In case you missed it below, yes, I have a short story in this year's Mechanics Institute Review 7. Available at all good stores and Amazon I'm told. Check it out for amazing new voices - I tried to list my favourites but there were too many - and established writers such as Bernadine Evaristo, Salena Godden, Nicholas Hogg, David Foster Wallace.
My story is 'The Small House on Phuduhudo Road' on page 179, inspired by my visits to Botswana. It started out as a poem to be set to music - I know this amazing Batswana songstress - we were going to do this Floetry-style kinda thing. But we couldn't quite get together enough and I ran out of holiday time so I brought the poem with me to London. By that time it had morphed into images of animals, words like Phuduhudo and Kgale Hill, memories of eating fat cakes and sausage. The Child was doing her bit to keep our memories vivid, regaling anyone who would listen with stories of going riding on the Hill and how her mummy wouldn't let her camp out in the wild. It was the beginning of September; I started the MA at Birkbeck in October where I had to write two short stories in the first term.
The Small House on Phuduhudo Road (TSHOPR)was the second story. I wanted to write about strangers who come into families and leave them forever changed. I also wanted to do something with my now emaciated and sputtering Botswana poem. The result was this story that has given me my first publishing credit. And like late buses and mixed metaphors, days after I knew about this one, I heard news of my first short story also accepted for publication in a similar style anthology of new and established voices. It's due out next year so I'll blog more about it nearer the time. In the meantime, I'm getting ready to read an excerpt from TSHOPR; outloud. In front of people. With a mic 'n all. How coolishly scary is that? Or should I say scarishly cool. Both I think.
The Child will, of course, be on hand to shout 'Bravo!' at the end of each sentence in spontaneous, this-isn't-my-mummy-reading fashion.
I'd never written a short story before the MA and now I have one published and another waiting in the wings...Kinda good going, no?