Welcome to my blog. The home page will always display the most recent blog post so please use the tabs to navigate your way around. Keep up to date by visiting the 'News' area. The 'Short Stories' area and the ‘Flash Fiction’ area contain everything produced thus far, and comments would be much appreciated! Be sure to check out the 'Three Words' area that will explain how you can get involved in influencing the written work to come, or for details on contributing your own artwork visit the 'Artists' area! You can read my 'Blog' (in the truer sense), additional content is also available via the 'Other' section and don't be afraid to leave a comment in the 'Guestbook'. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Blog - 14/08/14

Hey! So yes, it's been a while! I guess the first thing to say is that this will be the way of things for the foreseeable future. Instead of monthly updates I'm going back to posting when something happens. I've not found a lot of time to write recently and when I have it's been spent on bigger projects, so rather than post a variation of the same excuse every month this seems a more practical (and less soul destroying) approach.

So I guess the question may be... so why this blog post then? Has something happened? Why, yes actually!

I read a blog post by an author about writing in a second-person perspective  a little while back and was intrigued enough to give it a go. I'd never done it before, not even considered it. The only time I can really think that I've read anything from that view point were those 'Choose your own adventure' books as a child. (Turn to page 67 if you want to do 'this', turn to page 21 if you want to do 'that', and turn to page 42 if you're deliberately trying to kill yourself.)  I remember massively enjoying them, but I guess from that point I figured it was the ultimate deployment of the whole perspective, it didn't even cross my mind you could use it in any other format.
So I found an upcoming flash fiction competition and decided to give it a go. I found it to be a challenging experience. It was nice to write something differently, (I almost write exclusively in third-person) but the novelty was quickly wearing off by the time I'd finished. The problem was I found my options very limited. Not everything works when writing in second-person. The original plan I had for the piece was very quickly strangled and tugged away in one clear direction, whereas I like having two or three different options to choose from. Of course, this could have been a limitation of the story or more likely my own inexperience with the view point, but it just felt very restraining and I'm not sure I'll be attempting anything else similar for a while.
I must have done something right though because I actually finished third in the competition!
I've included a link to the piece on this site and also the original announcement of results on the head judge's own page if you'd prefer to read it there.
I'll admit, when I read back over the final version of the piece I wasn't too sure about it - but then there was one thing I got from the feedback of my few test readers that made me wonder if I'd cracked the format a little!
Have a read if you like, and then get back to me either by commenting on this post, maybe leaving me a comment on my Facebook page or dropping me a tweet to see if you can spot it! Just ask yourself what the story is about...

Until next time, buh-bye!


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Flash Fiction
Length - 500 words

Finished third place in the Northampton Literature Competition Flash Fiction 2014.

You come home to find the front door unlocked when it shouldn't be and memories of your son's troubled past weigh heavy. What has he done this time?



Oh no, you think, halfway through wiggling your key needlessly in the lock. The last time he snuck home like this you found him sitting on the stairs with his things thrown angrily and carelessly about the hallway. An expulsion, a trip to court, and a change of school later, things were just getting back on track. A streak of red comes away on your palm from the door handle and you shudder as you blink away the memory. He’s been trying hard to control his temper.

You step inside and his bag is by the door, his coat hung up neatly on the rail. That’s a relief. But strangely, yours is missing. Your son emerges into the hallway.

‘Why are you home so early?’ But he just walks straight past you. You go to stop him but then you catch sight of his eyes. They’re red and raw, like he’s been crying.

‘What’s going on? Why aren’t you at school?’

He pauses, and his lips look like they’re about to say something. But then they fail, the movement you spotted was actually a quiver. He’s not even looking at you, you realise. He’s looking through you. Something terrible must have happened.

Ignoring him for a moment, you push through and enter the room he’s just left. You solve the mystery of your missing coat pretty quickly, but the next question is who he’s hidden underneath it.

‘What have you done?!’ You demand, screaming this time. Again, he just walks past you back in the direction of the corpse, whispering something quietly to himself that you can’t make out. The guilt, you realise, he must be in shock.

Slapping him doesn’t help. He takes the blow like a pro and wears your crimson five-piece like a badge. Blink and it’s gone. Memories have never been so corruptible. Fuming, and a little confused, it’s about time you play detective and see to the unveiling.

Looking down, the deathless face is like a mirror and you sink to your knees in horror. The shroud both has and hasn’t moved.

‘Why?’ you whimper. It’s funny, that coat is so thick with blood by now it’s like it’s wearing you.

A knotted ball forms in your stomach, you gave everything, thick and -

When did it get so dark? You beat your eyelids a couple of times to recalibrate and notice he’s holding a letter. It starts to glow. You’re fighting the intensifying light, shielding yourself with a raised, dripping hand until -

Now you remember.

‘I’m so sorry.’ You beg, but it’s no more than a lost whisper between worlds. He explodes into a fury and rips your goodbye to shreds. Words of sorrow burst as fire and when they fall, the darkness is absolute.

You and all the others, so quick to assume the worst in him. Yes, there’s been murder here, but that blood was on your hands. In taking your own life, you’ve taken what’s left of his as well.
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