Short Stories: Your Cold Hands Feel So Warm
I am currently writing my first collection of short stories, a mixture of speculative fiction and dark fairy tale. A young woman tells her jealous best friend about the night God showed up at her house. A sky-girl puts iron shoes on her feet so that she can get an earthly boyfriend. An office worker enters the forest scene on a Christmas card and emerges without a heart. Your Cold Hands Feel So Warm explores the many ways in which stories influence us and give meaning to our experiences.
My short story ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix’ won third prize in the NAWG 2014 Open Short Story Competition, and my short story, ‘Stones’, was shortlisted in the 2015 Exeter Writers Short Story Competition. You can read and listen to my flash fiction story, A Spoonful of Ash, over at MacGuffin.com – an exciting new “jukebox for literature” created by Comma Press.
Simple slanting bones is an online poetry project that began life during National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo) in 2014. The challenge was to write a poem a day during the month of April. By the end of the month, I had posted 30 poems to the project and – even better – I had fallen in love with poetry. Along the way, I exorcised a few poetic demons, such as that zen moment years ago when I threw away all my poems. The result: poetry is here to stay. The project has continued this year with a focus on experimenting with a variety of poetic forms. My poem, Last Town on the Map, is published in the Human Genre Project.
One of my favourite poetic forms is Blackout Poetry, also known as Erasure Poetry. I was inspired by the work of poet and cartoonist Austin Kleon and devoured his book Newspaper Blackout in almost one sitting. The idea is to take a newspaper article and to create a poem by choosing the words you want to keep, blacking out the rest with a marker. It sounds relatively simple, but I was amazed to discover how challenging it can be to work within such limitations. This sense of constriction allows for a great feeling of surprise when something unusual emerges.
For more blackout poems click here.