A Brief Pause for a Micro Podcast

Photo by Cory Vincent on Unsplash

*Disclaimer. This is not my actual home studio because I don’t have one. Maybe I will one day though. (No I haven’t been looking up the usb microphones that Emily St John Mandel or Limmy use. That was someone else who looks like me) However, I did actually recently dip a toe into the water of podcast/audiobook/storytelling.

Micro is a podcast for short, but powerful writing

I have always wanted to hear one of my stores read aloud but it never occurred to me that I could be the one to do it. If you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like, now is your chance to find out! Please enjoy.

click here to hear me read ‘Minted’

Minted was first published by Dime Show Review back in 2019.

The episode on micropodcast.org was released on Thursday 4th February 2021.

This may be a piece of flash fiction, but recording it was not quick. I live in a house with thin walls near to a school, so there is always the sound of next-door’s telly, car doors slamming or children’s voices. To try to muffle as much outside noise as I could, I piled cushions and a duvet around my desk, and put a giant bath towel over my head to create my own personal fort. Even though my audience was me and me alone, I still had to try to manage the nerves of ‘public speaking’ my own words out loud.


Most of us are staying at home these days, and we’re all getting used to the majority of our interactions with other people being through a screen. My experiences of video calling, facetiming, MSTeams and Zoom are a bit like when Laura Dern in Jurassic Park goes near to a computer screen. Communicating in writing via the chat function, Twitter, texts, emails and WhatsApp are now my default.


I was overjoyed to be accepted onto a short story creative writing, professional development course called ‘A Brief Pause‘. It is run by Dahlia Publishing with funding from Arts Council England and support from The Literary Agency. The list of tutors for the twelve, two hour Zoom masterclasses is impressive. (Xanthi Barker, Susmita Bhattacharya, Rebecca Burns, Emily Devane, Melissa Fu, Divya Ghelani, Anita Goveas, Abi Hynes, Farhana Khalique, CG Menon, Mahsuda Snaith, and Alison Woodhouse.) So I have to try to be cool and not fangirl too much, because this does feel like a big deal for me. I also have to remind myself that I don’t have to buy every single short story collection or writer’s guide that is mentioned!

Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Lockdown III (the most controversial of the trilogy) has seen me scour YouTube and rediscover old episodes of ‘Tales of The Unexpected’. YouTube is a rabbit hole for book research as there is always someone who is a specialist in just the exact thing I need for my novel. It sometimes reminds me of being back in the Brownies, when a guest speaker would explain the workings of some puzzling contraption or how something was made. It’s strange to think that during the editing process, I will delete much of that (as yet unwritten) backstory as it will no longer be relevant and considered to be an infodump.

Writing should actually be called rewriting.

As You Were

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Hi,

I’m taking a break over the summer, from Twitter and WordPress, to concentrate on getting my short-story collection finished.

Nx

P.S. Thank you so much for your support for my writing. It means a lot.

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Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

88. A Sort of Homecoming

“There are two kinds of people in this world.” I say, exaggerating my hand gestures, to emphasise complete certainty, in front of my five-year-old nephew. “Those who like marmite and those who don’t, and,” (dramatic pause) “you can’t tell which, just by looking. I think it’s in your DNA. Your uncle hates kissing me bye if I’m eating this.”

His little face lights up at this new, vitally crucial information and he spends the next half-hour interrogating everyone who enters the dining room about whether they like marmite. His cheerfulness catches them off-guard. Their unashamed reactions of revulsion and horror, are an absolute treat for the boy. Wide-eyed in wonder at the adults in his life, repulsed and showing fear for the very first time. Taking centre stage, he is the star of his very own Roald Dahl book played out in real life.

“No, it’s blah. How anyone can eat that… that GUNGE, is beyond me.”

“I’m completely addicted. I love it. I have to take a little jar with me on holiday.”

“I’ll find you that YouTube video of Japanese people eating it for the first time. They’re being polite but you can tell they hate it. Their faces!”

“Marmite is banned in Denmark because it’s so disgusting. No lie. You can google it if you don’t believe me. It’s only a matter of time before we come to our senses and catch up.”

“Me and you have to stick together, kid. Like BTS fans. There’s not many of us out there.”

Between giggles at their utter contempt, he boldly crunches his toast, hamming it up with “mmmmmms”, looks them right in the eye and licks the butter knife, and even once kisses the jar. Relishing with glee the power he has to effortlessly own the room.

My other half walks in, starts to greet us, halts, wrinkles his nose and sighs “oh god, not another convert.”

I nearly forgot…

Come on England!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🦁 🦁 🦁