Flash Fiction – Unbearable

Image courtesy of Liz Young.

 

‘I’m dying.’ Panic builds.

‘Shh. You’re not. I won’t let you.’ He tightens his grip on my hand and I remember the first time he laced his fingers through mine. We had picnicked under the sunflower sun, the smell of cut grass drifting through the breeze. Now it’s the stench of hospitals that sticks in my throat. Dettol and decay.

‘I want to die.’ I can’t bear the pain anymore.

‘You said that last time you gave birth but it was worth it afterwards when you held our baby, remember? Midwife says not long now. Relax.’

‘Relax?’ Bastard. I hate you.’

 

I missed last week’s Friday Fictioneers. I was trying to juggle the school holidays with finishing the first draft of book 3, but the end is in sight! I also took part in a local library incentive which made me cry, which you can read about here

I’ve tried to keep this week’s story lighthearted. I’m sure from the prompt there will be many entries bringing a lump to the throat. ‘Unbearable’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge, hosted by Rochelle, inspired by a photo prompt. 

Flash Fiction – Can’t you kiss it better?

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Image © Rochelle Wisoff-Field

 

Elsa dabbed the cotton wool against Edward’s leg. It came away crimson.

‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered. ‘It doesn’t look good.’ She reached into her case and pulled out a bandage.

‘Elsa! Why aren’t you eating your chips and why has Teddy got ketchup over his leg?’ Elsa’s mum swiped the bear and began to sponge his fur.

‘He ranned out in front of a car, Mummy, just like me.’

‘Let’s get you both cleaned up.’ Elsa’s mum’s knuckles bleached white as she gripped the handles of Elsa’s wheelchair and pushed her out of the kitchen.

She wouldn’t cry again. She’d run out of tears.

 

Yesterday I wrote a post on the 15 stages we go through when writing a first draft – no wonder writers are often exhausted! You can read the post here

‘Can’t you kiss it better?’ Was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. Hop over to Rochelle’s blog for instructions on how to join in. 

Flash Fiction – Be careful what you wish for…

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Image courtesy of Sarah Potter

 

When I was 6, Papa gave me a snow globe and I longed to be the princess inside, adored by my forever prince.

Be careful what you wish for Mama used to say.

From the outside looking in my life is perfect but I’m lost. Alone. Afraid. I rest my bruised face against the window, wondering what mood my husband will be in tonight, wondering where it all went wrong. What I did wrong.

I could leave. Be free. But where would I go?

Be careful what you wish for.

Instead, I paint a smile onto my lips.

 

I can’t believe it has been a year since I signed my book deal! I wrote a post you can read here on whether the reality has lived up to the dream.

‘Be careful what you wish for,’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. You can read the other entries, or join in, over at host Rochelle’s blog here

 

Fancy a mentor? I’m now open for applications via The WoMentoring Project

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I always wanted to be a writer, but never had the opportunity to go to university, and every time I read a book I loved I would Google the author, reading interviews, and often they would say they had completed a degree in creative writing, or similar courses.

Later in life, I started looking into courses, but an accident left me with a disability, my business folded, and with three children to support I wasn’t able, physically or financially, to follow my dream.

When I first heard about The WoMentoring Project, a scheme offering free mentoring to up and coming female talent who otherwise might not be in a position to progress with their writing, I was hugely excited. Looking through the list of mentors I noticed Louise Walters, and having recently read her book Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, which I loved, I decided to apply. I was delighted when she accepted my application, and although the mentoring only took place for a few weeks, throughout that time my writing and my confidence flourished. You can read about mine and Louise’s first meeting here, and our follow-up meeting here.

It has now been 2 1/2 years since I was mentored, and during that time I have signed a 3 book deal, published my first two novels – The Sister and The Gift – both of which reached No.1 on Amazon UK, and Canada. I have sold over 750,000 books, and my stories have been sold to over 15 territories for translation. In 2016 I was nominated for The Goodreads Debut Author of the Year Award.

