A trip to the past

A while ago I visited the exhibition ‘Making your mark’ at the British Library (on until the 27th of August, go see it if you can!), which is all about the incredible invention of writing. The exhibition is beautiful and traces the history of writing from the evolution of writing systems, through materials, uses, to modern ways of writing. I’d never thought of writing as an invention before, just something that is as human as talking or breathing – a bit of a silly idea in hindsight.

There are some beautiful manuscripts and items in this exhibition, but strangely the one piece that I haven’t been able to forget was a permit allowing a woman to sell sex for one day only in a specific town (in ancient Rome I think). I’m not a historian so I can’t put this piece in its proper context, but it left me with a lot of questions. Why just one day, why this time, did she choose this herself, was she forced, what was she like, was this common? Infinite possibilities, especially if you have an overactive imagination. But that’s the magic of objects like this, for a brief moment you feel connected to real people who lived real lives centuries ago, rather than unknown blobs in an abstract past.

Museums are a great way to find writing inspiration for that very reason, because I quite often forget that reality tends to trump fiction. Of course, I should be editing my current project instead of looking for inspiration for new pieces, but hey, who’s perfect? x

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My stalker past

I’ve stalked the writing community on Twitter for years but finally plucked up the courage to join in the conversation, and I’ve re-discovered how much I love micro-stories and flash fiction. If you are new to Twitter, check out hashtags like #vss365!

Sadly this summer has been a dramatic one for my family – funeral, illnesses, accidents – so in the spirit of self-care, writing has not been prioritised, but I’ve enjoyed being a part of the writing community nonetheless and just reading all the fabulous pieces rolling by in the feed.

And I’ve just downloaded this year’s National Flash Fiction Day Anthology  ‘And We Pass Through’, so this weekend I plan to have a Sunday morning of coffee and reading. (I actually had a very, very, short flash in the 2016’s anthology ‘A box of stars beneath the bed’ which I’m insanely proud of.)

Have a fabulous day everyone, take care of your loved ones and f**k cancer. x