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Ruth Geldard, Semi-Finalist

Ruth Geldard, Flash Fiction Semi-Finalist LISP 3rd Quarter 2020

- Can you please tell us about your daily life?

Writing – stone carving/drawing – writing - dog walking – writing - interspersed with eating obvs and lots of Qigong. Repeat until end.

- When did you start writing? How often do you write?

I try to write every day even if it’s only a quick rant or diary entry. I am an artist/writer hybrid and have always written in the margins of sketchbooks. Early on I wrote feature articles about painting for magazines and then book contributions for publishers like Dorling and Kindersley. During study for an MA some years ago, the writing began to take over, then on holiday I forgot my paints and wrote a picture instead. This changed everything and led to short stories published in the Momaya Press and Labello Press Anthologies and flash fiction in Spelk online publication. Since then, I have had work longlisted and shortlisted for the Fish Prize International Prize, and my story The Parrot Dress was given the Sapphire Award for Excellence in Contemporary Narrative and nomination for a Pushcart Prize. You can see my artwork here:

- How does it feel to have your work recognised?

At least as good as this!

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Flash-Fiction?

The hardest thing is for me about short form writing of any kind, is the discipline of fitting to a specific word count. I am never sure when to stop but have found that cutting away too much, can result in a meaningless haiku!

The joyous part is getting towards the end when I’m pretty much home and dry, and I can start tinkering with verbs and polishing. I love that part.

- 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 got the initial idea for Shedding, about three years ago, while night swimming. I was ruminating on my grownup daughters and what marvellous adults they’ve both grown into but also reflecting on the fear I felt for them (and me) during their adolescence, along with all the what ifs? The water in the pool became the important third element and the vessel that holds the writing together, as well as the obvious birth associations.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a 300-word flash-fiction story?

Yes – when starting, free flowing, non-judgemental, verbal diarrhoea is, I believe, essential as well as trust in your own ability, that once kick-started, the words will eventually form their own coherent shape. Honestly.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions?

Well of course being placed and getting published in any form is brilliant – but it’s more than that, it connects you to other writers in a cosy all in it together way and then there’s how happy everyone else is for your success – which was unexpected and lovely.

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on LISP?

Oh yes of course- and I bet you’re thinking well she would say that wouldn’t she? But I mean it, the feeling of validation is wonderful. Embrace rejection, put those blinkers on and keep going – it’s worth it.



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