Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Flash fiction

She is the sort of woman who doesn’t own a kitchen. She gravitates to the kitchens in other people’s houses or flats, even the grubby, ill fitted ones with their non- matching appliances, rust edged fridges and grease destroyed ovens.  Wistfully she picks up spoons and filthy teacloths placing them back where she found them because she has no notion where such things could belong.
She is the sort of woman who drifts from one man to another, they find her inattention fascinating at first, liberating with nothing asked of them. But after awhile they become aggrieved, she does not see them, does not need them and they leave to find a more dependent woman, someone they can impinge on, leave a mark.
She is the sort of woman who goes to work in a smart suit, high heels and a straightened bob.  Her briefcase is polished and never over filled. Sometimes she gets the train, but often drives her sleek sports car, gleaming as though it had never felt rain or splashed through a muddy puddle.
She is the sort of woman who rescues donkeys. Releasing them from cruel owners and giving them love and clean grass, a warm stable and a goat for company.  This woman is the one in wellies and a corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows. She got it from a charity shop in Cheltenham, a good find; a rich dilettante’s cast off, hardly worn. The country life experiment a failure heralding a rapid retreat to the crowded streets of the city and Hugo Boss.
She is the sort of woman who has two wardrobes. Not just two cupboards made of wood with coat hangers and a huddle of worn jumpers. She has two sets of clothes, one each for her dual personalities. 
She still has no kitchen of her own.  Her childhood was spent moving between boarding school and home, a country house hotel with majestic stainless steel kitchen appliances set in a cool tiled room with green floors. Chefs whirled in a mesmerising dance of heat and food, pans clashing, flames climbing in blue green flares and little girls are not allowed.
She keeps her life in boxes.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Want to read something?
Try natterjack. I have two new pieces on this select and thoughfully edited zine. Chill your blood with a flash fiction of sheer Vengeance then chuckle over a spot of poet's Revenge!

On the other hand, talking quality writing, have you read David Mitchell's latest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet'?  I read this recently and it achieves something quite spectacular, 3D writing! The setting is so well described and the characters are so at home in the setting, the reader is treated to a cinematic experience. We time travel to a distant Japan and an 18th century Dutch trading port where life is brutal and moral strength an anomaly. Two characters with built in morality do battle with the forces of evil and sort of win, in a self-sacrificing way. Everything described and lived through in this tale is totally believable and obviously meticulously researched. Politics, trading traditions, Japanese ceremony and tender, believable homan relationships all blend into an addictive story with a moving ending.

When is the next book coming out?

Let  me know if you have read Thousand Autumns.