I’m back! for National Flash Fiction Day


It’s been over a month since my last post and if you read it, you’ll know I got a bit disillusioned with the whole blogging thing, mainly as yet again, I failed to complete the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. I suppose I have to come to terms with the fact that daily blogging is just not something I can do anymore. That doesn’t mean I should quit blogging, and I’m grateful to those of you who have chipped in and said I shouldn’t. I also understand the plight of those who shared that they were feeling the same as I was.

I’ve decided to keep going and amongst other musings, and news, I will be continuing my series in Isaiah. But not before we have a bit of fun with National Flash Fiction Day. I had a fabulous weekend at the ACW Odyssey Weekend and met some ACW folk I’d only known via FB and Twitter, it was also great to be reunited with some old friends. I’ll post about that weekend another time, but for today I’ll be sharing some flash fiction of my own, and some ACW flash fiction too.

Hope you enjoy it… here’s the first offering, from er… me 🙂

 

Foreclosure
by Annmarie Miles

 

Magda arrived in the middle of her story. The beginning was at the gate or down the street, not that it mattered. She struggled through the door, lifting one armful of shopping up and over, sending it ahead of herself. She followed it, bringing another bouquet of bags behind her.

“And the stupid bus driver wouldn’t accept my return ticket, so I had to pay twice.”

I eyed the bags and opened my mouth to complain but what came out was, “Cuppa?” 
“Oh yea, I’m gasping.” Magda walked past me, dropping the bags as she entered the kitchen. “There’s my girl,” she said to her daughter who was sitting in a high chair, sucking on a piece of toast.  

I tripped over a bag and followed her to the kitchen.

“Soooooo, I have something to ask you,” Magda said in her sweet voice. I grabbed a mug and resisted the urge to slam the cupboard shut. 
“I know I said I’d give you what I owe you today, but can you wait until next week?” Magda was eating the baby’s toast. “I had to get Shania a few bits, and I wanted to get stuff for her party. It just adds up. I can’t believe how much nappies cost. That guy will be banging on the door for his £35 and if I don’t give it to him tomorrow, he’s saying he’ll take the telly. So next week, definitely, alright? And I’ll give you something for having Shania again today. I know I said an hour, I can’t believe it took me two hours just to get to town and back.”
“Four,” I said, handing her a mug of tea.
“What?”
“You were gone almost four hours.”
“No way. Four hours? I can’t believe that. Time just disappears.  But wait ‘til you see what I got Shania. EVERYTHING is on sale.”
I walked back to get my tea and glanced at the bags in the hall. 

“Magda,” I said gripping my cup, “we need to talk about this.”
“Yeah, definitely. Talk about what?” Magda was playing peek-a-boo with Shania. 
“I need…”
“Hang on, my phone’s ringing.” Magda rummaged in her handbag. “Just give me a sec. Sorry. Hello? Oh yeah, hi. Really? Brilliant, I didn’t think you’d still have it. And how much? Great. When can I collect it? Definitely, I’ll see you then.” Magda threw her phone back in her bag. 
“Remember that dolls’ house I wanted for Shania?” she said, putting her coat on. “The one I saw online with the shiny red door? Well the guy still has it, but I have to pay him today. I’m going to meet him now. I can’t believe it. She is going to love it. Mammy has the best birthday present for her best girl.” She kissed Shania and ran passed me. “I’ll be an hour tops ok?”

She ran to the front door and as she closed it behind her shouted, “Thanks Mam, I owe you.”

Skipping past January…


Greetings folks! So the lurgy that went around did not pass by this house without making its mark. We quarantined ourselves, cancelled our week in Ireland and hid out, taking turns putting the kettle on (depending on who had the most energy).

The rest of Jan was catch up time and it’s only now that I’m getting to writing here. I have not been idle though…

I have decided to self publish a second collection of short stories. My audience is not huge, but I am often asked about the next lot of stories. There are lots written, but sitting in files. It’s time to sort that out.

At the same time, I’m starting the editing process of ‘Have mercy upon me O Lord, a a slimmer,’ my NaNoWriMo work from last November. It was painful to write, and I know going back to edit it will not be easy. SO! I’m enlisting the services of an editor friend who will help me kick it into shape, ready to send to some publishers. It’s not a book I plan on self-publishing. I really believe that if it is meant to be ‘out there’, it will be picked up by a publisher. It is in God’s hands 🙂

However if you just can’t wait… I’m delighted that to be part of a couple of anthologies that have just been published. 🙂

The Association of Christian Writers have published a collection, which I wrote a piece for. If you’d like to do some Lent readings with a difference, you’ll enjoy this. There are different styles of writing, devotional pieces, poetry and some creative writing based on the verses. If you’d like to check it out click here.

And I found out that one of my short fiction stories is in an anthology of poetry and prose. It’s called The Write Time Zine. It’s a new project just getting off the ground, and this anthology is also available to buy online if you’d like to support it.

So, although I’ve taken my time getting going this year – I’m now up and running.

Ah yes… running… I’ll come back to you on that one…

A x

2 weekends of inspiration and encouragement


I had the blessing of scooting off for two weekends, one after the other, on my own!

The first was a weekend in Dublin. I caught up with lots of family, with two dear writing friends, with one of the first Christians ever to make a real impression on me, and I went to a baby shower. It was full to the brim.

I had a bit of a revelation while chatting to my writing friends (neither of whom knew each other – so it was nice to connect them). I consider myself a failed writer – that’s not the revelation bit, I’ve always felt that. BUT, I’ve let it stop me writing. It’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to put my heart and soul back into it, as I did in those lovely days before I cared whether anyone read what I wrote.

It was a liberating conversation in the middle of a fab weekend.

The following weekend I was in London, blessed to stay a couple of nights with a good friend, have chats and a hot chocolate with one of my smashing nieces, and join with other Christian writers for the ACW Writers’ Day with Glen and Emma Scrivener. What I took from it, as well as some great books and practical tips, was a confirmation of what my writing pals had told me the previous weekend. Get it writ! 🙂

I asked a question during the panel time. Basically, what if the crushing doubt that writers feel is actually valid in my case? What if I’m just no good?

The answer was like a welcome splash of cold water on my face. Basically it was to stop whinging. Amy Robinson compared my questions and hesitations to Moses when God called him.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:11-15 

I’m paraphrasing here, but what I heard Amy say was, if God had given me stuff to write, then I should stop finding reasons not to do, and just write it.
Whoosh!!! How refreshing.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. My #NaNoWriMo2017 novel idea has been shelved, and I’m going to write the non-fiction book that’s been forming in me for the last year or so. Will fill you in soon… 🙂

Thank you Amy Robinson! Thanks too, to the other panellists, James Prescott, Glen Scrivener and Emma Scrivener x

A couple of the ACW members have shared their take of the day – well worth a read. You can read them here and here.