As you may or may not know (or may or may not care), I often perform at spoken word events, which are a fantastic way to get work out there. Not only can you get feedback (if you want it) but also feel part of a truly special community. One of my favourites is a local night called Read Your Words at the delightful Java Bean Cafe. It’s cosy, comfortable and fabulously friendly. If you’re new to performing it’s a great place to test the waters without any fear of people making fun of you. Everyone is very supportive: there’s no criticism, only clapping; and, best of all, the alcohol is very reasonably priced.
The most recent open mic was last week and as usual, being a massive last-minute merchant, I only had one poem written several months previously and then nothing else to fill the slot. What could I do that was very quick to write?! I asked myself, with just a couple of hours to go.
I have always been fascinated by short stories and how just a small amount of text can convey a great deal of information. Ernest Hemingway famously wrote a short story with just 6 words, which manages to be both brief and poignant. This sounded like the way to go so I decided to write as many short stories as I could in my pre-performance bath.
In the end I managed to get quite a few done and before reading them explained to the audience the intention behind them. My aim was to create a series of stand-alone stories, each containing only six words. Some related events that took place over a few months; others were snapshots of a single moment in time. But I hoped that each individual tale would make the listeners just think for a few seconds, perhaps recall the stories later and maybe even enjoy them. Some were funny, some were sad, but all were six words.
They actually went down better than I had hoped and people asked if there were more (something writers always love to hear!). And so I have made some. Having recently finished writing a book, a new project (especially one where brevity is the main feature) seems apposite. So if I can I will give you, dear readers, a brand spanking new story every day, starting on 1st February. Yes, I know new ventures should really be embarked on in January but hey, who wants to be like everyone else anyway?
So from Wednesday I will be releasing one story every day on Twitter – follow the action at @katadventuring
Remember – A tale a day keeps the doldrums away…