LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection Short Story, 'Strange Treasures in Gran’s Kitchen' by L.M Brown
I love writing in the early morning and getting up by 6 when the house is quiet. Then I make sure my three daughters are set for the day. They’re remote three days, but I’m fortunate because they’re old enough to get their work done themselves, and only need me if there is a specific problem. So, I get time to write. The dog is usually giving me his ‘I want a walk’ look by 10am and we are gone by 11. I take him for a trek in the woods, before getting lunches, and some yoga and back to the computer if I can wangle it.
I started writing in Ireland a year before my eldest daughter was born. She turned sixteen last June. I wrote whenever I got the chance, mostly at nap time, after my thirteen-year-old and eleven-year-old were born. I must have made every mistake there was when I started. In Boston, I was lucky enough to get accepted into an MFA, which helped in many ways.
How does it Feel to have your work recognized?
It’s wonderful to get that email and to know that your work hit a nerve. I read the email at least ten times. Every writer needs that boast.
How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story?
The story was taken from my novel Our Wandering. In the novel, Mona is looking for her younger sister Stace, who has disappeared. While looking, Mona is also remembering incidences of their childhood when her sister ran away and caused her family heartache. She begins to unravel the truth of what happened when they were children and paint a picture of her sister that is completely different to what she once believed.
The characters are the same, but I wrote an ending to fit the short story-To find out the truth about Stace, you’ll need to read the book. It’s not out yet.
Is Our Wandering your first book?
No, I have had four books published, Debris (Ink Smith Press) and Hinterland (Fomite 2020) are contemporary fiction, and Treading The Uneven Road, and Were We Awake, (Fomite 2019)are linked short story collections.
Could you give some tips on writing a short story?
A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.
“Edgar Allan Poe.”
I have that quote hanging on my wall. It explains the short story so well. It takes more planning than the novel. You need to know what you are doing from the first line and where you are going.
What’s the best thing and the worst thing about entering a writing competition?
Competitions are wonderful to work for. Last year, I decided to put my novel on hold to enter some and it was fun working towards them specifically. Of course, its all great to get the email back to say that your work has hit a nerve. In the last ten months, I’ve won the Press 53-word competition, Able Muse Write Prize for fiction, been anthologized in Bath Short Story Award and SmokeLong Quarterly Award, and shortlisted for Fractured Lit Flash Fiction award, as well being a finalist here. So, it’s been a great boast. The worst thing is the waiting but that’s always a part of a writer’s life.
Lastly, do you recommend writers to give LISP a go?
Absolutely-you never know until you try.
Anything else you’d like to share.
You can find more of my writing at https://lmbrownwriter.wordpress.com/