I have a new piece of flash fiction for you today – though it's as much an experiment in layout as anything. It feels vaguely derivative of ... something, but it's quite fun all the same. Enjoy! (Note: I'm not sure this will work on a small screen, so you may be best off reading it on a computer rather than a mobile phone.)
Welcome to the party, everyone! Yes, it's true: Reflections of Reality is turning two this week. In honour of my most loyal audience member**, all the cake this year is made out of dog food. I hope that's OK with y'all.
So here we are: a whole year older, but by no means wiser. On my first blog birthday I attempted to pull together what I'd learned from the twelve months that had just passed, so to continue the tradition, here's what this year has taught me.
1. If you want to be a writer, don't have a baby.
2. Er ...
Seriously, though, I have learned a lot this year, but almost none of it is about writing or blogging or anything else that's remotely connected to the purpose of this website. I've learned how exciting it can be to watch a tiny person go from barely being able to support his own head to running all over the house. I've learned how to go to work when I've barely had any sleep at all and still remain professional. I'm still learning how to balance my new family's needs against my own; how to keep my temper when Baby Smith is crying and throwing things and all I want to do is cry and throw things back; how to be a mother and a wife and an employee and a writer without going completely mad***.
In a way I'm quite proud of myself, because I have been all those things this year. My son is happy and healthy and I haven't accidentally left him in Ikea. My husband is stressed and trying to fit too many things into the day, just like me, but at least we're talking about it. My job is ... well, still there, which is the main thing. And though I may not have done as much writing as I would have liked, guess what? I never did. At least now I have a reason for it. And at least I did some. When I look back over the year, it feels kind of amazing that I did any.
Which leads me to a little bit of exciting news. You may be aware that my blog is not the only person, er, entity celebrating a birthday - the very lovely Kristell Ink turned one recently. In honour of the occasion they ran a flash fiction competition with a feline theme, and guess who won first prize?
... No, certainly not. OK, fine, I'll tell you: it was me. Woo hoo! If you'd like to read my 500-word cat story then you can find it here.
Hmm. Maybe I can be a writer and have a baby after all. Which contradicts my sole point above and means I haven't learned anything this year at all. Oh well.
*If you get that reference then I'm officially ashamed of you.
** That dog has listened to me ramble every week without fail for two years. I really must find out his name.
*** This point is up for debate.
Those of you who are familiar with this site may have noticed the addition of a Flashes page. I wrote most of the flash fiction stories it contains for a weekly contest on a writing site I belonged to, and they've been lying around gathering dust ever since – until now. I figure that someone somewhere might get some enjoyment out of them, so why not share? You never know, I might even write more when I get the chance (1000 words being about as much as I have time to achieve these days).
Anyway, in honour of the occasion, the rest of this blog post will be given over to a piece of flash fiction. This is one of the first I wrote, and it's still one of my favourites (for sheer daftness if nothing else). I hope you like it too.