The story behind ‘Their Cruel Routines’

There are two mother-son relationships within ‘Their Cruel Routines’, the opening story in Broken Rules and Other Stories: that between the fictional mother and her adult son, and that between my own mother and myself. The latter was the spark or inspiration for the story. A few years ago, I went to stay with my mother at her house in the north of England to help look after her while she was unwell. I would be there for some months, so I set up a work station at the kitchen table, where I was able to write each day. It … Continue reading The story behind ‘Their Cruel Routines’

Final days: Fundación César Egido Serrano VI International Flash Fiction Competition

Es su última oportunidad The deadline has finally been announced. We have until midnight Spanish time on Friday December 31 to enter micro-stories for the sixth edition of the international contest of the César Egido Serrano Foundation. Two stories per author, maximum 100 words each, in Spanish, English, Arabic or Hebrew. Details and participation form here. ‘What are you doing New Year’s Eve?’‘Staying home to write some flash fiction.’‘What a good idea. Safer than going to a party or watching fireworks.’ Continue reading Final days: Fundación César Egido Serrano VI International Flash Fiction Competition

Festival reflections

When I first began sending work to publications and competitions, I realised that something strange happens once a story is submitted. Despite all the time spent honing, refining, getting it just right, almost immediately after hitting ‘submit’, issues and ideas previously hidden become apparent, opening up new and exciting ways to think about the story. This may be to do with distance from the submission process, stepping outside the piece and experiencing it objectively. With a few years under my belt, I’ve acquired a toolbox of resources for tricking my mind into believing a story’s been sent before it actually … Continue reading Festival reflections

Life Drawing

Maybe you could sketch me. I’ll recline, here on the couch, and you can study me all afternoon. No clothes, isn’t that the way it’s done? Turn up the heating, I’ll cover the cost. I’ll fall asleep eventually, drowsy with warmth, and you’ll be able to take your time, to notice the unguarded in my expression, capture the unexpected in my pose, see the detail beneath my skin. Take me by surprise with the finished drawing. I like surprises. What else were you going to do today? No one’s drawn me before. It must be fascinating to see oneself portrayed. … Continue reading Life Drawing

Fisher Girls | Island

One of my short stories is published in Island today. You can read ‘Fisher Girls’ here. I hope you like it. While you’re there, why not check out some of the other content. Since our beginnings in 1979 (as The Tasmanian Review), Island’s mission has remained the same: to produce a magazine with a national vision and audience that supports new, emerging and established writers and artists, and to bring works of excellence and variety to the reading public throughout Australia and overseas. Island Magazine Happy reading! Continue reading Fisher Girls | Island