Lit Up published my short creative nonfiction piece about losing my dad. It’s not the most cheerful thing I’ve ever written but we can’t write fun stories all the time, I guess!
His skin is too thin. Not papery — not that frail— but like the corners of a paperback that have been crumpled up and smoothed out one time too many. Each crease seems to be etched deeper than it was just twenty minutes ago. When the blood was still going round.
It’s my first foray into creative nonfiction and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Read it here.
Something really cool happened. Janise Michel created an animation for one of my short stories, I Remember, for her digital drawing class at university. It’s amazing and you should watch it immediately! That is all.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new and totally
unoriginal feature that I’m calling MONTHLY BLOGS. The concept is simple; I
will have a ramble once a month about my writing life, my reading life and my
personal life. Nobody asked for this but it’s happening. You’re welcome.
What have I been writing?
Aside from the fiction I’ve been posting here and on Medium, I’ve been frantically working on a whole bunch of other stuff in hopes of making up for time lost during my mental health crisis (we’ll get onto that later).
First, I’ve been cracking on with what I hope will be a final round of edits for my novel. I plan to query it to literary agents again because, well, why not? I’ve made some pretty big changes to the opening and to the ending since my last round of submissions, and the story is certainly better for it. But I’m doubtful that it will get picked up, mainly because I want to keep my expectations low so that I’m not utterly crushed by inevitable rejection it’s kind of half way between the young adult market and the adult market and it’s hard to fit into a definitive genre. Basically, I don’t think it’s something that is ‘trendy’ enough in the traditional book biz right now. So when if I don’t get any bites from agents, I’m going to gear up to self-publish it next summer because I think it’s a good story, damn it. I’ve worked too long and too hard on this book to give up on it.
One pair of trousers, that’s all June required. She repeated it over and over in her mind as she hurried down the high street: “One pair of trousers, one pair of trousers, one pair of trousers”. The mantra fell in time with her footsteps – “one pair” with the left foot, “of trousers” with the right. It looped so quickly, so incessantly, that it became white noise and nonsense and she disremembered altogether why she’d ever walked into town. Trousers? Forget about it. Not with so many other beautiful garments on display to entice and torment her.
The front door slams, the house shivers and its inhabitants freeze.
“They’re back,” says Daughter, and her face quickly crumples as tears well.
“Don’t you dare cry,” hisses Mother. “They’ll hear us.”
The family falls silent and listens. A series of thuds and rattles comes from the floor below. Cupboard doors are opened and closed, opened and closed, over and over. Then there’s a short yell, a moment of quiet, and the soft wail of a miserable child.