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I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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Fatigued, Jessica lent on the counter yet still she smiled as though they were the centre of her world. She had the same conversations with different people all day, every day; their families, their hopes and dreams, the weather. The weather loomed large but it was so boring. Everything was boring. They didn’t suspect. They talked at her, thinking she cared. Her genuine, eye crinkling smiles made them think they’d made her day.
She’d had an authentic smile this morning when she overheard, “When we drop into the shop it brightens Jessica up.” Yes her performance was very good.
In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks:
December 7, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write that features a performance. You can interpret what is a performance any way the prompt leads you.
Respond by December 12, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published December 13). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
From the title to the last page this is a book of words skilfully put together to create powerful images from the darker side of the mind. This has similarities to the raindrop that has a outer surface tension which shows both its strength and fragility whilst knowing at any moment it can burst. Sarah Brentyn writes in describing her book “when you’re on the Edge, It’s Easy to Fall.”
Like her first book Hinting at Shadows this book is a collection of flash fiction and I think should be read slowly (it could be read in one sitting) and savoured. The book is divided into three parts which follow a beautiful introduction which looks at the form of flash fiction and her inspiration. As she so beautifully puts “There is a world inside a drop of fiction.” The next two parts, Mindscapes and Lifelines are both pieces of around 100 words and this is followed by the third part which are microbursts – fiction under 50 words.
I said after reading her first book that Sarah Brentyn is a master of flash fiction and this book only cemented this belief. I have however added to that statement and say that Brentyn is a master of the first line. All her first lines make you want to read more. Some have you gasping at the images they create. Take for example the piece Strawberry Fields Forever. The first line: ” Her memory lane was potholes and busted chunks of asphalt.” How could you not want to read on.
This is a perfect book for readers of flash fiction, for those that don’t have the time to read a novel, for those that love words and sentence construction, for those that enjoy having their emotions manipulated and pulled in all directions and for those that want to write flash and need examples to learn from.
I guess I don’t need to ask my question “would I recommend this” as you can tell I would.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono
“C’mmon darlin’. You know you want it,” Rupert slurred. His drunken. lecherous eyes undressed her.
Charleen felt the coldness invading her body, starting at her head and working its way down inch by inch until she stood, frigid beside him. “Don’t touch me!” She moved away, planted her legs akimbo, putting her hands defiantly on her hips and stared at him in defiance.
“Charleen me darlin’ , c’mmon. You know you love me.” He lurched towards her arms outstretched in an embrace she avoided.
“Leave me alone. I don’t love you and I’ll be long gone before the thaw sets in.”
In response to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The photo is courtesy of Dale Rogerson