Saturday, 15 February 2014
Short stories - getting all my ducks in a row!
My three short pieces, which received distinctions or good reviews from readers,
All the Responsibility-None of the Power, The Inspection and Single File seem strong stories to form the equivalent of the first three chapters of Austerity and Other Cuts.
They all link with each other through the theme of education.
Medical Mayhem is a group of short stories which satirise government diktats on the NHS and they make up another six stories.
My novella is The Climate King. Sylvester is a profiteer who becomes a millionaire during a frightening heat wave. He rubs salt in the wound when the floods come and he is still 'on the make' selling expensive sand bags to vulnerable people suffering the effects of torrential rain. It is no comfort to me that this story was written last spring - long before the heatwave and certainly well in advance of the recent floods which have upset so many lives. Fay Weldon said I must be psychic or be with the zeigeist. My plan is that The Climate King will form the middle third of my collection.
A longer story, Coming of Age, which spans the years 1918 - 1978 begins the last third of the collection. It is less satirical but is a comment on how women's lives have changed, such that some don't realise how important it is to vote, despite the married women's vote having been so hard fought for, and won, in 1918.
Finally two very short pieces Gardening Leave and Some have Entertained Angels end the collection with another more sombre piece, about real poverty in Sierra Leone, which is simply called Austerity.