Releasing A Story Is Like Farting In An Elevator

In the midst of my writing journey I am contemplating releasing a collection of Post It Note Poetry and Micropoetry. This is before I have sold a novel, completed a novella or sold more than one short story to a paying market. 

There are a bunch of questions hanging around:
Is it too early? 
Have I progressed as a writer to have confidence in my work?
Is it an act of onanism?
Or is it, as the title of the post alludes to, farting in an elevator. You want to do it because all the comedy films tell you it’s funny. You want to let it go it but unsure if there will be a sound to tell people of your release. Or maybe you want there to be a mighty trumpet.

The reality is, it may simply stink no matter how much you enjoy the release.

A writer never has confidence in his or her own work. I know I doubt what I write. I look back at the early beginnings of what I wrote, as evidenced here on the blog, and cringe, but I see the foundations of my writing. And others also saw the potential in the chaff and offered me opportunities to develop. And yet, I still lack confidence. But I believe in the potential I have.

But here’s the thing. I know I can get the opinions and advice from people I trust, who will tell me if my work is a pile of word vomit or worth putting out. 

Every piece I write will be a reflection of my skill and development as a writer AT THAT POINT. I won’t be embarrassed at the beginnings but understand it is part of the apprenticeship I served to become a writer. I liken it to going through a band’s back catalogue.

So next time I fart in the elevator, I hope you laugh along with me because I’ll be laughing with you if it’s you who farts instead.

Throw Out Thursday – 99 Word Stories

Recently I came across a site running a monthly competition for stories no longer than 99 words.

I started to write a couple of pieces but ended up abandoning them. It was a good experiment and writing exercise but they were taking away time from other projects that needed priority.

I will share them below as I intend to adapt them into poems in the future.

He pulled up on the footpath, bringing the scooter to a halt before the STOP sign in literal, simple obedience. A first trip around the block without Mum or Dad. He waited with an understanding that permission needed to be granted before he could GO.

He waited, hands hung loosely over the handle bar, one foot on the deck while the other poised to push off the concrete footpath, shifting feet when one became tired of bearing weight.

Cars pulled up to the intersection, stopped, proceeded and he wondered who gave them permission. Looking around, he rebelled.

I wait for the days when the four lanes of road outside my house are silent. When I can stand in the middle of the road, one foot on each of the parallel white lines, and watch the road bend and dip to the right when facing south. Or turn north, feet still planted on the parallel lines and see the road rise towards the crest and veer slightly to the right again. It is when I imagine I am the only person. Today I intend to stop traffic.

You may want to have a crack at writing your own very short stories or using one of these as the prompt for your own piece of writing.




To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

Jessica Bell’s current comfort food is …

  1. beetroot salad with a yoghurt dressing
  2. plain pasta mixed with fresh chopped tomato, basil and olive oil
  3. feta cheese and tomato on toast

 What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

 Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

 If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

 Click HERE to see the list of blogs.


*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

 ​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

 While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.

 It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

 But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?

 Click HERE to view the book trailer.

Click HERE for purchase links.

black and white_Jessica Bell

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:

Website | Retreat & workshop | Blog | Vine Leaves Literary Journal | Facebook | Twitter


A Sneak Peak Behind the Scenes

A Sneak Peak Behind The Scenes

I have been tagged by Kathryn Apel @KatApel to talk about my current work in progress (WIP).

The challenge is to share 7 lines from page 7 or 77 of a current WIP.

You can read her snippet here.

My current WIP is a verse novel, The Broken Chord. As it’s a verse novel, it hasn’t reached seventy-seven pages in length yet (almost there – about 65% towards expected target of 20K). So, page 7 it is.

Here’s the blurb:

At the beginning of Caitlyn-Rose’s final year of high school she begins to question her relationship with her father, her music, her boyfriend Jack, and what she wants to do when she leaves school. Behind it all, the loss of her mother six years earlier lingers in the echoes of her heart.

I went a bit beyond the seven lines suggested, to give you a sense of the character and story. And it’s only a rough first draft, so go easy.

Going Home

Other days it’s just me, a cup of tea and my homework
In the quietness of the house; I usually work without music playing
While the shadows lengthen and shroud the page I’m working on
Forcing me to turn on the light

When it’s just me, the quietness is an emptiness
Jack is a quiet individual but he fills the space
With warmth and heart and muttered curses
When he loses a game

The quietness sits awkwardly on my shoulders
Never settling, like a jacket that’s too tight
The darker the room becomes, the tighter the fit
And not even the blaring of the stereo will shift it

Remixing is the New Creating Part 2

Earlier in the month I mentioned I had a piece listed on the if:books Australia Open Changes project titled The Storm. It was a remix of a previous work, Jodi Cleghorn’s poem, ‘Later.’ I took the line, “born up on the cicada chorus.”

In good news, I have another piece featured in the last week. You can read ‘The Naked Rosehere.

I took inspiration from Jodi Cleghorn’s piece, ‘She Would Be Grass.’ In particular, the line “On the ninth day, green patches of turf appeared.”

Now the project is closed, it will take the form of a story tree. I will let you know when it is up for you to have a goosey gander at.

Why I Write – A Featured Post

Today sees an article I wrote feature at The Good Men Project site. It is an exploration of why I write, a summary and manifesto to explain the reasons for my choice to use words to communicate.

What's Your Story

What’s Your Story?

You can read the full article here.

Remixing Is The New Creating

if:books Australia is running a remix challenge, Future of the Book.

Each week, 4 or 5 very short pieces (all sub-200 words) are posted and you get to use a paragraph or line or word and remix it in whatever way you choose.

You can write a poem, submit a drawing or photograph or write a short piece of fiction.

This week, one of my pieces is up for a remix.

Here’s the link:  Future of the Book

Have at it!