Tuesday 8 December 2015

Day 8: Official Secrets by Linda Edmondson

  1. What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?
The idea came to me during one of the sessions of a long-term course I did at New Writing South. It was a free-writing session that was a technical exercise in developing a moving story that included no overt emotional clues, hence I used winter metaphors rather extensively. As the story grew, however, interior thought became a very important element (either that, or I lost my nerve to strip bare such an emotional event!) Snowflake was a natural part of the story
  1. How would you describe your normal style of writing?
While I still have a teenage daughter in the house, my main genre is teenage fiction and I am in the final phase of writing my first novel aimed at 12-15 year-olds. My normal writing style combines sensual and emotional prose on thoughtful subjects, but with a little humour or irony here and there.
  1. Have you published other material?
At Christmas 2013 I had a short story published in the Gazette and Herald newspaper series, along the Sussex coast. In my day job I am a technical and scientific writer, often writing medical education articles and teaching materials.
  1. Do you have a writing routine?
My ideal is a minimum of half an hour on weekday evenings, after dinner, but I love a longer spell at any time of day at weekends when the house is quiet.
  1. Do you have a favourite place for writing?
On my sofa, feet up and cozy warm.
  1. Tell something quirky about you.
My ambition is to mix tracks on stage, as a proper DJ! I love pop and rock concerts, DJ sets, music festivals and silent discos. And yes, I have an idea for a story based on this!

Extract from Official Secrets 

From the garden room, they watched in silence as the slate grey of night became the silver grey of a flat winter morning. They watched in silence as the last seed from the sycamore pirouetted perfectly, until a northerly gust from behind the potting shed funnelled it towards the house and it slid down the glass. It landed on the window frame, in front of the three scented candles that sat dormant, waiting for dusk. He picked up one of the candles. Yes, there would probably be enough wax in it for tonight. With the other hand he rubbed her upper arm, gently. Her cardigan was draped over her shoulders like a dust sheet over a carving chair, and she stooped, sighing, over the windowsill.
“Sit on the bed, love. Sit down for a minute.” She turned towards him, and nodded a little.
“Yes. Help me over.” He pummelled the pillows, creating a wall of softness at the back of the day bed, and she sank onto the duvet.
Outside, the sky had a milky look about it. Then, the sun passed over the guttering and filled the garden room with shafts of cool morning light.
“God’s turned the lamp on again.” The words wheezed out, and as she laughed the pillows moved with her. “I hoped it would be a nice day today, and it is.”
    She took his hand, to stop him from adjusting the blanket. She traced the contoured veins and trailed her fingertips along the silver hairs above his wrist.
“Your fingers are cold.” He cupped her hand and blew gently across her nails, which had taken on a purplish tone.
She relaxed into the pillows, exhaling another long, crackled breath. Her eyelids dipped, flickered and closed. For a moment he held his breath with her – his mouth open and slack like hers – but he remained silent as he placed her hand back on top of the blanket. After a moment, she breathed again. His heart jolted. She had not left him. Not yet.

About the author:

Linda Edmondson lives in Littlehampton, West Sussex, with her family of assorted and much loved two- and four-legged creatures. Linda is a member of New Writing South and enjoys crafting short stories as a happy distraction from finishing her first novel (aimed at teenagers), or from doing her ‘proper job’ (writing and editing educational materials for health care professionals).



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