Save the Short Story

Today I've been in my new house a week and it's beginning to feel more like home.   There are pictures on the walls and I've managed to organise the kitchen cupboards.  Outside I've pruned and watered the rosemary bush which was almost dead from neglect.
The weather has been very unseasonal for Italy in the second half of July - rain almost every day, cloudy and grey with a strong, cool wind blowing.  I'm writing this on the terrace wrapped in a shawl on what would normally be a balmy evening.  The Mediterranean is very rough, as we found on an excursion to explore a new pier that's been constructed at Marina di Pietrasanta.   Standing in the sea beside it is a bronze cloaked figure staring back at the mountains.  On such a wild, dark day it felt rather melancholy.  There was no plaque to say who the artist was, or who it is intended to be.   The biggest waves were washing right up to the hem of the bronze robes,  and the beach  - usually crammed with tourists  - was deserted.

I'm not doing much writing yet - I'm not settled enough and my mind keeps wandering off to write shopping lists or wonder how to decipher the impenetrable communication from Italia Telecom written in a form of Italian previous unknown to me and demanding 220 euros with no indication of how or where to pay!

More depressing news has filtered through from the world of books and writing.   The BBC have decided to axe their daily short story slot  - one of the only decent markets for the genre left to us.  Not only that, it's such a good training ground for budding authors.   Writing a short story for radio is such good practice for writing prose fiction - lucid, with a clear story line and strong voices.   It's one of the ways I started out and I've discovered many a favourite author that way and gone on to read their novels.  These cuts are all down to money and it makes me feel even more angry about the mess the bankers have left us in.

The Society of Authors has initiated a petition which I've gladly signed.​tion/noshortstorycuts/


  1. They're not called "banksters' for nothing--and most, I believe, are still getting their bonuses, a classic case of privatising profit and letting the public bear the losses. And despite all the rhetoric in 2008, the international financial system has not been reformed.

  2. I totally agree with you Helen. It's all very worrying.


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