Last January, I saw the email call for submissions from Christmas Press for their 2017 anthology, A Christmas Menagerie.
I spent several afternoons devising a story based on memories my mother had told me, about a Christmas she had on the family dairy farm at Federal in the 1930s when she was a girl.
Although I have made up the characters and the plot, there really was a cranky cow called Pansy who gave my mother a black eye when being milked.
All their cows had names. This photo isn’t Pansy, the cranky cow. When we were going through photos, sorting out names and places, Mum told me it was Anzac, a nice cow born on Anzac Day.
The surprise Christmas meal was also true, and I know that Mum and her family had sing-a-longs with friends for which my grandfather played the fiddle. They were Methodists, and music was essential to their lives.
We celebrate Christmas without her now, but I hope Mum would be pleased that a story she gave me so many elements for is now in print.
The Hungry Chimera is an independent literary magazine that features short fiction, poetry and visual art.
Thank you to the magazine editors Afton and Stevie for accepting my short story “Waiting” — now published in Issue 3 .
This short fiction is in some ways an exploration of the classic tanka themes of longing and loss: but in prose, with an Australian setting and more story details sketched in.
I hope you enjoy reading it online (or in print)!
It was a wabi-sabi sort of day last weekend, when I met with poetry friends for a garden ginko. We took some time to slow down, walk around a winter garden, and notice the textures of foliage, stone and wood.
Camellias, jonquils, and other rarer blooms we couldn’t name were there for the keen-eyed poet to discover.
In these moments of reflection, we may have also learnt something about ourselves.
that once held the weekly wash
now cradle spring bulbs
. . . each day I find
a new skill to master
© Julie Thorndyke
Nine Lives: A Life in Ten Minutes Anthology is a collection of 148 short, nonfiction pieces written ten minutes at a time by 121 authors, (including me!) and collected by Life in 10 Minutes founder Valley Haggard and her co-editor, Sarah Allen-Short.
order information here
Interview with editors here
My short story “The Cave” has been published online at The Moon Magazine.
A bit of family rivalry, a bit of beach escapism . . . a menacing mermaid tale with a twist!
Read the story here
In my case, the “attic” was the wonderful online repository from the National Library of Australia, TROVE. Many digitized local newspapers can be found there, listing social events like birthday parties, weddings and funerals.
Such an insight into the lives of long-gone relatives!
Thank you Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero for accepting my creative non-fiction piece, “Aunt Becker’s Secret” for this unique anthology.
I am looking forward to seeing the finished book, and also reading the stories other writers have discovered in their family attics.
How to buy the book? Information here http://www.hiddentimberbooks.com/family-stories-attic/
My short story for children, Toby’s Ashes, is now published in
The School Magazine Blast Off, March 2017 Issue No. 2.
Lovely illustrations by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall