Forest Bathing

This morning, I got deliberately lost.  I allowed myself to wander off the beaten track and lose myself in the woods.  Phoneless.  Contactless.

How often these days do people allow themselves to get lost, in this age of sat nav and Smartphones?

I read a book recently about a Japanese practise known as Shinrin-Yoku.  It translates as ‘Forest Bathing’.  It’s the practise of wandering into the forest, noticing and bonding with nature, for the purposes of your own health.  It’s meant to be healing for both body and mind.

Both nature and technology can have a certain allure.  We can find ourselves drawn to, and mesmerised by, either.  Stepping away from the ‘Ping’ of Smartphone notifications and social media updates can allow us to reconnect with nature, allowing us to notice more.  To slow down.

Noticing is what we as writers need to do in order to put words on the page.

Reconnecting with nature can help us to find life more interesting.  To feel part of a whole again.  To maybe become a little bit more interesting (and interested) a person.

Taking the opportunity to notice more, to slow down, to step away from technology and go out and get lost: these things will, I think, feed into our writing and our lives,  making them richer and more meaningful.

Kate x

#ICYMI, I have a little piece of creative non-fiction flash in this lovely magazine: http://www.dnamag.co.uk/issues/issue-two/ called ‘Part-Time Vegetarianism’

 

 

 

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Subtle Changes

Hi,

Anyone who writes will get the feeling I had this week.  That one where pieces of writing are going out into the world with your name on, and along with the lovely sensation you feel at an editor choosing your work to publish over the tons of submissions they must get in their inbox, you also feel a little bit anxious about the writing.

The pieces of writing this week were both Creative Non-Fiction – life writing, or memoir – whatever label you want to attach to this form of writing.  And I think that was the reason for the slight twinge of anxiety.  Because, by their very nature, these are going to be more personal to the writer.  It’s a form of writing I’m often drawn to, both when reading others’ work and writing my own, for the connections it opens up: that recognition you get when you realise other people have experiences similar to you.

The first piece was up at the awesome Sunlight Press and was a piece I wrote about the way parenthood and time rubs away at the surface of a marriage, requiring a couple to adapt and change.  If you’d like a read, it’s here: http://www.thesunlightpress.com/subtle-changes/

The second piece went up at a fairly new lit mag called DNA for their ‘Identity’ issue, and is a short piece about my youngest daughter, and the ways she often reminds me of my younger self.  Here’s the link: http://www.dnamag.co.uk/

I think, as you grow as a writer, you often have to be willing to let yourself leak out onto the page, even if it’s in your fictional characters.  And I think if you can do that, your writing feels that much more real, that much more honest.

Happy reading and writing,

Kate  xx

 

 

 

Summer’s End

Hi all,

So, the calendar rolled around to September over the weekend, and I felt totally unprepared for it, as usual.

In the past, I’ve always been a fan of the new feel of September.  No matter how old you get, I think the reminder of new school shoes and sharpened pencils stays with you, whether you loved or loathed school.

This year though, I’ve been trying to run from it somewhat.  My eldest daughter turned eighteen over the summer, and received her A Level results.  She did phenomenally well, and got a place at her first choice university.  It was cause for great celebration.  And yet…at the back of my mind, I could feel the ties that have bound us together since her arrival eighteen years ago loosening.  I could feel her excitement at the thought of living in her own place amongst her peers, learning new things I haven’t taught her.  I could feel her childhood slipping away.

I know this isn’t an uncommon way to feel.  And it isn’t even empty nest syndrome, either, as we still have another daughter to hang on to for a few more years yet.  But it’s that first step of letting go that I’ve refused to think about, and am now confronted with, counting the days and hours until there’s three of us at the dinner table. I wonder how long it will take me to stop buying her favourite foods from the supermarket; or shouting to her up in her bedroom when I think of something I want to tell her…

But enough! I need to think of the positives.  September brings with it an opportunity to dive back into my own writing and submitting – something which gets a little lost over the summer months.  It’s a chance to share some of my published work, and feel the satisfaction that brings.  And a chance to read some of the writing I love.

I have a few pieces coming up for publication – ones I’m really proud of, too.  I have been working a lot more on creative non-fiction, as this is something I find satisfying and my writing tends toward naturally.  I also started attending a class before the summer which combines reading and writing, led by an English Professor and published author and editor, and reading my work aloud there has helped enormously.  It’s the first class I’ve really felt at home at, and I’m looking forward to starting a new term later this month. As a shameless student, I’ve already made a start on the reading list!

In case you missed it, I’m sharing below a link to a published essay/cnf piece I recently published in Feminine Collective.  I have work upcoming in The Sunlight Press; DNA Magazine; Spelk; and Thresholds.

That’s it for now.  I hope that September brings you new beginnings, luck with your own writing, and inspiration.

Kate  x

https://www.femininecollective.com/raising-feminist-daughters/

 

New Writing

Hey,

Quick link to my latest short story, which was published by the awesome SickLit Magazine over the weekend. Here it is, if you’d like a little read : )

Seven Hills – by Kate Jones

Although the story is totally fictional, the place settings are very real. The title of the story ‘Seven Hills’ is a nickname for my home city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, because the city is famously built on seven hills. When I visited the beautiful ancient city of Rome for my honeymoon, I realised this was a connection the two cities shared. Though they couldn’t be more different other than that, I’d have to say they are probably my two favourite cities, so I thought it would be nice to write a story connecting the two somehow.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the story!

Kate

x

 

New Writing

Hey there!

So, I’ve been real busy doing lots of editorial work so haven’t had a chance to post, but here are a few links to some recent publications of mine; two essays about female writers and sexual politics:

http://feminartsy.com/in-the-female-tradition-women-and-sexuality-in-the-20th-century-novel/

and https://www.theshortstory.co.uk/the-dark-sexuality-incestuous-undertones-of-daphne-du-mauriers-short-stories/

I also have a longlisted flash fiction piece, which I’ve had lots of positive feedback on, and which I really enjoyed writing here: http://www.reflexfiction.com/jellyfish-by-kate-jones/

Enjoy reading and writing until next time!

Kate