The anthology ‘Not keeping mum‘ – Australian writers tell the truth about perinatal anxiety and depression in poetry, fiction & essay – edited by Maya Linden, has been named a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards (2020-2021). My short story ‘The New Baby’, first published in Quadrant magazine, is part of the anthology. All Winners and Finalists are invited to the award ceremony in Washington DC on 24 June. Very exciting news.
“Heartfelt, at times confronting and occasionally funny, this collection gives insight into how women navigate the profound changes that occur in their bodies, relationships and lives when they become a parent, and how they find the light at the end of the tunnel.”– Anne Buist, perinatal psychiatrist, professor women’s mental health and author of the Natalie King trilogy and The Long Shadow
You can purchase a copy here:
Have a read of my prose poem ‘Someone I Don’t Know Side-Swiped My Car’, first published in Quadrant magazine April 2021, Hope you enjoy it.
Someone I Don’t Know Side-Swiped My Car:
Bad luck recently, you could say, after surviving some extremely unfortunate luck. For hours I sat across from you in the Emergency Bay: your face dripping with blood. They gave you a compress to stop the flow of red from your cheekbones and your nose. Every time you touched your face, it opened up the wound. Punched in both eyes and the nose. A robbery as you walked home, I hear you tell your girlfriend on the mobile. And then you’re telling the emergency nurse you can’t wait any longer to see a doctor. ‘You may have concussion,’ she cautioned.
Did you find your way home?
For days I wonder how you are. I sniff the first spring jasmine hanging over the fence and your girlfriend whom I’ve never met crowds my thoughts, till one day, peering out my bedroom window, I notice someone has side-swiped my car. Not exactly what I’d expected to see but, man, the wisteria are showing their purple blooms. A nervous possum balances on the telephone line above the road and there’s a newspaper article about an elderly cyclist who died after a freak bike accident caused by a swooping magpie. Bad luck that a second vehicle crashed into my car while it waited at the smash repair place. Look up, take care, someone or something you don’t know may sideswipe you or punch you in the nose.
Copyright 2021 Libby Sommer
Have you tried writing flash fiction yet? What does flash fiction mean?
‘A flash fiction piece is a self-contained story (beginning/middle/end), 1,000 words or less, that can entertain, intrigue, and satisfy a reader during an F5 tornado. That’s it. No genre restrictions, age requirements, or prior experience needed. Just quick, clean stories.’ – Writer’s Digest
‘Part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction–also known as sudden fiction, micro fiction, short short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex.’ – The Review Review
‘Flash fiction is a fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development. Identified varieties, many of them defined by word count, include the six-word story, the 280-character story, the “dribble”, the “drabble”, “sudden fiction”, flash fiction, nanotale, and “micro-story”.’ – Wikipedia
I like writing in a short form. I’ve been told I have the sensibility of a poet because I have the ability to distill, so the short form suits me. You may be more of a long distance runner, rather than a sprinter, and prefer the long form of a novel.
Have a read of my flash fiction titled It’s Pot Luck When You Move Into A Unit, winner of the short short fiction UTS Alumni Competition a few years ago. Hope you enjoy it.
It’s Pot Luck When You Move Into a Unit
A nice quiet weekend? the woman downstairs said. What do you mean? I said, through the open back door, a bag of rubbish in each hand. She smoothed her ironing on the board and said, They weren’t around over the weekend—with the baby. She looked happy. I’m lucky living on the top floor, I said. She nodded towards the other side of the building. Jim isn’t so lucky—he’s got the woman upstairs, she said, When he plays the piano and she thumps on the floor. She put the iron back on its stand. She’s heavy-footed, that woman. Bang, bang, bang. I hear her coming down the stairs every morning at six, and the slam of the front door.
That night the wind knocked my vase off the window ledge. I lay awake wondering if the noise of the smash had woken up the people underneath—the ones whose barbecuing sends smoke and disgusting meat smells into my unit. Nothing clings to your furniture like the stink from last week’s burnt fat. Sorry about the crash, I muttered to the floor, It was the wind.
Copyright © Libby Sommer 2018
Why not try your hand at writing in this short form and enter a flash fiction competition. Good luck
I’ve received final proofs from my publisher, Ginninderra Press for my first poetry collection, ‘The Cellist, a Bellydance & Other Distractions’. In the home stretch now for publication of my sixth book. Happy happy.
So what are final proofs?
Proofs created by the printer for approval by the publisher before going to press are called final proofs. At this stage in production, all mistakes are supposed to have been corrected and the pages are set up in imposition for folding and cutting on the press. To correct a mistake at this stage entails an extra cost per page, so authors are discouraged from making many changes to final proofs, while last-minute corrections by the in-house publishing staff may be accepted.
In the final proof stage, page layouts are examined closely. Additionally, because final page proofs contain the final pagination, if an index was not compiled at an earlier stage in production, this pagination facilitates compiling a book’s index and correcting its table of contents.Wikipedia
I’ll let you know when the book is released.