I’d like to read you a story, one that I wrote earlier this year. It’s called Bread And Olives, and you can download it, if you like, from Ether Quick Reads, via their app. It’s free, and it’s very short.
It’s been one of those days. Although I’d be hard pushed to tell you exactly why. But then, it has also been one of those fortnights. And I’m tired. I am so tired tonight that I almost feel drunk with it. But I’m ploughing on regardless. Why? Couldn’t tell you. Perhaps bloody-mindedness is a habit.
I’m stuck. There has been almost zero wordage achieved in the last two weeks, although four things have been given a final polish and sent out with a kiss and a cake to make their way in the world. One of them has already found a home with Ether Books again, a distinctly uncheery little number that I nevertheless enjoyed writing. (And if you want to look at it with the requisite application, it’s called The Day He Left. And it’s free. So why not risk it?) But I’m sanguine that the dearth of words won’t continue for long. Another two stories on the go, and then when they’re done, I’m almost certain that I’ll be ready to return to the Second Draft Monster. Almost certain…
The Sunday before last – May 27th – I was doing this (I’m in the green dress). I was incredibly nervous beforehand, to the point of (very) mild hysteria as I sat in my seat, waiting to go on. I’m not unused to public speaking, I even trod the boards briefly in my days at a bricks and mortar university, but reading my own words to an attentive audience was a thing that daunted me. I felt very exposed. However, I was given some exceptionally good advice the evening before, which helped no end. You know who you are, and a thousand times THANK YOU. And yes, you were right, and I bloody loved it. It was a fabulous evening, a very hot evening, and a most diverting evening…
And I think that will do for now. There’ll be – unusually – another post tomorrow evening…
One of the things I love about good summer weather is being able to go barefoot – all day, if I don’t need to leave the house. The feeling of hot wooden decking beneath my feet as I hang out the laundry, and the garden scents swirling around me; roses, clematis, wisteria, aqualegia… but no honeysuckle, yet. It’s late this year, and I miss it dreadfully. Nothing quite fills the senses like woodbine does, coiling in clasping tendrils around the pergola, scrambling over the fence, clambering up the walls, its golden trumpets delicate, but never shy. Its time will come, and soon, I hope. In the meantime the wisteria does its best to make up for it, and makes my head swim like wine when I open the windows, laced with cut grass from the larger gardens, and the park… intoxicating!
Despite the golden days, and warmer nights, the black bitch Depression still slyly bites, every now and then. And there doesn’t seem to be much that I can do about it, at the moment, except to endure it. Or sleep through it. Not that I mean to sound defeatist – I certainly don’t want to beaten by this thing! – but somehow it seems harder to be in the dark, when there’s all this gorgeous light around me. And yet, summer is the time of deeper shadows, lasting longer… seeing the Hockney exhibition in March made me appreciate that; his paintings of the same place viewed through the changing seasons, the changing light, and shadows.
But there are plenty of things to look forward to. I’ll be running away for a long weekend with friends in Scotland next month, for a start. And this Sunday I’m taking part in the Stroud Short Stories Site festival event. Which I’m quite excited about. And nervous. Very nervous. Oh yes, and last week I had another flash fiction (200 words, the shortest thing I’ve written so far) accepted by Ether Books. Which made me squeak with happiness. It’s called ‘Bread and Olives’, if you fancy downloading it to your smart phone or iPad. And that’s enough shameless self-promotion for now. I need to go and breathe in the garden.