Blog Update

Hi,

Just a quick pop in to let you know I had two essays published this week that you might want to read….

One was about Margaret Atwood’s fiction and its relation to the state of politics and women’s bodies, you can find it here: http://www.theshortstory.co.uk/foretelling-a-dystopian-future-margaret-atwoods-stone-mattress-by-kate-jones/

And another one, this time a creative non-fiction piece about a time in my life when I realised a bunch of important stuff….here it is: http://www.femininecollective.com/bottom-drawer-feminist/

Enjoy reading!

Kate  x

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Positive Vibes

Hi there,

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….

Best,

Kate  x

Shortlists & Coming Back From Rejections

Hi,

Just a quick update for regular readers. I’ve been a bit quiet lately, getting my head down with the editorial intern role I’ve been doing with the fabulous Great Jones Street.  They’ve developed an app for reading short stories, sort of a Netflix-for-short-stories thing.  If you love reading short stories and enjoy getting access to fresh content by both well-known and contemporary writers, then head on to https://www.greatjonesstreet.press/ and check them out.  Having read loads of their stories now, I can guarantee they are A-class!

Added to that, I’ve been busy putting together my next essay for The Short Story website, which will hopefully be up soon.  If you missed the last one on Jean Rhys, you can still catch it here http://www.theshortstory.co.uk/exploring-the-short-stories-of-jean-rhys-by-kate-jones/

Lastly, I haven’t totally forgotten about the creative writing side of things!  A short story I wrote for Open Pen was recently shortlisted for their free paper magazine, and so was featured on their website this weekend as part of #ShortStorySunday.  It’s here if you’d like a read (and take no notice of the shock warnings, it’s pretty tame, honest!): http://www.openpen.co.uk/ggsw/

I’ve also just found that I’ve been shortlisted for the lovely little A3 review, which features short stories in a fold-out map style magazine twice a year.  Keeping everything crossed for that one, which is on the theme of ‘Uniform’.

Finally, I have a piece I’m really fond of coming up in the next Nottingham Review – I’ll post a link in December once that’s up. This piece reminded me of how far I’ve come, and how important it is not to give up.  I wrote this piece quite some time ago, and even though it hadn’t been accepted at other magazines, I kept going with it, because I really liked it and believed it would fit at the right place.  My persistence eventually paid off, but I can remember a time not so long ago when I first (finally!) started submitting my work after years of shamefully hiding my work under the bed unread.  In the past, I would have taken one rejection as a sign to never send anything out again!  But as my confidence has grown, and positive comments have been made on my work, I feel more inclined to stand up for the writing I believe in.  I hope that any writers out there reading this post do the same!

As ever, thanks for stopping by, and happy reading/writing/submitting!

Kate  x

Essaying, Editing & All Things Short Story-ish

Hi there!

Just a quick blog update as I’ve not posted for a while, busy busy! Which is great, because over the summer I got offered two writing roles that I am LOVING!

Firstly, I am now an Essayist for TheShortStory, a great website dedicated to, you guessed it, the short form and all its facets. My first essay for them was about the work of Jean Rhys, if you missed it and would like a read, here it is: http://www.theshortstory.co.uk/exploring-the-short-stories-of-jean-rhys-by-kate-jones/

Secondly, I was accepted as an Editorial Intern with Great Jones Street. These guys are really pushing the current favourability of the short story, and are aiming to make their app and website subscription service the Spotify or Netflix of the short story world! If you enjoy reading short fiction, head over to:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/great-jones-street/id1130074944?mt=8

and to find out more about how Great Jones Street came about, check out: https://www.greatjonesstreet.press/

Finally….I’m pleased to say I have a short piece of flash fiction coming up in The Nottingham Review later this year, so look our for that in December!

Thanks for reading and following. Have a great autumn.

Kate  x

The Magic Number

Hi,

Just a quick blog update as it’s still the looooong school summer holidays here, and everything has to be done at breakneck speed….

But just in case you missed it, I had a bumper week of flash published last week! Three in fact, in some of my favourite places on the web: Spelk, SickLit and Cafe Aphra. If you’d like to have a read, follow the links below:

https://spelkfiction.com//?s=kate+jones&search=Go

The Last Time – by KATE JONES

http://cafeaphrapilot.blogspot.co.uk/

So, three was definitely the magic number for me last week, but, just to mess up the symmetry of that, I’ve posted below a little story I wanted to share. It isn’t in fact one of mine this time – this is the first published piece by my big daughter who turned 17 in July. I’m so proud of her!! (though slightly worried she’s going to overtake me in no time at all…)

http://sugarrascals.wixsite.com/home/eleanor-jones-elixir

Anyway, hope you enjoy reading, and look out for another of my flashes coming up in SickLit later this month.

See ya,

Kate  x

 

Dear Women’s Magazines

Please don’t keep asking me to get the perfect body this summer,

I have the perfect body already.

This body – my body- has been with me a long time now,

I’ve grown quite attached to it, thanks.

It amazed me in my early teens, when bits grew and hormones

sent me crazy, in good ways and bad.

It saw me through my wild early twenties,

still functioning, despite my neglect.  It was a good sport like that.

It allowed me a few wild years, before warning me to calm down –

It knows what I need, even if sometimes I don’t.

It allowed me to grow two tiny humans inside it,

both born with their very own perfectly functioning bodies.

Then it let me feed them both for six months apiece,

sustaining me and them – even on two hours sleep.

My body allows me to walk for miles, to ride a bike, to swim,

to practice Sun Salutations and stand on my head.

It enjoys pleasure and its heart knows love.

Now in its fourth decade, it still feels a good fit.

So please, don’t ask me to change it

to fit in with some stereotyped ideal, or the latest fashion.

Don’t preach to me about how a woman over 40 should dress

or wear her hair –

I think I got this by now.

Stop trying to sell me cream to rid me of stretch marks –

they show the miracles my body has performed.

I do not wish to remove them; they show where I’ve been.

Don’t encourage me to follow the latest celebrity diet

to get some dreamed up ideal of a Perfect Beach Body.

I have a perfect beach body.  I have a perfect any place body.

I take it everywhere with me, I wouldn’t be without it.

It’s mine.