You will hopefully be pleased to know that at the weekend I learned that another of my stories, "2o Words" has been accepted for the Bad Language anthology, to be published later in the autumn. Beyond the obvious pleasure at having a story accepted, I am pleased that this story in particular has been picked up as it is one of my personal favourites.
It has this position for two reasons. First, it was the story which broke my creative logjam and led to a productive summer of writing. From Jan to Nov 2009 I wrote nothing creative at all. After that, although I started writing again, the pieces I created came from prompts rather than internal inspiration. Ideas were not swimming around in my head, but the desire to write was still there, so I would sit down and jump-start my brain with a trigger-word, phrase or image. I've written about this process earlier when talking about Flash fiction, so check back if you want to know more about that.
Anyway, "20 words" simply came to me one day in late spring, when I wasn't thinking of anything much. I was in the shower, actually, and suddenly the opening line was in my head. I then got the chance to do the thing which had eluded me so long, that thing which makes writing so exciting, which was to hurry up what I was doing so I could get to the computer (still dripping!) and start to write because the story was coming, like a premature baby, forcing its way out ready or not.
The other reason I like the story is that it aims to the core of what I feel writing is about. It shows rather than tells, it asks the reader to make their own decisions and to provide their own input, and it concerns the importance of words in our lives. The story tells, in only around 300 words, the story of a life through the important words uttered by a man over the course of that life. What is key for me is that these are not large, long, important words, but the simple building blocks of everyday transaction and communication which, in context, can change everything.
As such, this story, the first product of my recharged battery, shows how important words and language are in describing and changing our lives. As you can tell, I like it
If you're intrigued and want to read the story, the Bad Language anthology will be out later in the year. I will put a note up here when it's out, or you can keep a track at their website: http://badlanguagemcr.co.uk/.