Monday, 2 January 2012

to RSI and the DTS. Happy New Year!

With new Christmas books piled up EVERYWHERE and all the poor, unread neglected tomes peering at me from every corner of my room like mewing, shivering orphans, I’ll attempt a brief update about what’s been going on in the last month, and then get back to them. Which shouldn't take long.

The mixture of extended holidays and festive revelry has seen feedback from the magazines that I’ve submitted to fall into a stupor, and seen my own productivity huddle up in a corner with The Radio Times and Bailey's and lumps of cheese and jars of pickled onions. 

I did, however, receive two acceptances for flash fiction within twenty-four hours of each other last week, and both within twenty-four hours of me sending them.  Mmm. So, I’m either getting better as a writer, better at judging the market, or I just managed to catch editors who were already sloshed on sherry and who decided to send some good will my way. Whatever the reason, in January and February, Pure Slush and Apocrypha and Abstractions respectively, will publish, and I’ll post them on here once they go live.

I had a story called ‘Tadpoles’ published in Mused:BellaOnline Literary Review, which was a revised story that had been lurking in my files for ages and that had undergone lots of POV shifts and changes of tone and plot. It's such an old piece of writing I do approach it with a more critical eye, but I’m fairly happy with it and it’s good to have something a little longer than 500 words out there.

And finally, yesterday The Molotov Cocktail published my short piece, “Ending Soon: baby shoes, never worn, bargain.”  The title is stolen from (or provides an intertext with, as I prefer to see it) Ernest Hemingway's story in six words, which is one of the best examples of how powerful flash fiction, and language in general, can be:

For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

While my story then becomes another one about dead babies (and to get me off the-perma-outraged-feminist-always-a-teen-goth-hook), the title was initially just “Ending Soon” and was originally just about a relationship in trouble. This version was rejected by another magazine as the narrator’s “nastiness” was seen as unwarranted and unexplained, so I added another layer and while this addition to the tale seems to work, these odd reoccurring themes are somewhat troubling.  Other things that seem to keep popping up are white bedsheets, freckles, vomit and blood.  I’m not even going to start probing that. 
(Oh, and ignore the typo in 'Ending Soon', and blame the editor. I'm a crap proof reader but not quite that bad.)

Other than that, the MA starts next week, so I need to decide pretty quickly what my novel is going to be about, and get reading.

 Google research history of late: guitar string mnemonics, radiation, Tom Jones’ hits, miscegenation in the Bible, famous harlots, Seamus Heaney, crows.

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