Writing for Websites

Big Dog Kayaks, non-fiction, Regular contribution, The Busking Project

Two housesits, one in Coalville and one in West Kirby, allowed me to plough forward with my new novel. Unfortunately my writing schedule has been derailed these last few weeks while I’ve been writing blog posts and press releases for various people.

Big Dog Kayaks has relaunched its website and I’ll be a lot more involved with the writing, editing and co-ordinating of their team paddler blog. Manchester Wildcatz Canoe Polo Club also has a website with update and blog writing demands. And I’m finding time to continue writing for The Busking Project.

I may not have been writing much fiction, but I have been reading a vast amount of post-apocalyptic dystopian type novels: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Stand by Stephen King, Childhoods End by Arthur C Clarke and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, to name a few. All good research for my own novel which is set in a future Salford.

Release: Mid American-Review v. XXXII

Fiction, Magazine Publications

 

My short story, Release, is published in the latest issue of Mid-American Review v. XXXII. The story is about a heliophobic girl who can’t leave her house and her animal activist boyfriend who wants to be a hero. All set in south Wales UK, where anything can happen!

This is Oxford Road: Read Online

Fiction, Magazine Publications

This is Oxford Road has been published in Issue Three of Éclat Fiction. It’s a story that took a long time to write considering it is so short, and you are all forewarned about it’s dark content! Enjoy:

Short Story: The Wooden Thing

Fiction

The Wooden Thing

‘So where is it?’

‘It’s escaped again; there’re teabags all over the kitchen.’

‘Again?’

‘It found the bloody spare key.’

‘I’m devastated, like something’s broken inside me.’

‘I hid it right at the bottom of the jar.’

‘There’s an invisible monster punching me in the stomach; I’m going to throw up.’

‘That’s the cocktails, you’re being dramatic. Get off the floor.’

‘I can’t cope with the disappointment; it’s really gone?’

‘Don’t worry, the mischievous bastard’s always escaping.’

‘Oh! You didn’t say.’

‘Would you have come if I had?’

‘Maybe, maybe not.’

<<<

‘Not without your seatbelt on.’

‘I’m too excited.’

‘Sit back at least.’

‘How far is your place?’

‘It might be sleeping you know.’

‘Not for long.’

‘And it doesn’t like being woken up.’

‘Is it big?’

‘You sure you’ve never seen one before?’

‘Never! I think it’s unique. Where did you say you found it?’

‘I didn’t. Do you mind keeping your head inside.’

<<<

‘Inside? As in you never let it out?’

‘It can be a bit wild.’

‘I like wild. Don’t just look at it, neck it. It’s my round.’

‘If I drink another I’ll drown.’

‘We’ve only had three.’

‘Aren’t you drunk?’

‘I’m really trying but I still can’t picture it.’

‘Well it’s kind of, you know, it’s hard to describe.’

‘Do you have a photo?’

‘The little swine wont stay still. Camera shy I think.’

‘It sounds adorable.’

‘I really got mad at it before I came out.’

‘It must be hard, just the two of you.’

‘That’s why I was sad.’

<<<

‘Sad face for the lonely race?’

‘Are you drunk?’

‘Glass of wine tipsy, Scouts Promise.’

‘No one ever starts a conversation with me.’

‘The blue outfit caught my eye. Charlie.’

‘Danny.’

‘Your hand is freezing.’

‘I’ve been cold for a month.’

‘It’s August?’

‘Can’t shake the chill.’

‘You need Sex on the Beach.’

‘In Scunthorpe?’

‘One large Sex on the Beach, two straws, the big curly ones please.’

<<<

‘Please, I’m begging you-

Four weeks now and nada-

Don’t look at me like that. That didn’t count-

All you’ve done is eat cheese. There was a whole ball of mozzarella in the fridge yesterday; I was going to make a pizza-

Listen, I’m giving you one more chance and then I’m googling wood chippers-

Knew that’d get your attention. So, red or blue?-

Roll forward for yes and backwards for no-

My bad, should I wear the blue one?-

Was that forward or backwards, I can’t tell if you’re even looking at me-

Bloody hell, just roll towards me for yes-

Blue? Really, I’ve always liked the red.’

END

This is my entry into Studio360’s Significant Objects flash fiction competition. Significant Objects is a project to make insignificant objects significant through fiction – there are some great examples online and they have published a book. My favourite story so far is Wooden Apple Core by Heidi Julavits. 

Short Story: A Goat

Competition Results, Fiction, Magazine Publications

This 200 word short story won Spike the Cat’s Flash Fiction competition a few years back – the ebook, Spike’s Hot Flashes, with my story and the other finalists can be bought here for £1.49. My story, A Goat, can be read below:

A Goat

“A goat was involved.”

“A goat?”

“Not one of those big-bastard Billy goats, just a standard goat.”

“A Pigmy goat?”

“No, not that small. Somewhere between a Pigmy and those aggressive

types with horns.”

“So this was a goat-homicide?”

“Sounds strange I know, but we should keep all lines of inquiry open.”

<<<

“Have you seen my goat?”

“A goat?”

“My goat! Not one of those big-bastard Billy goats, just a standard goat.”

“A Pigmy goat?”

“Not that small. About this high. Brown, white patches?”

“What were you doing with a goat in Manchester?”

“It’s a long story.”

<<<

“Do you want to buy a goat?”

“A goat?”

“Don’t worry it’s not a big-bastard Billy goat, just a standard goat.”

“A Pigmy goat?”

“Come look, she’s in the van. Great for milk; make your own fromage

chèvre.”

“But I live in Manchester!”

“House-trained! Nothing to worry about.”

<<<

“I’ve trained a goat to sniff out and destroy the target.”

“A goat?”

“We just need to get it to Manchester.”

“A goat?”

“Don’t look so concerned it’s not one of those uncontrollable Billy goats,

just a standard goat.”

“A Pigmy goat?”

“Bigger than a Pigmy, smaller than a Billy. A lethal weapon.”

Short Story Collection Shortlisted for Scott Prize 2012

Competition Results

The Scott Prize for short story collections has short listed my collection, Between the Toes of the Cloven Hoof. The finalists will be announced in April and could mean publication in UK, USA and Australia! Either way the short listing is extremely exciting.

Chris Smith short listed

SHORT LIST:

Julia Bohanna (England) – Ink Eyes
Carys Bray (England) – Sweet Home
Madeleine D’Arcy (Ireland) – Waiting for the Bullet and Other Stories
Rusty Dolleman (US) – Other People’s Kids
Sarah Faulkner (US) – American Heartbreaker
Maurice Gartshore (Scotland) – Mother Icarus
Otis Heschemeyer (US) – The Fantome of Fatma
Julie Mayhew (England) – End Of
Alison Moore (England) – A Small Window
Rob Roensch (US) – The Wild Flowers of Baltimore
Chris Smith (England) – Between the Toes of the Cloven Hoof

See the announcement here.

F8 Magazine Article

Film, Magazine Publications, non-fiction, The Busking Project

F8 Magazine accepted an article and photographs for their latest online edition (+ipad version) – The Busking Project: This Happens Every Day. F8 specialises in publishing documentary photography and photojournalism. Issue #6 can be downloaded here.

Inspiration in leaping sheep

Thinking Aloud

I once read an interview with an author (I don’t remember who), but part of her creative process was to pin photographs of her writing subjects all over the wall behind her desk. When I get a desk and a wall this is one of the pictures I will use:

One day when I will buy this print.

Photographer: Alan Berner
Title: Jumping Sheep