SHORTS

The Coughing Fit

By the open hearth, dressed in garlands and golden baubles the tree glittered. Damp wood devoured by flames, crackled and spat, giving playful light to the logged walls and their double glazed windows. Moist, trapped between glass and glass, gleamed with reflection, obscuring the dark outside.

Homespun linen covered the table, set with antique porcelain, silverware and crystal glasses. Among decorative juniper wreaths boasted cold meats and rustic bread, local cheese and relishes, cured salmon with dill and pepper-pickled herring, Swedish meatballs and a leg of ham crisp with mustard glaze. Small baskets held ginger bread, saffron buns, dried figs and chocolate fudge. The air was a fragrant blend of citrus, sweet and spice. A fondue pot kept the mulled wine, steaming with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel floating on the deep red.

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A Farewell

In the midst of people walking every which way, they stand, facing each other, mum and daughter. A cacophony of voices and announcements echo around their unseen cocoon.

‘I have to go.’ Layla checks again, her boarding card and passport safe in her tight grip.
Claire nods in silence, while the voice in her head screams in protest.
‘I’m gonna miss you, mum.’
Claire looks at her daughter, about to put oceans between them. She is beautiful. Her skin is flawless, her teeth are straight and unstained, her lashes long. Layla’s eyes are bright, excited. Claire’s burn.
‘I’ll write, mum, promise.’
‘Of course darling, me too.’ Eight days for a letter to reach her. Eight long days.

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Women’s Fiction

What is women’s fiction?
If my WIP, had already been published and found its way into my local bookshop, you’d find it in the section called General Fiction. It would share shelves with names such as Liane Moriarty, Jojo Moyes, Kate Morton, Colleen Hoover, Sally Hepworth, Elin Hildebrand, Nikolas Sparks, Marian Keyes and the list goes on. Different styles of writing but in the same genre.

The genre is also called women’s fiction. I have realised that this term is not embraced by everyone. Many are opposed. I have no such aversion. I’m with Women’s Fiction Writers Association’s on this. So what is women’s fiction. It’s broad that’s for sure. This is how WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) define it.

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