Long overdue post!

I have just realised that I haven’t updated my blog since last March, which is crazy. Life (and writing) somehow got in the way! I had a wonderful writing year and managed to get many stories published. (The links are below) I hope yours went as well! Hope to be interacting with more of my fellow bloggers in 2019. All the best Mary

More Than This Published Memoir Mixtapes 04/04/18

This Man Published Marauder Literary Journal 06/04/18

Searching the Web Published The Fiction Pool 10/04/18

More than This Longlisted Fish Short Memoir Competition May 18

Are we there yet? Published Fictive Dream 25/05/18

The Last Day Shortlisted Cliffhanger competition Writing Magazine June 18

Sixty Published Flash Flood 16/06/18

In One Ear Published Firewords 25/06/18

Dandelion Clock Published The Drabble 27/06/18

A Wispy Kind of Gold Published Reflex Fiction 02/07/18

Why Did you Come? Published Ink in Thirds 01/09/18

One Night in Clapham Published Funicular Magazine 01/09/18

Obsession Published Spelk 10/09/18

The Goldfish Published Reflex Fiction 16/10/18

When Published Irreal Magazine 01/11/18

When a Bear met a Deer Published Ghost Parachute 01/11/18

Bunting Published The Drabble 19/11/18

The Moluccan Cockatoo Published Vamp Cat Mag 02/12/18

John Coltrane, he is not Winner Faber Academy Quick Fic Competition 08/12/18

Ladybird Recommended London Independent Story Prize 14/12/18

A few little successes

My intention this year is to write as much as possible and get published as much as possible, and it’s slowly starting to happen. I’m kind of believing that success is all about focus – where you put your attention.

On 14 March, my story, Full Circle was published on Ellipsis Zine and on 22 March, I had a short piece, ‘The Man Behind The Mask‘ published on Spillwords.

Today (27 March) my first drabble (100 word story) was published on The Drabble. The story is called So this is the End  and is about death/grief.

 

Back to the blog

After almost a year’s break, I’m back to the blog! I didn’t do much writing last year as I was focusing on a rather large cycling challenge (John o Groats to Lands End), which was over 1000 miles. However, in November I took a couple of workshops with renowned flash fiction writer, Meg Pokrass and they really kickstarted my creativity.

My aim this year is to get my stories published in literary journals and long-listed/shortlisted and placed in competitions, and so far I’ve had a number of pieces accepted.

On 1 January I had a story long listed in Reflex Fiction‘s quarterly flash competition – great start to the year!

In February I was runner up in Retreat West‘s quarterly themed flash competition with my story, This Time See White, a story based on the death of my father.  I also had my story, How to Write Well. Or Not accepted by the Cabinet of Heed, and have a couple of other stories forthcoming in journals.

I’ve just started another online workshop with Meg Pokrass and am hoping it’ll produce some more stories.

I trust you’re all having a wonderful year so far!

 

‘Last Sip’ – Sunday Photo Fiction

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‘Do you want to see him, love?’ said the nurse.
‘No,’ I replied as ‘he’ had gone. But the others took turns to say their final goodbyes, blowing noses and weeping softly as they left his room.
Later the undertakers arrived, did what they had to do and removed the body. I peeped through the curtains then and the drizzle obscuring the windows and glimpsed the coffin, the overworked windscreen wipers and the lowered heads. I then heard the crunch of gravel as the long black car transported my father’s body away from the home he’d loved.
Afterwards I crept upstairs into his empty room where I spotted his spectacles, open in his Bible at the page he was reading and his glass, three-quarters full of the water he was sipping up until 5 pm yesterday after which time he could drink no more.

This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction

‘The Three Wise Men’ – Sunday Photo Fiction

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I call them the three wise men. There are more of them obviously, but if I stand in a particular place; on the corner of Bessie Road and Gleneagle Avenue, in between the ‘s’ and the ‘F’ on the sign, ‘Gladstone’s Fish Shop.’ I can see them and only them. The lights are a mere five minute walk from my flat and even though I know the way, they guide me somehow, making sure I get home safely, and when I’m coming home at night after a hard day’s work, or a hard evening’s drinking, I gaze up at them looking for the answers they always provide.

‘Keep going,’ they tell me. ‘Don’t ever give up.’

And on particularly bleak nights like this one, when life seems pointless and all sense of purpose gone, they bore into me, deeper and deeper, blindly persisting until they connect with my soul. It’s this that enables me to go home lighter and slightly less despondent. It’s they that keep me alive – my three wise men.

This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction – Symmetry is a sign of beauty

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           They’d been arguing since well before Jamie got sick, and after that things only got worse. Fights broke out over everything – who would take him to hospital, when he should take his pills and how much they should tell him about what was going on.

           It had been Amy’s idea to make the cake. ‘I can make anything from flour and sugar,’ she’d boldly declared. Jamie’s birthday was on Halloween and he’d always loved everything about it; the tricks, the treats, the craziness. This year, however was different.

           Her husband took a step back and fixed his eyes on her latest creation. ‘The eyes are too close together and the scar below his chin, well, it’s just not symmetrical.’

           ‘It’s not supposed to be. Symmetry is a sign of beauty and Halloween is not a time for beauty.’

           ‘Hmm. And don’t you think it’s just a little too green?’

           Amy opened her mouth to reply and then the kitchen door opened.

           ‘Mum it’s perfect, said Jamie.

           Amy looked up; her son’s wan face was infused with happiness. She turned to Simon and for the first time since Jamie’s diagnosis she saw him smile.

This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction

(Great prompt, thanks!)