What time is it? The answer, as always, is no time at all… Life moves quickly and yet I still cannot seem to get it together to totally nail all my washing. That never-ending pile of socks and dirty drawers will probably still be lingering long after I am gone. A legacy of laundry. I’ve a good mind to simply move to a new house and leave it all behind….
On a more positive note, my story SENTIENT, SENTIMENT AND SENTENCES was fortunate enough to be placed on the judges commended list in the recent FRIDAY FLASH FICTION EDINBURGH FESTIVAL competition. The piece was part of a loose trilogy comprising of said story plus two other flashes, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE and AMOUR DU BIBLIOPHILE DANS LA BIBLIOTHEQUE. All stories can be found on the FFF website, although CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE contains a couple of typos, so here is the correct final draft (just to calm my throbbing brain which cannot handle knowing that the mistakes are there!)
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE by Steven Holding.
He climbed inside his first story as a child, hiding from what he heard in worlds where pictures did the talking.
Words saved him; each letter learnt a tiny escape, letting every sentence cast its magic spell.
He was quick to replicate the magic trick, writing all the time, when fiction bought him a ticket out of town.
His books took him further away, until the day the doctor called.
On the hospital ward, he held his old man’s hand, reciting poems, wondering whether he would understand.
Finally realising life was a novel you only get one chance to read.
Phew, that’s better. The past couple of weeks have also seen some of my work appearing in a few books. My story DREW HID can be found in the anthology ANCIENTS from BLACK HARE PRESS, and I’ve also got a handful of yarns in both TREMBLING WITH FEAR YEAR THREE and TREMBLING WITH FEAR: MORE TALES FROM THE TREE VOLUME TWO. Links for all these fancy new paperbacks will soon be added to the credits section of the website if you think that they might be just the thing to tickle your fancy right up your alley.
Regular readers (?????) will be aware that I am more than a little partial to the occasional micro fiction challenge. PRIME NUMBER MAGAZINE run a monthly themed 53- word competition. Although I have yet to score any success, many of the ideas generated from my numerous entries often end up being developed into much longer pieces. Some, however, remain steadfastly fixed at the 53-word limit, where I think they happily belong. Here are two which I dig, the first written following the prompt “SHELL”, the second inspired by the keyword “SUNDAY”.
A HAIRLINE CRACK IN AN ALREADY FRAGILE SHELL by Steven Holding.
They discovered the conch washed up on a beach after a perfect storm.
“Listen” said father, holding it to his ear.
A sound. The whispering of ocean waves.
Then a voice, perfectly clear.
It was the first time he’d heard such a thing said.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be the last.
MY I DON’T HAVE TO RUN DAY by Steven Holding.
Every other Sunday is mother and son day. Terms and conditions, crystal clear: stay dry, home by teatime.
She pulls up.
Her boy smiles from the backseat, tender reflection caught in the rear-view mirror.
“Love you Mom”
It’s just enough to get her through another fourteen days.
And then, he’s gone.
Well, I think that’s more than enough at this moment in time. I will try and follow up this post as quickly as possible with some book, music and film recommendations (there’s a LOT of good shit out there right now!) I may also be dusting off some poetry from the vaults… Right, that’s it, over and out, I’m off to listen to HEY, THAT’S MY BIKE…..