Those very nice people at Alfie Dog Fiction (one of the biggest short story download sites on the internet) have made me Featured Short Story Writer of the Week. A loud woof woof of thanks to them.
I have five stories on the site. I’ve just been looking at them again and remembering what inspired them.
Angel was a second prize-winner in Writers’ Forum’s monthly competition before being on Alfie Dog. The gestation of this story shows the way the mind can make connections between otherwise very unrelated items and events.
At the weekly (and wonderful) drop-in creative writing class I go to we did an exercise where everyone brought in an object which was passed round for people to feel, with their eyes closed. Someone brought in a glove puppet. It was actually in the shape of a penguin but I thought it was a rabbit. I started writing it in class and finished it at home and somehow ended up with a story set just after the First World War and featuring a toy rabbit, a stone angel and an Ouija board. I find that period heartbreaking – so many bereaved mothers – and fathers – unable to accept their sons were gone.
Bonnie Prince Charlie was previously published in Woman’s Weekly. My idea here was to take the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie hiding from his enemies in the western isles in the eighteenth century, and make it contemporary. In my version the enemy is the paparazzi in search of a scoop.
Molly’s Christmas Candle I wanted to write a Christmas story and remembered nativity plays my children were involved in. I was delighted when this title was chosen to be in Alfie Dog’s recent anthology A Wish for Christmas (in print as well as an e-version).
Sam Something was previously published in Woman’s Weekly. That began with a picture of two girls – the prompt for a short story competition in the now defunct Woman’s Realm magazine. The story wasn’t placed but it became the first story I had published in Woman’s Weekly. It also appears in the Alfie Dog anthology Came as “Me”, Left as “We” (in print and e-version).
The Real Thing was in Woman’s Weekly too. It was originally written for the Jane Austen Short Story Award and long-listed. It’s about a contemporary Mary Bennett and her gay best friend, Will.
Now, she said, wagging her tale, if you would be so kind, don’t paws, go walkies to the Alfie Dog site, hand them a few pennies and any or all of these stories can be yours to download – and there are another twelve hundred or so to choose from.
And please excuse my puns.