Tag Archives: memories

A Snapshot in Time

Grandma’s House

nina-geary_800
Nina Geary c. 1904

Micro fiction is a form of flash fiction that features extremely short stories. A common  description defines micro fiction as ‘any story of less than 300 words’, but they are often much shorter.

Once a year, Flash Frontier runs their Micro issue, in which the word limit is a mere 100 . This year I was lucky to have my story Grandma’s House accepted for publication.

In this story I drew on childhood memories. Places visited when very young can inspire vivid images that linger as we grow older. My grandmother’s wooden villa in Wellington Road becomes jumbled up with the dark carpeted hallway in Uncle Fred’s Palmerston North house. The remembered smell of dusty carpet still tickles my nose, and the fall of sunlight in a particular way still evokes the recollection of golden light on shadowed corners. I recall the monochromatic photo of the smiling girl and the warm smell of freshly-baked shortbread.

These are places I can no longer physically reach. My micro story becomes the distillation of many memories into a single experience.

Spooky Time of Year

spookybookshop

The Bookshop

This year, Halloween coincided with NZ Bookshop Day.

To celebrate this fortuitous collision, Speculative Fiction NZ challenged its members to write a short story that combined the two. Imagine my delight when I heard that my submission, The Bookshop, had been placed second!

Three Spooky SpecFicNz Stories for NZ Bookshop Day

The Bookshop is about a woman, Charlotte, who returns to the home of her earliest memories, to try and make sense of her past. Once there, she must overcome her fears and fulfill her destiny.

When I started writing this story, I had a very clear picture of the bookshop itself. I knew that it was old and no longer occupied – it was spooky, after all. I pictured it as a smallish, stand-alone, two-storey, weatherboard building – run down and neglected. It had been empty for decades, and yet, there were still stacks of old books inside, along with the memories.

I tried to think about why the bookshop had been vacant for so many years… What (if anything) had happened, and when? It was a fun challenge!

The process of writing can be very much like a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces are all the ideas battling for favour inside my head, waiting to be selected and placed within the frame that is the story itself.