Art is never finished, only abandoned

So said Leonardo da Vinci, which can only mean that my entry in Defenestrationism‘s Flash Suite Contest has been kicked from the moving car of creativity onto the cold, hard streets of public consumption to lie shivering at the corner of Success and Failure.

My piece, a four-part journey into a fractionally changed but increasingly disturbed world future, is really meant to be read all in one go, and fortunately that is now possible by clicking on the following link:

The lines, the trees, the cliffs, the eaves

First of all, I hope you like reading my story. I’ve resisted the temptation to be explicit about what inspired it as I think the clues are there, but perhaps I’ll give just one hint – what would you expect to find in each of those places, and who made them frightening?

Second of all, I hope you’ll vote for it too. There are four official judges plus the public vote as the fifth. Apparently you can vote as many times as you want, but I’ll happily settle for just the one from each of you – and then only if you actually liked it. Call it modesty, call it a championing of the democratic principle, call it establishing an excuse in advance of poor performance… call it whatever you like, just Vote.

There are nine writers in the contest and, of course, it would be nice to win. I’m in with a chance, but it won’t be easy and I wouldn’t want it to be: you’re only as good as your competition, and some of the entries are really good. My favourite (my other favourite, I should say) is Broken Toys by Julie Duffy, who makes suburbia thrilling…

All the completed suites can be viewed here. Best of luck to them, my congratulations to the winner, and a salute once again to Defenestrationism for letting us have our fun.

The lines, the trees, the cliffs, the eaves

Hello again. As I mentioned last year, I’m a finalist in a slightly strange online writing competition: all the entries must be “Flash Suites”, collections of three or more flash fiction stories with a shared theme. Since early December the suites have been published one-piece-per-day, and now it’s my turn at last!

The entries are a mix of styles and genres, but mine is spec-fic and a kind of homage to one of my favourite storytellers (whose name I won’t mention!) in the form of four near-future encounters after the world has changed in a very specific, unsettling way. The first part appeared today and the other three will follow later this week.

The contest is being held by Defenestrationism, and my story shares its title with this post. I’ll update with the dedicated page for my suite when it goes live.

After the last suite is completed a public vote will be held started January 13th, with the winner announced on January 19th. I hope you’ll click over there and take a look–cheers if you do!

Flash: sweet…

I have great plans for 2014 and it seems they’ve started without me. I’ve been selected as a finalist in a “Flash Suite” contest being held by the certainly unique online magazine Defenestrationism – so named in celebration of “the act of throwing someone or something out of a window”. In this case, stories. And maybe their authors.

The contest is simple. Each finalist submitted a suite of at least three connected flash stories, each part no more than 1000 words long. These are being published on the site (one per day since December 9th) until all the suites are completed. I expect my entries will start appearing in the first week of January as I was the last finalist selected, so expect another post here when they show. When they’re all up reader voting can begin.

The winners will be announced on January 19th and there are modest cash prizes for first and second place, although naturally we’re all really in it for the art… Of course, I wouldn’t want mere charity votes from my friends and loved ones (non-overlapping magisteria?) but there’s sure to be some interesting, bite-sized fiction over the festive season. And since you’re probably already paying for your internet service, it’s all effectively free!

I’ve read the pieces posted so far and the standard of competition looks good. For now all you can see of me there is an author bio alongside my now hated rivals on the Meet the Finalists page, but at least people who used to know me can find out what I look like these days (the consensus of babies and small animals seems to be scary and/or interesting).

So, not really a consensus at all. That’s the kind of linguistic precision you can expect from me in the future.