It’s been a while since I published on the blog, which I guess is a good sign from the point of view of my writing work, as I’ve been keeping real busy. I’m still interning with the fantastic Great Jones Street, which brands itself as the ‘Netflix of Short Fiction’, and it really is that, except you’ll get a lot more out of reading several of their awesome short stories than watching box-set series on repeat! (IMO, obvs 😉 ).
It really is heartening having people such as the team at Great Jones Street putting everything into re-booting the interest in short stories – especially if you’re somebody who likes writing them, of course!
I’ve also recently had another essay published on The Short Story, all about Margaret Drabble’s short story ‘A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman. You can read it here if you wish: http://www.theshortstory.co.uk/smiling-women-an-exploration-of-margaret-drabbles-short-stories-by-kate-jones/
I have more flash fiction coming up soon, as well as a creative non-fiction piece in the brilliant Six Hens literary magazine, something I’ve wanted to get into for ages. It really has the best non-fiction stuff on the web, and I’m really pleased they liked my piece, which is a personal essay about growing up and finding strength. I’m also excited to have had another personal essay selected for publication by Feminine Collective, all about the time I worked with women ex-prisoners. Hopefully thought-provoking! I’ll post links to these when they go live.
I recently had a short flash piece published on Spelk, a great literary magazine that always has some of the best stories on the web. If you’d like to have a read and missed it, here’s the link: https://spelkfiction.com//?s=magic+8&search=Go
But don’t just read mine, stick around and read some of the other great stories on there, maybe leave positive comments for the writers, share the love! Which brings me back to the title of this post: ‘Positive Vibes’. It really feels like there’s a distinct lack of these around at the moment, doesn’t it? So much has been going on in the world that it’s easy to get into a grim and dark place, especially at this time of the year, with the dark winter blues lurking. I must confess, I was starting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of negativity on social media of late. So much so, I’ve had to limit myself to accessing Twitter for a bit. A recent illness gave me the opportunity to cut off for a few days, and I have to say, I realised how much better I felt for not getting too entangled in the shouting.
I get it though. Everyone is angry; everyone wants to ensure they keep the people in power in check, and some things, like the recent women’s marches around the world, give you hope that if we stick together, we can make a difference. But I also think it’s important to look at the small, everyday things we can do to make a difference for both ourselves and the people in our immediate communities, as well as further afield.
To this end, as I felt better from my recent virus, I got out and volunteered a shift at the local Oxfam store, and have set up a community Yoga class at a low cost to encourage people who might not otherwise be able to attend the expensive courses in the area I live in. I’ve helped out neighbours and donated unwanted Christmas gifts to food banks and refugee collections. These aren’t world-changing acts, I realise that. But they might make somebody feel a little better on a single day, including myself, for very little effort. I’ve even made a conscious effort to revisit some of the positive books and stories I’ve read over the years, as well as sought out new ones, which inspire me and I plan to continue reading more inspiring writing.
I don’t want this to turn into a preachy blog post, just a reflection on the fact that negativity is never the answer. If we are going to make a difference, even on a global level, we have to encourage and support one another, not circulate the hate even more. Again, this is just my humble opinion of course!
Anyway, I hope you feel inspired to read/write/submit/get involved in whatever small ways you can, and remember, spring can’t be that far away….