I owe a huge amount to the project, in particular Louise Walters. My time with her gave me a good grounding on how to structure a novel, and how a story should flow, and I really believe if it weren’t for the opportunity, my first novel would not have been of a high enough standard to be published and I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I am eternally grateful.

I am thrilled Kerry Hudson, the founder of this amazing project, has again accepted my application, but this time I am returning as a mentor. Paying it forward is something I strongly believe in and I feel privileged to now be in a position to give back.

If you are a female writer and feel you would benefit from mentoring, you can apply to me via the project. To see if we are a good fit you can read more about what I’m looking for here, and if you are writing outside my genre there are lots of other mentors available.

 

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Flash Fiction – BFF

al_forbes

Image courtesy of Al Forbes

 

‘We’ll be best friends forever won’t we?’ She asks, piercing the daisy stem with her thumbnail and threading another flower through. ‘Finished.’ She loops the chain around my neck and as she draws back and studies me, the scent of her lemon shampoo lingers. ‘You look beautiful,’ she says.

She races across the field, honey-hair shimmering in the sun, tanned arms pumping by her sides. My January-pale stumpy legs struggle to keep up.

I want to tell her she’s the one that’s beautiful but I’m just her best friend, and my heart aches as I know that’s all I’ll ever be.

 

Written for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt (my story this week inspired by the BF on the numberplate). 

To read the other entries hop over to host Rochelle’s blog here.

My New Year Writing Resolution

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This morning I was delighted to receive my issue of Newbooks Magazine featuring Writing Resolutions from a group of authors, including myself. Our very own Claire Fuller features on the cover of the winter issue, who has been an enormous inspiration to me since I joined the blogging community.

When I was asked to take part in this feature I didn’t have to think for too long before coming up with my list. The first thing I wanted to do was to STOP  setting myself targets. Over the past couple of years I have learned that working around a family and a chronic health condition means that there will be days I get lots of words down, and days that I don’t get any words down and that’s okay.  In the past I have been quite hard on myself, aiming for a daily word count, and this isn’t always achievable or realistic. There was a point when I was writing, I spent so much time checking my word count I ended up turning it off and only then could I relax and tell the story I wanted to tell without worrying it was too long or too short. That’s easily sorted out in the editing stage.


The second point I made was vowing to read in as many different genres as I can. I had fallen into reading within my own genre, with a critical eye, and I couldn’t remember the last book I read for pleasure. There is nothing quite like curling up with a book, and I decided to make a conscious divide by reading on the Kindle for work, and buying paperbacks from my local bookshop to read for fun. I have already made a head start on this one by reading ‘The Return of Norah Wells‘ by Virginia MacGregor and ‘The boy made of blocks‘ by Keith Stuart (both authors are also featured in NewBooks Magazine this month). I can’t tell you how much I ADORED both of these stories.

I also want to donate some time to mentoring fledgling writers this year. At the early stages of writing The Sister I was mentored by Louise Walters via The WoMentoring Project for a few weeks and it really did make an enormous difference to me. I am a great believer in paying it forward and I’ve already volunteered my services.

Are you making any writing resolutions this year? I’d love to know what they are.

#GIVEAWAY – Audiobook of The Gift

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I am so incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve been shown during the launch of my second novel, The Gift, and absolutely delighted it has now been No.1 on Amazon in the UK for over 4 weeks and is in the Top 10 in Psychological Thrillers in the US, as well as debuting on the USA Today BestSellers List this week.

As a thank you I am giving away two audio versions of the book, narrated by the super talented Jasmine Blackborow (I’ll supply codes which can be redeemed on Audible). To enter either click this link to my Facebook post to nominate someone you would like to gift a copy of the audiobook to, or follow this link to my Twitter page and retweet to win a copy for yourself (you can enter both if you wish).

The competition is open to all and winners will be generated at random on Sunday 22nd January.

Thanks again.

Louise x