LISP 2nd Half 2021 Flash Fiction Finalist 'A Small World' by Katherine Frances Jennifer Fisher
- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life? I live alone, have two adult children and am a grandmother of three - I spend my time between London and Somerset, so I have the best of both worlds. I love both London cultural life and the misty hills of Somerset. I am an avid reader and a member of a writing group, a book club (of course!) and a newly formed biography club. Retirement is never boring. - When and how did you get into writing? I worked in post-16 Education for many years, encouraging and helping students to write well. I have always wanted to write myself, but life got in the way. I tinkered with poetry in times of crisis. But last year, encouraged by a friend who had written the novel she had always promised herself that she would write I finally, in retirement, made the time to actually sit at the computer. Maybe Covid was a factor as it kept me inside, literally locked in. Success in a couple of competitions in the last year has spurred me on. - How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write? I am beginning to understand that writing is a bit like going to the gym. You have to be disciplined and make the time in order to improve - it's like exercising a muscle. I don't, however, have a routine. But I think I should. I write for a few hours each week, but it's not really enough - but when I do write, for me, it's like picking up a paintbrush and starting to create an image. I find it difficult to stop once I have started. - How does it feel to have your work recognised? It is really gratifying to have a piece of writing validated, especially if you write in isolation. - What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about writing a story? The best thing is the starting point when you know you have a clear idea of a narrative arc in your mind. The challenge is the editing and refining - it's difficult to be objective about your own writing. - How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it? I saw a very small article in a newspaper, presenting the facts of an auction that had taken place with a surprising result. This led me to imagine a possible story behind what I had read. I wrote it in one go, and left it for a few months and then refined it over a period of a week or so. - Can you please give us a few tips about writing a story? I think Flash Fiction is a really good discipline for a beginner writer - cutting to the essence is essential. I would highly recommend it as a starting point for others; it has helped me a great deal in understanding which words are necessary and to identify - and cull - those that are superfluous to the story.. - What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about competitions? The best thing about competitions is having some success! As an older writer who is just beginning to develop the craft, the confidence that the acknowledgement of one's work gives you is invaluable. But essentially, competitions also provide some essential structure and a spur to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It can be disheartening, though, when submissions are met with a resounding lack of response which of course I have experienced - but it hasn't made me want to give up. - Lastly, do you recommend the writers give a go on LISP? Certainly.