Dandelion Clocks

It’s nearly spring; my favourite time of year. I wrote this story after I had witnessed my precious cat Lucy being run over in front of me. I wanted to commemorate her in some way, and I also wanted to reflect on the immense power that throwaway words and small gestures can have, particularly when […]

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The Lost One

Last year was a year of endings and new beginnings for me. Heartbreak competed with hope and a new sense of freedom. This is the first story I have written for quite some time. I scatter pieces of someone else’s imaginary life in front of me. It has been expertly broken. It is up to […]

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Beginnings

I’m going home next June. I was born in Northern Ireland, and lived with my Protestant minister father and my mother and two siblings in County Armagh, just by the border. In the seventies (yes I am that old) South Armagh was known as “bandit country” because it was such a dangerous place to be during […]

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Choosing a Title

A short thought today on titles – specifically, choosing one for your story or novel or poem. Each time I start a new post here I am invited to fill in the “Title” section at the top. I used to struggle with this. I tried to come up with something creative and intriguing and clever, […]

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The Cat

For background on this story and how it came about, you may want to read yesterday’s post first. Short version: the story was inspired by this image, which is the wallpaper on my phone’s lock screen: The Cat I walk with fire on either side of me. Out of the fire skeletons grope and reach, […]

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Writing prompts: useful or not?

Some people swear by writing prompts: exercises designed to give the writing process a bit of a kickstart when you’re stuck. Personally, I find them a little prescriptive. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants. I might have an inkling of an idea, so I set it down on paper. Then I […]

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Flowers

This, for better or for worse, is the “crap but short” story I referred to in yesterday’s post. I just sat down and wrote the first thing that came into my head. What emerged was an unintentional mini-meditation on the issues preoccupying me at the moment: love and sadness, regrets and hopes, the dream state, […]

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Tell Me On a Sunday, Please

I don’t often pick up the phone on a Sunday. I prefer to cloister myself at home, with no intrusion from the outside world. If it’s important they’ll leave a message or call my mobile, I reason. I don’t answer my mobile unless the caller ID announces a friend to whom I feel like talking. […]

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The Girl Behind The Bar

I entered this story in a competition a few months ago. Today I found out how I went. Read my next post to find out… The Girl Behind The Bar The girl behind the bar, her face tight like a punch, takes my order. She grips at the tap with a grubby thumb, her blonde […]

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Descent

We stand together looking at the view. It is more impressive than a Monet, as shattered as a Picasso. I try to tell him this but he interrupts. I may know nothing about “art,” he says, using his fingers as quotation marks, but in my very humble opinion that tree is an eye, that sand […]

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