Flash fiction story in 191 words
Performing on the bridge behind Notre Dame, the singer wears a flat cap while his friend plays the saxophone. I linger beside the companion I met while sharing a table for lunch. She’s alone in Paris, without any family to consider. Mine are at home, seething at the way I’m spending my pension on travelling the world. The musicians finish their song and I join the applause. The sun pierces the filigree clouds and a breeze makes me hug my elbows. I wonder whether the singers pay a fee to perform on the bitumen. Displayed on an open suitcase are CDs for sale and the saxophone player beckons me over to take a closer look. While I examine the cardboard envelopes, the singer calls to the audience, asking them to make a request for the next song. I select a CD, search in my wallet for a note and hand it to the saxophone player.
‘Do you know, “I’ve got a crush on you”?’ I ask.
‘Really?’ He blinks. His green eyes should belong to a cat.
‘No,’ I accept the change he places in my hand. ‘I mean the song.’
Previously on this blog, I have written about my membership of a local public speaking group (you can read about the Casterbridge Speakers here). Last week, it was my turn to lead the table topics section of the agenda. Here members of the group are asked to give an impromptu talk on a non-specialist theme or topic for up to two-minutes. Some people love the challenge – others hate it. My role is to select topics in advance of the meeting which allow speakers to share stories or offer opinions. According to Toastmasters International, this role will help to improve my organisational, time management and facilitation skills.
In order to offer a non-threatening subject for a two-minute talk, I looked to issue 65 of Writing in Education for ideas. There, an article by Robert Paul Weston used Japanese sayings as guidance for writers. This got me thinking about using sayings from around the world as a prompt for a two-minute talk. After a little internet searching, I came up with these prompts:
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Leading London-based literary agency, Skylark Literary, is undertaking a tour of rural areas in order to reach writers unable to attend urban venues. The session will hosted by Storyslingers and offered on Friday 17 July, from 6:30-8:30pm at the Garden Room, Shaftesbury Gold Hill Museum, Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8JW. The talk will cover the children’s publishing industry, followed by a Q&A session with particular reference to writing for young people. Author Kate Kelly will also be present to answer questions from the writer’s perspective. Everyone welcome.
Suggested donation £3
In January, I joined a series of training sessions delivered by Simon McCormack as part of the Lit Up! project. The sessions to support skills and confidence in writing workshop facilitation were excellent and I met a very talented group of writers through the work. Simon is now writer-in-residence at Lighthouse, Poole, a centre that provides live events, films and visual art. As part of his new role, Simon has become editor of a new literary magazine titled ‘The Beacon’ which will launch in October. For writers in Poole and surrounding areas, see your work in print by entering submissions of poetry, flash fiction or short fiction with the theme of ‘performance’. For further details, please see the poster.
Please find below details of events on Friday 24 July and Saturday 25 July which form part of the Poole Festival of Words. I’m running a workshop on the Friday and supporting the Open Story Slam on Saturday. I hope you will be able to attend.
Also details of an open mic night Thursday 23 July and further workshops held over the weekend
Saturday 27 June was the last day of my course with fellow students on the MPhil Writing at Pontypridd. I submitted my transfer paper to PhD for discussion to help with preparations for the viva which is likely to take place in the autumn. I have learnt so much during the two years of part-time study, particularly about plot and structure of a novel.
The Winchester Writers’ Festival was held the previous weekend, so it’s been a busy time. I’ve been madly rewriting the first three chapters of my novel ready to resubmit to a couple of people I met at the event. I’m also involved in preparations for the Poole Festival of Words at the end of July, so that’s enough to keep me focused for the next few weeks.
How is your summer shaping up?