Tuesday, 10 February 2009

For Sale: Baby Shoes, never worn

Last year was one of the happiest of my life. Nothing major happened. I didn't get married. Didn't have a baby. Didn't buy my own house or get a new car. No. I spent the entire year writing for my MA in Creative Writing. Every day, every week was filled with a different task in which I had to write. Since I finished my degree, I find myself writing less and less. Consequently, I don't feel as happy. It's quite sad really. But it just shows how I equate happiness with writing. I somehow feel at home with a pen in my hand or a keyboard beneath my fingertips.

It was this reason that I decided to start a blog. It gives me the opportunity to write about things that most people don't really want to talk about. It gives me the chance to sharpen those skills and make certain that I write something, anything, at least once a day. Maybe that will put a smile on my face?

I've decided to incorporate some of the weekly tasks from my degree into my blog. This first post is writing flash fiction, that is, fiction of the teeny-tiny variety. When I was first introduced to this concept I didn't think it was possible to convey an entire story in 200 words, let alone ten. But then my tutor told us about Hemmingway. He was challenged to write the shortest story in history:

'For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.'

Six words. Six teeny-tiny words choregraphed to perfection. The result: a moving tale of loss. Ambiguous? Yes. Marvelous? Absolutely. In the vein of Hemmingway, I have posted my own pieces of flash fiction. They are not recent, in fact, they were written during my degree. I will be posting newer material, once I've put my thinking cap on. I just have to find it first! Anyway, I'd be interested to learn what people think, particularly the second piece, as no one in my class understood just whose perspective I was writing from! Here goes:

10 words

Hiding his shock, John shook hands with his younger self.

200 words
She lives across the street. Long red hair, well almost, it’s auburn, the colour of autumn leaves. Her skin is porcelain fresh, rosy at times. I don’t know her name. I like to think it’s something traditional or plain like Kate. I peer through my white net curtain and stare at her. I can’t have the light on of course, or else she’ll see me. It has to be dark. I watch her in the front garden, sitting in the sun. Every night I pray for sunshine the next day, just to catch a glimpse of her. If I’m feeling rather good, some days I pray I’ll go blind. Lately it’s been raining and I can’t help but think he’s punishing me, mocking me. I wish I could smell her, talk to her, touch her but I can’t. Or I shouldn’t. I’m not sure which at times. She passes by my fence. I will my shoes to turn to lead or stone, whichever will stop me. It must not happen again.


  1. I really like your texts, your style and your blog. I really do. I'll follow it with lively interest. I'm from France, so, be lenient for my english!
    Read you soon!

  2. Aww, thank you very much! And your English seems pretty good to me! :)

  3. You might wanna take a look at http://www.txtlit.co.uk. They run a monthly competition, your only allowed 160 characters as you enter by text message.
    Some quite good ones in the past.


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