My Prose Poem, The Ladder & Its Dangers

Have a read of my prose poem ‘The Ladder and Its Dangers’. It was longlisted for the 2019 joanne burns Microlit Award.

Available for inclusion in a range of multi-platform activities organised by Spineless Wonders including #storybombing NWF20, podcasts, live performance and the Microflix Awards.

Hope you enjoy the poem.

The Ladder and Its Dangers:  

It’s dizzying up there. You climb to the top shelves for whatever your mood requires:  on loneliness, weight reduction, a book of Basho’s Haiku and find half a dozen books you forgot you had which side tracks the initial quest, since now that you’ve located them you have to consider them. Will I ever reread this, recycle it in the street library? Of course, your reading interests are very different from the interests you had when you placed it alphabetically on the shelf.  Perhaps your interests have moved in a different direction now, maybe they’ve become more multi-cultural. Perhaps you think continuing to read Anita Brookner and her stories of loss and aloneness are not the best choice for you anymore. Your quest takes on a sedentary nature as you sit on the floor to search the lower shelves, scanning titles and author names. Possibly by now you’ve been up and down the ladder several times and been peering upwards for extended periods cutting off the blood supply to your neck. And you’ve stood up too quickly from the floor and are feeling totally off balance. Now you need to consider blood sugar levels, blood pressure, PEOPLE OVER SIXTY SHOULDN’T CLIMB LADDERS. Discombobulated for a while, you’re too preoccupied to recall what sent you up the ladder in the first place.

Copyright © 2019 Libby Sommer

Every Type of Feedback and Criticism Writers Will Face (and How to Deal With Them)

Check out this post from the Novelty Revisions blog on ‘Every Type of Feedback and Criticism Writers Will Face (and how to deal with them).

Meg Dowell Writes

Most writers cringe at the idea of criticism. Yet they desperately crave feedback.

Some feel they need to hear they are doing something right. Others want to know everything they are doing wrong, so they can go off and figure out how to do better.

It’s a tough part of the process to navigate. But if you know the different types of feedback you are likely to receive once you start putting yourself out there, you’ll be much more equipped to deal with it. So here’s your not-so-quick guide to handling feedback and criticism in publishing.

Helpful, gentle, constructive feedback

This is the kind of criticism everyone hopes for but doesn’t get from everyone (or anyone). It generally involves a healthy balance of helpful feedback that is presented in a kind and teachable manner, both in its positive and negative aspects.

In one of my writing internships in college, we…

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Fortnightly Story: Michael

black and white photo of the back of a man as he stares into distance

He’s waiting at the bottom of the ramp, just inside the steel fence that cordons off the entry to the station.  He said to give him a ring from her mobile when the train passed Gosford.  She quickens her pace, adjusts the overnight bag on her shoulder. She is close enough to see the soft fold of his graying hair, the clear smooth glow of his skin.  In his white socks and slip-on loafers he looks very English. Continue reading

Passions

colourful book spines on book shelves

Every once in a while, when I’m scratching around for something new to write, I make a list of the things I obsess about.  Thankfully, some of them change over time, but there are always new ones to fill the gap.

It’s true that writers write about what they think about most of the time.  Things they can’t let go: things that plague them; stories they carry around in their heads waiting to be heard. Continue reading

Fortnightly Story: Painstaking Progress

painting of two lovers
Credit: Creative Commons

‘Painstaking Progress’

by Libby Sommer

first published in Quadrant

 

 

 

One can never change the past, only the hold it has on you.  And while nothing in your life is reversible, you can reverse it nevertheless – Merle Shain.

1.

I’m imagining a cloudy autumn morning.  There’s a room.  Half office, half bedroom.  Not too large and not too small.  The windows of the room face east and look out towards the ocean across the expanse of a green gully.

I picture a woman sitting on a bed with pillows behind her back.  The windows are open.  Perhaps it is Saturday morning.  On the bedside table is a mug of tea and a photograph of the woman’s daughter on her wedding day.

Continue reading