cheddar last weekend. But I wasn’t sure anyone would come, and set up my big table in the library half expecting to have a quiet morning to myself.
I shouldn’t have worried. By a few minutes after ten, we had a table full of story writers. And what a wonderful bunch they turned out to be! Continue reading “A wonderful way to spend Saturday morning”
In spring 2013 I visited the entrancing city of Istanbul with my parents. I instantly fell in love with this exotic and history-drenched city. I was less enamoured by the hustling carpet salesmen, but managed to return home without a Turkish rug under my arm. Continue reading “A Touch of the Sinister”
This very very short flash story – indeed at 100 words it qualifies as a Drabble – was the first story I was paid for. It’s a contemporary take on the classic tale, with a twist ending.
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