A new site worth getting to know

I’ve just launched a new site focusing in more detail on microfiction. I hope that regular smallstoriesaboutlove readers will take a look. I’ll continue to publish stories here and use this site as the experimental writing space it has become. But I want to delve a little further into the theory and practice of microfiction as well as creating a more engaging on-line presence for my own broader practice, hence the new site.

The new site is called Big Story Small. It can be viewed at bigstorysmall.com.

I’d love to get some feedback and please, if you’re interested in very short fiction, consider following bigstorysmall – I guarantee there’ll be plenty of great posts, news and information for writers and readers alike.

You can also now follow me on Twitter, where I’ll be posting Twitter-sized stories, some new and others rewritten and edited to suit that format. My first Twitter story has just been published at @bigstorysmall.

I hope smallstoriesaboutlove readers enjoy these new sites.

A story a day for the Bayside Literary Festival

I’m about to begin (starting Thursday June 21st) a period of publishing a story a day as an online component of the Bayside Literary Festival, 2012. If you like what I publish here have a look and subscribe for a daily dose of very short fiction over the next four weeks. Go to the Bayside Literary Festival website and select the ‘Micro-blog project’ link. If you’re in Melbourne it’s a great festival program so check out what else is on offer.

Oh, and I promise not to neglect this site while the Bayside project is running. Expect some more poetry posts, audio versions of earlier posts and links to interesting sites over coming weeks.

One perfect riff (and a message of thanks)

The story, One perfect riff, which follows this brief indulgence, is the 366th in this series and hence of some significance.

When I published the first of these stories, on this site on July 1, 2010, my aim—it seemed an absurd one at the time—was to write and publish a new story every day for a year and a day. With the publication of today’s story I reach that goal. Thanks to all the readers, subscribers and supporters who have been part of the process, including my family, Polly and Thomas, for their forebearance. This project has taught me much about writing and about persistence. I hope it has made me a better writer.

I have other writing projects that have not been getting the attention they deserve. I hope to be able to dedicate more time to them now. But I also want this site to remain active. I’ll continue to publish new stories whenever I have them. And when I don’t (because I’m no longer going to torture myself to get them the way I’ve sometimes had to over the past year) I’ll revisit the story originally published on the corresponding date. If it is in need of editing then I will polish it and republish. If it is already reasonably polished I’ll treat it in one of the following ways; I’ll republish it with illustrations, republish it in a different format (such as prose poem or concrete poetry), or I’ll publish it as an audio file. I hope, in this way, I can keep this page alive and interesting. If, as a reader of this site, you have any other ideas you’d like explored as part of this project please let me know.

As well as refocussing on other writing projects (particularly two half-finished novels), I hope to prepare a collection of these stories for submission for publication. I’d also love to explore the performance possibilities of these stories. There’s never enough time, of course, but by relaxing my self-imposed rules about this site I hop to get a little of mine back. Thanks for supporting Small Stories about Love.

– Richard


One perfect riff

When the call about the support gig came Pen’s thoughts went immediately to Laszlo. He was the one who’d seen the ad at the guitar shop and told her to audition. It was meant to be a bit of fun. Now she’d be leaving for four months on the road. His companionship would be replaced by the band—Petra and Carl and Dylan.

Dylan who played without effort.The day would come when, after a killer show, he’d tell her what she already knew; that he wanted to be with her. And she’d say she wanted that too, because she’d dreamed of herself adrift in a sea of his cool tones and silky licks. And Laszlo would be at home, pouring over chord charts and songbooks and trying to sound like everybody else. He’d had one perfect riff in him. He’d shown it to the band and it was part of their set now, and it would never be his again.

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

Twists and turns

The maze seemed like something different. A chance perhaps to enjoy simple pleasures. But Kylie said I was getting old. ‘OK grandpa, but let’s see what Loni and Vin are doing.’

Vin—he’d bring too much beer and junk food and a frisbee to throw. Vin’s problem was he couldn’t sit still.

We met them at the hedged archway entrance. Kylie and I went one way, Vin and Loni the other. Kylie’s approach was to race ahead, hit a dead-end, scream and race back to find a different route. I grew weary just watching her. When it took more than ten minutes to find the heart-shaped centre she swore loudly and vowed next time she’d bring a chain saw. I could hear Vin carrying on too. Pretty soon the two of them were conducting a shouted dialogue over the tops of the hedges.

It was half an hour before we all found the heart. Vin looked at Kylie and said let’s get out of here. They charged off and promptly got lost. I sat a while with Loni. After a few minutes, the silence and birdsong interrupted only by our partner’s screams, Loni leant close to me, whispered, ‘we’re with the wrong ones,’ and kissed me more tenderly than I’d been kissed for months.