by Lucie McKnight Hardy
I have very few memories of my childhood. A handful before I was 11, at which point they seem to rush me, as if making up for the previous absence. I think of this often. It’s not right, is it, to have half-a-dozen of my own memories – not those handed down by parents, friends, encased within mementoes, captured in pictures – and nothing else? I regularly pull myself back from the brink of cod-psychology, fearful of what lies beneath.
by Zoe Gilbert
We are stories. We walk through a narrative of inter-dependent connections, as individuals, outwards to family, community, town, city, county, nation. We move through time at varying speeds, cogs of unimaginable complexity grinding against other cogs of unimaginable complexity. It’s no wonder there are stories, no wonder we create them.
by Nevil Shute
A few days ago, I engaged in some quasi-light-hearted discussion with a friend by text. On the surface it was no more than suggested times and places to meet for a drink, but sub-text being what it is, it evolved into a series of jabs, feints and counter-punches that could be politely summarised as ‘what’s the point of everything?’, specifically relating to the need or otherwise for society to be bound by money. The root of all evil can plummet the sunniest of exchanges south into murkier waters, and this was no exception.
for the people who make me want to write
I’m a big fan of the Yew, and, if you’ve read this far, you*. Associated with churchyards – theories are many and varied – and renowned for their longevity, all but their red berries are toxic to humans. Steam and hide a few leaves under the spinach and boom! you have a Yew-related short story waiting to happen. It amuses me that the male tree rates highest on the plant allergy scale yet the female is considered allergy-fighting and produces no allergenic material. Is it mocking the Homo Sapiens male, do you think?
I remember, vividly unfortunately, the signals my lower gut communicated to my mouth and brain that time I overdid it on quality whisky. Standing in a warm public house but to all intents and purposes dropping down the spine of a sudden wave, feeling the pitch and roll of a large vessel beneath me, the Skipper’s knuckles bone white against the wheel as he held to his course and prayed his ship would make the climb up the other side, all internal and external liquids at odds. Hints of woodsmoke, salt and molasses, sulphur and brine. I was sick as a dog.