Wednesday, 30 June 2010

I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to Bugged

Tomorrow is not only the first day of July, it is also a day to do eavesdropping, and do eavesdropping good. It’s all part of Bugged, a project for UK writers. They call it ‘creative eavesdropping’. I guess as writers we do this anyway, but this is like having permission to do it.

From the website:

1 On July 1st 2010, go forth and…. eavesdrop! Wherever you are – in the British Museum or Bradford bus station, in your office, the pub, on the train – listen in to conversations and fragments of speech around you. Be discreet. Try not to get punched.
2 Write a new piece of work based on what you hear. We want poems of up to 60 lines, stories up to 1000 words, flash fiction up to 150 words, scripts up to 5 minutes long. Our favourite recent overhearing is ‘I think it was the turtles that did for her eventually.’ Yours may be tragical, farcical, touching or mundane. You don’t have to quote your overhearing directly – it might just be a starting point for your piece.
3 Submit it to us by email after July 1st, and before August 15th. The sooner the better.

(Further details can be found here.)

I wish it had been B-Day on Tuesday, because there was a crazy lady in the library who could’ve set me off on a hundred stories. My favourite quote from her has to be: “I LIVE IN A SHED!!!” The rest is pretty unrepeatable. But I will be eavesdropping in the library again tomorrow, notebook in pocket, when I’m supposed to be tidying the Biographies. I’m sure I’ll overhear something good, something that will inspire a story. Bring it on!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

I'm A Festival. I'm A Parade.

We’re lying on the bed with the window open. The breeze sucks the curtain out of the room, billows it like a sail into the world outside.

His arm is wooden beneath my neck, but when he speaks he moves his hand, twitches his fingers, and I feel his muscles contract and slacken underneath me.

Our clothes are from another decade. We laughed at first, trying on outfits of the dead, their garish colours at odds with our complexions. But it soon exhausted us, the being other people, the being ironic. And so we lay down on top of the sheets. But we’re still not ourselves.

His eyes are hidden behind dark glasses, huge. Reflected in them I am a mass of gold and green. I’m a festival. I’m a parade.

We breathe soft under the weight of the clothes. He is layers of red and blue and brown. He is three shirts deep, strangled by a tie that’s bigger than all our dreams put together.

His body is unrecognisable. I press my hands against where his chest should be. All I can feel are buttons, shiny and smooth beneath my fingers.

I undo them one by one.


(I'm writing tiny stories/snapshots inspired by songs, either taking the title or a line or two. The stories don't really have anything to do with the songs, but maybe they'll evoke the same feelings, or maybe they won't. I'm making a tiny book of each story. Just one book per story. If you would like this one, leave a Yes in the comments or email me at ejlannie [at] gmail [dot] com with your address.)