Lots of Lasts

Been a wee while since I last blogged and in that wee while Harry has gone back to uni for his second year, Bob and Karolina have decided to get wed asap (third week of October) so that’s us back to Poland if we don’t get locked down, and I’ve grown (or is that groan) and eaten way too many courgettes and marrows, loads of apples, shed loads of plums, four pears, gazillions of tomatoes, many, many beans and lots and lots of lettuce. But now autumn’s here and it’s time for the last of all these veggies to be boiled, frozen, pickled, dried, preserved etc in all the usual ways. Here’s some pics of the last of the summertime flowers and crops.

But as is always the case with the circle of life, there’s still loads of stuff growing and being sown, the pumpkins are swelling nicely, the spuds are getting bigger and the winter chards are ready to plant out. And nuts. Don’t get me started on nuts. This is the hand of someone who’s been hulling walnuts for a week in order to wrestle some from the squirrels. The green hulls stain your fingers making them look proper filthy and no amount of scrubbing shifts it. You just have to wait for it fade. Anyhow, once the walnuts are hulled they must be dried or they rot, so I dry them for two days by the burner then when they’re light and rattly and sweet as a – well nut – I put them in my suspended, breathable nut storage unit (i.e. my bag from last year’s flash festival) thus uniting my two passions – writing and growing our own.

And there we are, back to the writing. The route was circuitous but we got there in the end. And I have very good news indeed. One of my stories is included in the Best British and Irish Flash Fiction list this year (known as the Biffy 50). Very pleased about this. Here’s the link to all the listed flashes which are free to read including mine. https://theshortstory.co.uk/submissions/best-british-and-irish-flash-fiction-2018-2019-senior-editors/

I’ve also got stories published in print in the Bacopa Literary Review and Molotov V neither of which are free. You have to buy copies but here are links to both, just in case.



This month I also did a flash fiction workshop with flash guru and all round excellent egg Ken Elkes, which I found brill at freeing up my writing mind in these strange and unsettling times. I wrote several drafts following prompts and suggestions, and ended the week with three drafts I like a lot. If you get chance to do one of his courses I would. Well I did. Here’s the link to his website which gives all the deets. https://kmelkes.co.uk/online-courses/

And finally…saving, as is traditional, the best til last. Trumpet fanfare, drum roll, moment of dramatic pause…

I have a publication date for The Naming of Bones, my debut memoir-in-flash.

It’s 22nd April 2021!

Lots of work to do between now and then editing wise, but so looking forward to working with the amazing Amanda Saint and Gaynor Jones at Retreat West. As soon as there are any announcements I’ll post them here.

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